Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bye Bye America Again

I'm up way too early here in my hotel near the SFO airport. Maybe I'm excited to go back to Korea or ready to get there, rest and prepare for the first day back to work.

I had a good time here in America and am so grateful to spend time with nearly all of my family. When I get the chance I will definitely continue to post the rest of my trip from Florida and D.C.

I'm not sure when I'm going to come out here again, as I need to consider saving money and also I still want to see other parts of the world.

I didn't really feel reverse culture shock while out here, but instead just tried to soak up the American life while I could. I found people are really into politics these days and very divided on their opinions. Also, I just enjoyed how nice people were and not sure if it was always like that.

Being here and seeing my family has put a seed in mind whether or not I should continue life in Korea or seriously consider being closer to the people I love. I just don't want to think about how hard it will be to start a life back here in America.

Anyways, it was a good trip and definitely allowed me to see some great sights. I also feel more courage and confidence starting back at work, and know I can only do what is possible when I get there.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

The White House at night

Still have something to write up about my last days in Florida, but now I'm in Washington, D.C. with my mom and cousins. We checked into our hotel yesterday around 3pm and after resting for a while hit the streets to see what we could see.

It feels good to be back in an urban setting. Although Florida is very beautiful, warm and cozy I think I missed the concrete jungle that a city provides.

While heading to the White House we walked pass an Occupy camp location. There weren't that many folks there and I think the tents were empty. It has something to do with an eviction notice. But there was a small gathering of people.

So far I am liking this city, which seems to have a buzz to it of political-ness and East coast seriousness. The architecture is a great site to see, too.

Seeing the White House in person was an interesting experience. It looked a lot smaller than I had imagined, but still felt like a mighty symbol of this country. I also felt excited just standing there and thinking about the current people inside and all the folks who passed through it before.

We made our way around the White House, which you can't exactly do. I noticed a lot of street paths were blockaded and your walking path was more or less designed. We passed by the Dwight Eisenhower building which was an awesome sight.

As we came to an intersection the traffic was stopped all around us by police, even the sidewalk was guarded. A few minutes later a motorcade of SUVs with deep tinted black windows went by, and we all wondered if it was Obama inside. Certainly gave us all a great memorable experience.

Today I am going out and seeing it all in the sunshine. I am already impressed with this city, as it appears very clean and lovely. Of course I've just been in a small section of it so far. :)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Deerfield Beach

No trip to Florida would be complete with out a venture over to the beach. On both sides (the Gulf and the Atlantic) you have choices. On this day we decided to head to Deerfield beach, which brought back memories.

First we stopped at The Cove restaurant near the inter-coastal bridge. Although, it actually was renamed something I think we all considered it to be what it was called in the past. A long time ago, when I was still in Elementary school, my parents had separated. My father went and lived in a little cottage near Deerfield Beach, which was situated near this restaurant. I recall him taking us and having a great grilled cheese sandwich, while a solo steal-drum performer worked the crowd.

Everything you see again from your childhood appears smaller and less significant when your an adult. The affect was felt here, too.

A good old-fashioned cheeseburger was very scrumptious and filling. As we exited, to my surprise, I saw a cigarette-dispenser machine nearby. I recall as a kid playing with the knobs on these things and was amazed to see it was still operational.

The beach was a little breezy and the water really choppy, so there was no swimming involved in this trip. But fun was had in shell collecting and general horsing around on the shore.

When the sun came out the water turned a beautiful topaz shade of blue, which made you appreciate life.

Floridians have it made, living amongst such beauty. On our way out, there was a little street market going on with food and craft stalls.

I have been enjoying this slice of life in America, and at times really appreciative of how friendly people can be. Striking up general conversations with people in the store or outside, makes me miss living in America.

But so far my home is back in Korea, and I often think about my return. Maybe if I study more Korean I can make daily chit-chat with the folks out there. We'll see...for now I've got Florida.

Looking Over My Work While Away

I managed to have some free time today to look over my upcoming work for next semester. I recall how before the semester ended, a few weeks ago, my mind was blown by the team leader stuff coming my way.

I figured I needed to give myself some time and then I can approach it with a clearer mind. Looking at it today I definitely feel better about the new duties. Mostly I see I will need to be that person in the middle who communicates and negotiates requests. There are some major duties to take care of, but I think there will be time to understand it all.

Mostly I just hope I will have enough time to set up my new room, including rearranging the teacher's desks and putting away all my materials. That first day back is a full schedule of orientation meetings and greeting new students. I kind of wish they would give us more time to set up.

Even though I am still feeling somewhat nervous about the upcoming term, I know I just need to start out with a smile and not let it all get to me. The other teachers (both Korean and none) will be busy and hoping for a good year. In other words, I won't be the only one a bit nervous that first week back.

I wrote all this down in a neat list fashion in my notebook and hope to reference it now and then while I am still out here. Just to prep myself mentally. But how can I keep my focus with weather in the high 70's and palm trees everywhere?!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Brunch and Nature Reserve with Mom

You know life is swell when you can have homemade brunch with your mother. A delicious fruit salad with eggs and an english muffin...yum!

My mom has a great companion dog that gives her lots of company.

We headed to the Boynton Beach Green Cay Nature Center to check out the wildlife. It was a great experience and I mostly enjoyed hearing all the animal sounds.

There were all sorts of animals to be seen, including water fowl and alligators. I only brought my new pancake lens so I wasn't able to get close ups, however there was enough scenery to photograph.

The Nature Center has a raised path you can take around the whole area, which use to be a farm. The previous land owner left it to the county and made sure they turned it into a reserve. The place is very well kept and doesn't look over planned.

While there we caught the sunset, which was beautiful as always.

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