A Seoul-ful Birthday

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Many women are troubled at the thought of birthdays after 25. There’s something about reaching the cusp of your 30s that causes anxiety. For some women, it’s the mere fact of being older. For others, it’s the looming question of, “Is my life where I want it to be?”

For me, personally, it just meant another reason to celebrate! While turning a year older isn’t anything significant (turning 27 is hardly a pivotal point like turning 18 or 21), the anniversary of your entrance into this magical world is definitely a cause for celebration. Not to mention, I feel really blessed to be where I am, have the people I do in my life, and be comfortable in my lifestyle.

Clint asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday, and I only had one wish: Braai Republic. And so we invited a few friends, booked a hotel in Seoul, and had a wonderful weekend full of festivities.

We started the weekend with a quick trip to Osan. Clint had to pick up a gift he’d pre-ordered. It was also a great excuse to get some Chili’s for a light lunch. We ate and I got my gift from Clint: a Nikon J1 camera with an additional VR 30-110mm lens. I was more than thrilled! I’ve been coveting this camera for such a long time. Now I can torture him with even more picture-taking. Heh heh.

We boarded the metro towards Yongsan Station in Seoul, which was a quick taxi ride away from the hotel. Hotel Elle Inn is just one of a plethora of love motels in Seoul, but turned out to be quite nice due to the spaciousness and Jacuzzi tub. We’d definitely stay there again.

I got dolled up in my new lace dress, and we headed out to Braai Republic. The restaurant was busy as always, but we got a table pretty quickly. The owner remembered my friends, who had been there a couple of times before with their enormous appetites. Braai always maintains a jovial atmosphere, and the food is just so darn good! We each ordered the lamb with our favorite sides, and rounded off the meal with their famous Amarula cheesecake. Everything was delicious – even more so than the first time I was there. My birthday wish was complete!

We finished off the night at a couple of clubs in Gangnam: Monkey Beach and Bunker. Thank goodness Seoul can party with more than just blaring techno music.

The next morning, Clint and I found our way to Hanok Village – but only after the embarrassing mistake of walking into a restaurant and asking to rent their hanboks. Oops! We did finally get into our hanboks – a king and queen set – and had so much fun taking pictures. I didn’t want to take my hanbok off!

Our last adventure for the weekend involved figuring out Seoul’s subway system and discovering designer muffins. We found a couple of different shops and tried one from each location. The strawberry fondue muffin is to die for! It’s a chewy strawberry muffin topped with a light creamy frosting, and at the bottom is strawberry jam. So delightful!

It was definitely a great weekend, and I have Clint to thank for it.

Korean Name: 브라이리퍼블릭 (Braai Republic)
Phone: 070-8879-1967
Address: 63-4 Itaewon-dong (19 Itaewon-ro 14-gil) Yongsan-gu, Seoul

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