Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Getting caught up…..

Well there we go. Not a lot of blogs for 2013, but at least I threw a few in of some of the mini trips I did. It'll be a while before I move to another country, or take another 6 month trip gallivanting some continent. So until then, these mini breaks will have to do. Slowly, I will get back into the swing of writing blogs. Stay tuned for either a new blog site, or updates on this blog.

Maybe I will get sick of school and a mundane life searching for a career and pick up and move to Mongolia. If that's the case, this is where you'll hear about it.

Until then, HAPY NEW YEAR to all and I can't wait to see what 2014 has in store….

Winter Music Conference in Miami

This is Matt, he is mildly crazy.

Matt Williams is a guy I met in a hostel in Sydney in 1999 while on one of my first, and biggest backpacking adventures. Over the past 15 years we have met up in numerous countries, and shared many a packed dance floor together. We both love our music, and we party, and we dance. Oh, and we both have travelled the whole world wide. He planted the seed in my head that he was gathering a good crew to check out the Winter Music Conference in Miami for the second year in a row.

Meanwhile back in Canada, one of my best girlfriends stoked the fire. I had

n't been down to Florida in years and the idea of spending a short but packed week in South Beach was too much too refuse. We had brave goals of shopping and beach bumming and hotel jumping, while attending all the best music venues and parties the festival had to offer. We skipped shopping, made it to the beach for a short stint and basically spent the whole trip partying and dancing our toes off.

We rented a plush condo just off the strip as a home base and gallivanted the days away. Here are a few shots to highlight our days in South Beach.

Hahahahaha. We like to dance. 

Actually the pictures are on a separate blog because I am having technical difficulty and blogger is not cooperating with me. Check them out here:


Snapshots of South Beach

Welcome to South Beach. Madness ensued. 

Easing ourselves into it, and catching up with all the Brits @Nikki Beach.

Nikki Beach

Kinda speaks for itself. 

We have NO FUN AT ALL when we hang out. 

Next party. Next day. Next venue. More tomfoolery. 

Not all of us, but part of the most fun crew ever. 

Mz.Kitty and I, gussied up for the only fancy meal we went out for
at Katsuya's in the SLS hotel, on the strip. 
More accessorizing.

New day, new party. Delano Hotel. 

The lovely ladies crew (plus Christian).

British Love.

And darkness falls. 

One of our dance floors was in a POOOOOOL!

See! Pool dance floors are the coolest thing ever. There should be more. 

This pic is fuzzy, but it pretty much
sums up my week with Kat ;-)

Kat strutting on the strip. 

Me + Brits = excessive fun. 

The Delano Hotel 

More of the Delano. Last day, last party. 

Mini-Break in Domican Republic

In March, after enduring my first Canadian in over 3 years, we booked a quick and cheap getaway down south. I hadn't been on a package vacation in ages and I was quickly reminded the reason for that. As lovely as it was to shed all the layers of clothing and bask in sunshine by the ocean, all inclusives are NOT my favourite way to travel. We basically sat in one spot for 7 days on the beach, interrupted only by eating, sleeping, and drinking. As temperatures are plummeting and winter is in full swing right now, that combination of activities is actually pretty tempting.

More to the point, if I had choice I would have gone to so many more interesting places in this world. But with only a week off work and a very limited budget, we made the most of it.

Here are a few snaps from our week of sand, sea and lots of sunshine.

I spy with my little eye…..

Palm trees & coconuts = happiness.

I like accessories. 

Pretty views everywhere I looked.

Our home base for 7 days of sunshine.

Feet up and relaxing. 

Beach bound.

This is happy Alex.

Best view in the house.

This little dude spent an afternoon under our umbrella. 

One of MANY foot shots. 


Little crab, who was not too happy about my photo shoot. 


Saturday, December 21, 2013

2013 Comes To An End, and the blog is resurrected.

2013 is only days away from ending and I noticed it has been over a year since I entered a blog. Writing my blog was so habitual for so long, and now it has just dried up. Mostly because this blog has always been my travel blog and I have been pretty stationary in Toronto for the past year and half. After my return from Korea, I kept the blog going for a while trying to "find Korea in Toronto." I drifted. Ironically, I am now back at school for another writing focused post grad degree, and I am not blogging, shame on me. Hence the entry. My December resolution is to start writing a few articles here and there (especially on www.justcharlee.com), and to start blogging again.

I haven't decided whether or not to keep this blog going or to leave it as my travel blog and start a fresh new one for Alex In The City. Either way, I must get back into writing more. I think along with not travelling right now, is also the fact that in school I am writing all the time with assignments coming out of my yahoo. So it's hard to motivate myself to just write more. But I will do, and I really want to, especially now that I am on a bit of a break from school and the academic world.

So before 2013 comes to end, I thought I would back track a little and just throw some photos up from the little mini breaks I did have. I was beach bumming back in March for a week in the Caribbean and then shortly there after I had a crazy extended long weekend at a music festival in South Beach, Miami. The memories aren't exactly fresh but there are tons of pictures to post. So that will be a nice and easy transition to bring me back into the blogosphere.

Stay tuned.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Korea in Broadview Station

I was standing at Broadview Station on my way to work yesterday waiting for a train, just like I do every day. My eyes briefly scanned in front of me, and because I hadn't had my morning coffee yet I was double-y impressed I picked up on this. The ad in front of me was for Korea. It brought a huge smile to my face at a very early hour of the day.

You don't see many billboards promoting Korea, so this really caught my eye. It was a "Visit Korea" poster sponsored by Korean Air and LG. Smack dab in the centre was a figure doing traditional Korean dance, nongak (translates to farmers dance), or pungmul. On his head he was wearing sangmo,  a hat with a beautiful long ribbon attached to it that spins and flips when the person wearing it moves their head. I saw many different performances of this in Korea and it is a beautiful sight to see. The dancer was jumping above Gyeongbukgung, way off in the back ground. Gyeongbukgung is the massive, stunning, royal palace smack dap in the middle of central Seoul.

The poster also directs people to check out their facebook page to win a trip to Korea or an LG tv. Their facebook page can be found here:   www.facebook.com/visitkoreayear

 In a society where advertising is evident in every single thing we absorb, and everywhere we look, I found I really appreciated this one. Just another little piece of Korea I found right here in Toronto.

<< Check out a blog entry HERE for a fashion show I attended at Gyeongbukgung where the palace was all dolled up for Korean Heritage Day. >>

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Raising The Flag

Timing is everything. Just as I had decided to reinvest my interest back in blogging about Korea I get a notice in the post from the Consulate. "On the occasion of the Anniversary of Korean National Foundation Day and Korean Heritage Day, the Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Toronto requests the pleasure of your company at a flag raising ceremony and a reception afterwards".


Location: the legislative Building at Queen's Park. Seriously. I don't know how I got on their VIP list, but I couldn't be more pleased. I am pretty sure I can squeeze an early/extended lunch on the day this goes down so I can be there. I don't really know what to expect other than a flag being raised and a good possibility because it happens over lunch time, some good Korean eats. I will pack my camera and be ready for whatever it is that comes my way. Kamsa Hamnida!