February 8, 2015

A quick trip to NY

Yesterday, Saturday, marked 2 years since Yangkyu's mom's passing. We took a quick one night trip up to New York to pay a visit to where she lays rest with some of her favorite foods. The concept being that her spirit will be there enjoying the food we bring as well. 

Just as it did last year there was snow that covered all the headstones and Yangkyu once again had to shovel his way to finding where his mom, and dad, were. It came as a pleasant surprise to him when he found them in his first dig. He said later how it felt like the right spot to start shoveling and his heart was elated when he started to see his mom's name. It made me emotional hearing him say that. 

We brought Piri with us this time. We remembered when once Yangkyu's mom remarked how Piri was big as an ox. That made Yangkyu laugh so much because it was such an exaggeration since Piri is so small. 

While we didn't get to stay too long because it was freezing, I'm glad we got a chance to come and say hello. It means so much for Yangkyu to visit his parents on the days when they passed. I never understood this tradition but I'm glad I can support him and his wishes on the days when he must miss them the most. 

During this short trip we were also able to squeeze in quick meetings with friends and a trip to our favorite Japanese market in Edgewater, NJ. 

We're using today to get back into the swing of our regular routine. Usually I need a day after short and long trips, although after our farmhouse getaway it seemed like I needed an entire week to get back into the groove. 

Here are some pictures of our short trip. 

 // We usually cross the Verrazano Bridge and take the BQE (Brooklyn Queens Expressway) to get to Long Island, which I never understood. The last time we did this, it took us 9 hours because we were stuck in traffic in Staten Island as well as on the BQE. I pleaded with Yangkyu to cross the George Washington Bridge instead this time and the only traffic we hit was a super short one when we got to the Bronx. Whoa! But hello?! When did the toll rise to $14? It was like $2 in the 80s. I think pizza was like .50, too.

 // Piri stayed inside the car with the heat on most of the time and came out when we were ready to say our last good-byes with formal bows, which are called jeol. It's the type of bows where you place your right hand over your left and raise them to your forehead. You get into a kneeling position and bend your body forward so that your hands/forehead is {almost?} touching the floor. I think these types of formal bows are done during ceremonies like weddings and such and also to pay respects to elders. I'm not very good at it because I always lose my balance but I think his parents don't mind too much. :) 

 // Afterwards I met up with a good friend of mine, Karen, and her baby boy Harrison. I talk on the phone with Karen almost on a daily basis but when she pointed out that I haven't seen Harrison since he was like 5 months old, I gasped. Has it been that long? It was good to meet up even though it was only for a short while. Right before Yangkyu and I made the trip, I was actually talking to Karen about our good old days from college. From time to time we turn the clock back and share stories from that time in our lives. Most of the time it's the same story but we converse as though we're reminiscing for the first time. 

 // Fwends! Harrison and Piri have Faced Timed before but this was their first time actually meeting. Harrison was first shy and I caught him steal a sideways glance over at Piri with a smile. Ah. It was so so cute. But then he did something even cuter by reaching over and holding Piri's paw! Thanks for being so gentle with my little old man, Harrison! 

 // We got back into our little hatchback and went over to the Upper East Side to pick up one of Yangkyu's friends and then headed to New Jersey where we were spending the night. But first I met up with a couple of my girlfriends at a little restaurant and bar called Makchang Maru in Cliffside Park, NJ. I wish I could say we were hardcore and drank all those soju bottles pictured here but instead I enjoyed a couple of bottles of Sapporo beer. It was one of those nights where drinking beer actually tasted good {I'm not a fan of beer or alcohol for that matter and most days it just tastes really bitter to me. Heh.}

 // Inching towards midnight on a Friday or in other words, almost 2 hours past my bedtime. Ha! Yangkyu's other friend Steve and his fiance headed over to NJ from Queens to say hello. It was also his birthday and so we did a quick lalala~~~ and had cake, too. We weren't the best singers but that cake though -- blueberry yogurt flavor from Paris Baguette was so so good. 

 // On Saturday we put Piri in daycare and headed over to Queens, NY to meet up with his sister and her kids. We always drive by the Main St. area just for old times sake. I used to walk these streets so many times. And I lived right on 38th and Parsons post college years and took the 7 train out to Manhattan. Such old memories! 

