Apr 162024

Remember when I got married in South Korea, you guys!? There, that’s going to be the intro to every blog post now.

After that happened, we needed to go back to the hotel to stash our license. Chooch got a celebratory vending machine coffee and didn’t even CHEERS us. Asshole.

I was so worried about MISSING EVERY MOMENT that I was snapping photos on the fly, willy-nilly. The amount of pictures I have that are:

  1. blurry;
  2. of unknown origin

is shocking. But anyway, I wanted SUBWAY SNACKS to eat in the hotel room in our….post-nuptial glow? Could you even consider paper-signing nuptials? Not a single vow was uttered. Well anyway, I ordered hodu gwaja / 호두과자 (they’re these delicious little walnut cakes) from a sweet ahjumma. I always like to order food in Korean even though they usually will also have the English descriptions there too, because I JUST WANT KOREANS TO LOVE ME.

And more subway kimbap with ham that needed to be picked out but it’s OK! It’s all good. Just happy to be in Korea eating my kimbap.

After snacking, changing clothes, and resting up a bit, we headed back out to Namdaemun Market!

This is a great area to head to if you want FOOD and STUFF. Chooch bought a pair of joggers that Henry complained were too expensive considering it was right off the street (20,000 won, get a life Henry) but Chooch LOVED these pants so much that I think he wore them EVERY DAY of the trip after this. Bye bye, Target sweats. To the back of the luggage you go.

There is so much KOREA in this picture, it makes my eyes well. But anyway, there are a bunch of small alleys in Namdaemun that have hidden restaurants, the good kinds that only have like 5 tables and 3 things on the menu.

There’s a multi-level indoor section of shops too and it’s quite overwhelming every time we come here, I swear.

We settled on this food cart for dinner because it had something for all of us plus tteokbokki which we ALL love. This guy let me place our order and then he was saying “one minute!” to me in Korean, over and over, and here, he needed to move his cart to a location further down the street while our food was cooking lol. It was chaos, but exciting. I don’t know how these street food vendors have the patience. I was so stressed out on this guy’s behalf because he had numerous people yelling orders at him and handing him things they wanted him to cook.

Anyway, at the end of this post, I’ll put the video compilation from this day which includes him absconding with the cart, and also a truck driver having a screaming match with a guy on a scooter that happened right after this – it was all very exciting. Lots of action in Namdaemun.

We also got leek pancake (my favorite) and vegetable mandu. So satisfying!

OK this place was the beginning of Chooch’s obsession with schisandra ade (omija in Korean). I had never heard of this berry before but it was EVERY WHERE, tons of cafes we went to had omija ade and Chooch was like, “Bam, done. I’ll have that.” every time.

Henry also got an egg tart and we shared it while watching the truck driver yell at the scooter guy, in case you were wondering.

This was a childrens’ department store!

Back at the hotel, we dropped off some purchases, hydrated, Chooch changed into his new joggers and then we went back out again. Oh!! I remember the main reason we stopped back there – this is so stupid, but for months while planning this trip, I kept thinking about how cute it would be to take our marriage license into one of the many Korean photobooth rooms out there. I mean, it was up there on the short list of IS THERE ANYTHING MORE KOREAN. I mean, we could have also taken it to a noraebang – WHY DIDN’T WE TAKE IT TO A NORAEBANG??

As far as elevators go, this one ranks #3 out of the three places we’ve stayed in Seoul. There was just nothing special about it and it wasn’t even good for selfies!

OK so look, after serendipitously stumbling upon Ikseondong that morning like a veritable Diagon Alley, PLUS seeing that one of the photobooth rooms I was most interested in also had a location there, going back there that night was non-negotiable. Plus? It was cafe time.

Nakwon is Instagram famous because it’s so aesthetic. I mean, just while sitting there, we saw people after people stopping to have their picture taken in “the spot” (you’ll see) and then continuing on. But I wanted the picture AND the drinks.

