This past weekend, my husband and I went on a church retreat to Daecheon Beach. It’s about a two hour drive from Daejeon on the west coast of Korea. We went last year, so this is quickly becoming an annual summer trip for us.
I’ve been attending an English church (Koreans also attend, and the pastor’s wife provides Korean translation, so I guess it’s more of a bilingual church) for a few months now, and there are a lot of married couples like us (Korean man, non-Korean woman). I have already made a few good friends there, but the retreat gave us an opportunity to spend more quality time together and we joined together with another English church in Cheonan.
We met a lot of new people and the trip was well worth the drive there and back. We didn’t even have to pay, since we offered to drive people. We all stopped at a rest stop along the way to eat lunch, too, so we didn’t have to sit in the car for too long. I am not a very enthusiastic road tripper, and since Korea has such a great public transportation system, I don’t often like to sit in the car if I know I can get there by train or by bus.
I was surprised that Junkyu even wanted to drive us there and back, since he came home late every night the week before the trip. He was a great sport, though. We are usually lazy on the weekends, but after this trip, I was invigorated to travel more within Korea. There are so many places I want to see, and I love making memories in new places with him.
This summer was so hot that if we had gone to the beach any other weekend before this, we probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much. The weather was perfect the whole time we were there. Enormous fluffy clouds guided us down the road on the way out of Daejeon, but soon it was all blue skies. The air was cool and breezy, and although I was adamant about swimming in the pool connected to our pension (Korean word for cabin/house that you rent) the water was too cold and the air wasn’t hot enough to justify going in.
We walked along the shoreline to watch the sunset on Saturday night, and it was so beautiful. I found a huge shell with a big hole in it that looked so unique I had to bring it home. My friend found two starfish that were attached to a shell. They were still squishy and blue, like they had just been alive. I’d never seen a blue starfish before.
We played games and sang songs and ate as a big group, and we had a lot of fun getting to know the people who live near Cheonan. A few of the girls were all EPIK participants, and had just arrived in Korea two weeks prior. It was fun listening to the things that amazed and confused them about Korea, and they asked me questions and advice. Even though I’ve been here for a year, it doesn’t feel like it at all.
The weekend was so relaxing, and it was nice to sit outside and eat pancakes with my husband. We slept in a tent and played on the beach and even found a kitten with folded ears wandering around outside near the pension. It felt like we had tons of little adventures packed into one weekend, and I can’t wait to plan our next trip within mainland Korea. I did get sunburned, though, so I still have marks from where the sunny beach touched me.