Thursday, 26 March 2015

Florida and Georgia: Part 1

I know I'm far from the first person to acknowledge this, but...long-distance relationships suck! Two months have never felt longer than the two that Angela and I spent apart last December and January. Even using Skype almost every day, nothing made up for the fact that we couldn't hold one another or share the same physical space. It gave us both a huge admiration for all the couples out there who've endured even longer periods apart, especially those in the past who didn't have the luxury of high-speed video chatting.

Thank goodness we both have awesome parents who allowed us to share the month of February with one another before our return-trip to Korea. In late January, my mum paid for my flight to Cape Coral, Florida, where Angela was living with her mum and dad. They let me stay at their beautiful canal-side home, the same place we stayed in last March. During those four weeks, we didn't do as much touristy, sightseeing-type stuff as last year; instead, we spent a lot of time relaxing together, and we also helped Angela's parents decorate the house. We did go for a trip up to Atlanta, Georgia at one point though, since that had the closest embassy where we could finalise our Korean visas.

Reunited at last! Here we are on a street near Angela's parent's house, cycling in the sun. February in Cape Coral has its chilly days, for sure, but there's still more sun than England gets in a year (or at least, that's how it feels). It definitely made this winter a lot easier to get through!
Angela's family recently bought a new puppy. Named Lucky, she came on several walks in the sun with us.
Playing guitar on the dock outside Angela's family home.
Relaxing times with the new puppy...
...aaaand not-so-relaxing times.
I celebrated my 29th (ugh, writing that number hurt my soul a little) birthday, and as is tradition, Angela made me a birthday treasure hunt.
I followed a bunch of clues that led me to several locations spread around Cape Coral and Fort Myers.
Birthday book-shopping in Barnes and Noble.
Buffalo chicken-wings for lunch.
At a quiet beach at Fort Myers.
A bone-dry horseshoe crab shell.
Another clue.
Picnic on the beach! The strawberries and cream cheese were heavenly.
Then onto Florida's favourite past-time: Vulva-golf!
My birthday cake reads: "Hooray! You're not 30 yet!" Very feel-good stuff.
I'm an incredibly lucky guy. Some of the amazing gifts I received included a brand new Canon Powershot camera to replace the one I lost in England (thank you so much, Angela's parents!), as well as some delicious Mexican tequila (from the cruise that Angela and her family went on over Christmas), and a whole bunch of books. City of Dark Magic was kind of a disappointment despite its really fun-sounding premise, but the other books are awesome, especially Perfume, The Wonderbook, and of course, that old classic, If on a Winter's Night a Traveler, which I'm excited to read again.
Did I mention we also went out for a delicious meal at a Japanese steak house? A perfect end to magical birthday, courtesy of my amazing wife and awesome in-laws.
Out on the dock with Lucky.
Angela's parents are still in the process of decorating their house, and we decided to help out a little. We spent several days painting walls, doors, and ceilings, as well as plastering and sanding down surfaces.
A messy job, but with such beautiful weather it was great to be working outside.
I got to watch the Superbowl during my stay, along with the Grammys and the Oscars. Unfortunately, the New England Patriots won, which was just about the worst possible outcome from Angela and her family's perspective. Still, got to enjoy some of those creative commercials, a great half-time performance from Katy Perry, and I also learned a lot about American football.
One new experience for both of us was attending a paint night. We drank beers in a Mexican restaurant whilst painting seaweed-bedraggled moons. Not a bad way to spend an evening.
Our finished masterpieces.
Angela and I had to spend a few days in Atlanta, Georgia in order to submit our passports to the Korean embassy. It required an eight-hour-long drive north. Angela's mum accompanied us. The most striking thing was just how much the landscape and climate changed in those eight hours. Palm trees gave way to conifers and pine trees, and by the time we reached Atlanta, the weather felt legitimately icy and wintery, so unlike the mild T-shirt weather of Cape Coral! One of the coolest things about entering Atlanta was getting to see its skyline, which I knew as the setting for the Walking Dead TV show (the first season, at least).
Wandering around the streets of Atlanta, we soon found the Korean embassy and submitted our passports and visa application forms. We'd have to wait a week for them to mail them back to Angela's house in Florida.
Atlanta is the birthplace of Coca Cola, so we made an obligatory visit to the Coca Cola Museum after we left the Korean Embassy.

Hugging the Coca Cola polar bear mascot.
Sneaking into the top-secret Coca Cola vault, where the magical recipe lay.
Angela plays some bizarre Coca Cola-themed video game involving a train heist.
In the factory.
Hanging out with Coca Cola posters and memorabilia.

In this area we were allowed to sample various Coca Cola products from around the world. I'm not a huge fan of fizzy drinks, but I was determined to try them all! Which meant way too much sugar, and an hour-long wave of nausea upon leaving the museum.
Grabbing a free bottle of coke on the way out. Considering I don't really drink coke that much, this was actually a really cool museum, with some very creative, imaginative displays, dioramas, and interactive exhibits. Definitely recommend this to anyone paying Atlanta a visit!

Click here to continue the adventure in Part 2!

2 comments:

  1. Hey! This is the asian couple that you guys met at Baan Thai cooking in Chiang Mai. Just happened to stumble upon your blog. Our daughter now is 7 months old!

    Hope you two are doing well!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Justin,
      Yes, we remember you! You live in Beijing, right? Congratulations on having your baby daughter!
      We're doing well thanks, back in Korea. I don't have time to write this blog anymore unfortunately, though I might do some sort of update eventually.
      Good to hear from you. All the best,

      James

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