Look at how pretty Chooch’s raspberry latte is! He said it was “fine.”

“Was it a vibe?” I asked, and he said, “Sure.” Henry and Chooch aren’t into aesthetic cafes like I am. Look, I can also drink vending machine coffee shots like Chooch and be fine with it because I’m a coffee addict, but I also like to be sitting in the midst of Instagram inspo, you know what I mean? And you have a gimmick, even better. I’m a sucker for a gimmick.

There is one cafe in Busan that almost made me redo our whole itinerary to fit in an overnight Busan romp because this cafe delivers your drink through a window on pulley so it looks like a little hot air balloon. Henry was like *stern look* and then “Next trip.”


Maple cream latte <3 It was so rich and wonderful!

This is the photozone, lol. People love the train tracks! Check the video at the end.

The photobooth room! Video of our “session” is included at the end so BE SURE TO WATCH!

This area gets so crowded and it’s also really popular with locals, so I was pleasantly surprised at our luck!

OMG OMG OMG then we went to Mil Toast and usually this place is popping off, there’s a waitlist, huge line, etc. It is in almost every Seoul influencers’ YouTube vlog. I first saw this in Joan Day’s vlog back when we she was still vlogging about her life in Seoul. I got so much inspiration from those vlogs! This was on my list last time we were here too but of course, we totally failed with Ikseondong in general.

Anyway – NO LINE if you go on a Tuesday evening! The inside wasn’t even crowded!

Chooch was so tired that he actually fell asleep while we waited for our bread. A girl (another foreigner) came out of the bathroom and saw him, then she chuckled to herself and went back to her table where I saw her pantomine Chooch with his head in his arms to her friend. It was cute but when I told him about it later, I of course made it sound like she was making fun of him mercilessly.

“She took pictures of you, too. They’re probably on Instagram.”

You have to order two loaves (they’re small and I could probably eat both on my own, tbh) and they steam them right there at the counter. It’s such a fun experience. I had to laugh though because it was just us and maybe three other groups but the kitchen were HUSTLING like it was a full house, yet…NOTHING was coming out. It was like watching a bunch of Sims being mismanaged.

Oh fuck me up, Mil Toast. We got one sweet potato and one chestnut loaf. They were delicious. Not as good as salt bread! But I can understand why this is a popular brunch spot. They also have the really eggy, souffle-y french toast which a group of young travelers sitting nearby ordered to share and it looked divine. I had to laugh though because one of them was in the bathroom was it was served, so the other two waited for her before digging in, but then when she came back to her seat, she had to take a picture of it first too. The other two looked like they were in a drool coma at that point.

The verdict is that I think it was REALLY good but I’m not sure if it was “wait for an hour in line” good? Just go at night!

Speaking of night! It was fully night by this point. I suggested walking back to the hotel but Chooch whipped his head around and glared at me lol. He was so tired. So we went back to the hotel and dropped him off, then Henry and I went back out for a stroll as newly married people I guess, but don’t worry you guys, he was so annoying and I was snapping at him every two minutes, plus he tripped like a doof at least twice on this walk and I screamed, “YOU’RE SO EMBARRASSING!!” like he was driving a MAGA float and wearing a Trump toupee on his dick.

Henry said we could walk to Seoul Station and I had no idea our hotel was that close to it (like a 20 minute walk) because again, I don’t understand maps.

(Wait, I just consulted my vacation journal and that says he tripped approx. 8x.)

We walked around the Seoullo walking bridge thing that we did in 2019 but it was a different vibe at night! There was even a really cute cafe/bistro there but I told Henry it looked too romantic for us.

From there, we went to Lotte Mart because there’s a small Daiso there and Henry wanted to get laundry bags. What a…fun way to end the night, Henry. But while we were there, I saw some cute baby stuff so I got my friend Wendi an outfit for her soon-to-come anyday-now baby.

Then we saw this Pokemon section and taunted Chooch with it the next day.

Say it don't spray it.

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