Jun 022024

This portion of the last day was really nice, actually. After our Cari Cakes run-in, we continued walking to Bukchon Hanok Village. This time, we arrived there a different way, I feel like, because there were several moments when I felt super disoriented and nothing looked familiar?? It was a lot of walking uphill, I’ll tell you that much, with a quick stop inside a little shop to buy a hand-embroidered scarf off the cutest halmeoni.

Of course now I wish I had bought more.

After what felt like days, and lots of “SHUT UP YOU’RE SO ANNOYING”s being slung around liberally between our trio, we finally made it to the top of the hill/mountain and then LO! we started to recognize the area and eventually walked right into the hankok village. When Henry and I were there a few days prior, we didn’t venture into the heart of the hanok village but were just there for cafe-purposes. You understand.

Even though this area is EXTREMELY touristy, we have still included this on every one of our trips to Seoul. If you’re not going into it expecting a perfect Instagram picture with no one in the background, you’ll be just fine. And as luck would have it, when were there in 2019, it wasn’t crowded at all so we were able to get the “money shots” then. This time, I just wanted to walk through for old time’s sake.

This is the iconic street that everyone wants to get their picture taken on, usually dressed in hanbok.  As you can, ain’t happening on this day! Still, people were trying. Also, people live in these houses so there are signs posted everyone (like the one on the brick wall up there) reminding people to speak in a whisper, but you know that wasn’t being obeyed, sadly. Some tourists are monsters and give the rest of us a bad name.

There are also people patrolling the area in an effort to keep crowds quiet, kind of like docents. Would not want that job.

My favorite part of Bukchon is all the alleys! They are photo zones in and of themselves! I made Chooch stand here so I could show you an example. You’re welcome.

What you can’t see is the hordes of people on either side of us while I quickly snapped this.

And then we went to Granhand! I’m so glad that this is still there, nestled in one of the aforementioned alleys. Honestly, blink and you’ll miss it and you don’t want to miss it, especially if you’re looking for a nice gift to bring home for someone. And it turned out, I was looking for exactly that!

We came here in 2018, thanks to a glowing recommendation on Joan Kim’s daily vlogs that she was doing that year on her Joan Day YouTube channel. Granhand is a small local perfume shop and the really nice thing about them is that you can get the bottles personalized with the name of the recipient’s name. In my case, it was Sue! I just really appreciated that she reached out to the director of admin of our Seoul office to help me have a safety net in case things with the marriage details went awry. She didn’t have to do that! But she did because she is an amazing person and director who actually genuinely cares about the people in her department.

There was a really sweet salesgirl working who was helping me decide on a scent. She asked if we were there on vacation and I said that it was our third time there and that we came back to get married.

She was really taken aback, moreso than I expected.

“Here?!” she asked, and I explained that we just truly love Korea so much, it’s our favorite place and so special to us, and she said, “Oh my god, I don’t even know what to say! Thank you! Thank you for coming here!” and then she started to tear up so then I started to tear up, and Henry was just Henrying as usual.

This was one of the best moments of our whole trip. It felt so special, and I loved having someone there to share our story with! She was also surprised that this was not our first time shopping at Granhand and thanked us for coming back to there again, too.

I highly recommend this Korean scent line and am kicking myself for, once again, not buying something for myself here! The last time, I got something for my mom and regretted not treating myself then too. Ugh.

Anyway, I got Sue the CocoCay scent which was a limited edition seasonal offering, I believe.

(Sue loved it!)

Yo, then we came to Ossuloc for some tea! Previously, we had only been to the one in Insadong, but this one had a fabulous rooftop view.

Chooch grimacing at the view.

As opposed to my dreamily ogling the view.

I had to go for the matcha. I love matcha so much. I can’t remember what this other drink was and who ordered it. Milk tea latte of some sort?

The bathroom was impeccable.

View from the bathroom….porthole.

Then we went to Randy’s Donuts! Yes, apparently there is a Seoul location. This was also the first time during the whole trip that we ran into Korea’s strict “ONE DRINK PER SEAT” rule if you want to eat inside rather than take away. Originally, we were just going to get 2 donuts but the lady was like, “Oh no, you can’t eat here unless you get a drink” so Henry was like, “Oh maybe it’s because there are three of us and we’re only getting 2 donuts” so he tried to order a third donut and she pointed to the sign again, so we all ended up having to get a drink even though we just came from Ossuloc but if there is another thing that Korea does majestically, it’s their drinks. So it wasn’t that much of a punishment!

I shared this cronut with Henry and had regertz – it was delicious and I didn’t want to share.

If I remember correctly, Henry bought a bottle of water which appeased the Randy’s lady.

And then we set off for Gangnam because I was determined to buy a new pair of Gentle Monsters, so look forward to the next post where PSYCHO BRAT ERIN makes a reappearance. :/

Say it don't spray it.

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