 // Crepes at Cafe Bench in Flushing, NY. I had the goat cheese crepe and Yangkyu got the beef skillet crepe. Both were really good. 
 // With Yangkyu's sister and her kids, Michelle and Eric. They got so big! I can't believe it. Eric will be going into high school next year and Michelle will be 6th grade. Yangkyu's sister and her kids and also his brother's family {who live in Korea} will all be taking a trip to Hawaii this coming weekend. Unfortunately we will be missing out. They all try to get together every three years and so Yangkyu and I will have to figure out some other way to meet his brother's family a bit sooner than 2018! 

 // At Paris Baguette in Flushing, NY. I tried their croissant doughnut, which wasn't that good, but their twisted doughnut and curry croquette were mmmmMMmmm. You know what I mean, right? 

   // Our last stop before heading home was at Mitsuwa Market in Edgewater, NJ. It's our favorite place to go to look around, eat and shop. We picked up some snacks, ate a late lunch and browsed through a Japanese bookstore where I bought a couple of pens, pencils, highlighters and this one marker type of pen that writes like calligraphy. I'm looking forward to doodling with them {I also just bought a planner to bring back a bit more writing and scheduling by hand in my life, so these new writing tools are a great addition}. 

 // We crossed so many bridges during this trip to all different parts of NY and NJ - the GW Bridge, Triborough, Throgs Neck, Whitestone -- but it was a good trip nonetheless. A little hectic but still good. So until next time! See ya! 


  1. Sounds like a good trip. To pay respects and visit family and friends! Have a great sunday!

  2. Those bright flowers look so pretty against the white snow. Sounds like a great trip, for so many reasons. That last photo is particuarly gorgeous!

  3. Ah how your post feeds my wanderlust, thanks for sharing such great photos and what looks to have been a wonderful time with so many memories made in such a short space of time!

  4. I remember you telling me briefly how you were were going to in New York for family reasons and I understand why. It's lovely that Yangkyu visits his parents. I loved visiting my dad's resting place on his birthday and the day of his passing. Now that I live so far away from home, I've only made it there for his birthday last year and I might just go back this year (in June). It seems as if you had a busy/hectic time in NY. It's always the same for me when I visit LA. Lots of visiting and hanging out with old friends and family!

    On a lighter note, I'm so jealous that you went to Mitsuwa; that's one of my favorite markets in LA! We have a Marukai here but Mitsuwa is my favorite!

  5. How beautiful that Yangkyu was able to find his parents even through the snow. That story touched my heart. And how wonderful that after such an emotional part of your weekend that you were both surrounded by so many loved ones!! Boy....I have no idea how you fit it all in but it looked and sounded just fantastic Jane! Wishing you a great week ahead!! Nicole xo

  6. Am happy your trip was so wonderful. How beautiful the way Yangkyu found his parents, that made me well up a bit!! Am glad it was a special moment and all of you were there :)) xx

  7. What a trip, so special that Yangkyu was able to find his parent's grave, stories like that touch my heart :) So many wonderful memories!

  8. The pics of Harrison and Piri are just too adorable, Jane. Thanks for sharing these snippets of your life with us:)

  9. Wow, looks like you had a very eventful weekend! I think it's wonderful that Yangkyu treasures his traditions of meeting up at his parents' grave site each year. It's very sweet.

  10. That speaks volumes of your husbands character. He is so honorable! What a great son! His parents are smiling upon him. I can tell the way he treats you (as a wife) that he's a good person. Can we clone him? HaHaHa More need to be like him. It's amazing how he was able to find his parents headstones. He has a really good heart. Glad you guys met up with friends and had a great time.

  11. Nice to make the trip for Yangkyu, it's his way of feeling connected and i can relate to that.

    Buckets & Spades

  12. It's sweet to have rituals to make you connected with your dear lost ones, we have never had any in my family but I acknowledge how important this must be for Yangkyu. Big hug!

  13. Wow this sounds like such a fun trip, and really special with the visit to Yangkyu's mother's grave. Your friend's son is ADORABLE!!


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