Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Korean wedding in a nutshell

We took pictures before the ceremony.

The guys walked in first and bowed to my Korean father.

The audience...mostly extended Korean family.
During the ceremony, we bow to each other.

Afterwards, we take more pictures. This is my extended Korean family.

Next, we bow to our elders and serve them something to drink.

They throw chestnuts at us to see how many children we'll have.

Jim and I caught eight.

Then the men carry us on their backs. And we kiss them.

This is my immediate Korean family. Good lookin' bunch.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Korean Emergency Room Scare!

I forgot to tell my mom this when I was on the phone with her a few minutes ago, but Jim had a hospital scare last night (Sunday night)!

On the night of our Korean wedding, Glenn, Hyun Jeong, Jim and I went to T.G.I.Fridays in Busan for a late night meal. Jim and Glenn ordered a chicken sandwich. Hyun Jeong ordered a quesadilla, I think, and I ordered fries and boneless wings.

Apparently, something was wrong with the chicken.

Glenn spent his night throwing up. Jim woke up fine Sunday, but shortly after, he started sweating and throwing up. Glenn apparently recovered a little better because he was functioning (though he said his stomach hurt, and he felt like he had a hangover.) Jim had a tougher time surviving the day and after hours of traveling, looking for over-the-counter medicine, and trying to sleep it off... we ended up going to the hospital.

Glenn explained that it's not a big deal to go to the hospital, at least for Koreans. He said they go often, even if they have a cold. However, to a foreigner, I can see how it would be a little traumatic. We walked into the ER in Miryang, and there were several small beds out in the open in one room. We weren't sure we'd be able to communicate what was wrong with Jim. And, we were worried about insurance, medicine, etc. I wish I had a picture, but Jim didn't feel well, and I couldn't bring myself to take one.

There was no need to worry. Our doctor was great. In fact, he spoke English very well, so that was a nice bonus. Turns out, Jim had some sort of bacteria from eating some uncooked food. His small intestine didn't like it and was having spasms, causing stomach pain and vomiting. Jim got an IV and after an hour, we went home. Today he was able to eat mild food and took some medicine.

Although it was an awful way to spend our last night in Miryang, it was kind of neat. Hyun Mi, Hyun Jeong, my birth mom, Glenn, and Yeoun Jeong's husband were all there to take us to the hospital. They were all acting as his advocate, and they were all there for us. Plus, Hyun Mi and I got a chance to talk for a while, so it was special. It felt like a family! And, oddly enough, it was a neat experience. I don't know how Jim will feel about being in a Korean hospital, but it's definitely unique.

*P.S. I've been to Korea four times and have never had a bad experience with food. I don't think people need to be weary of what they're eating here.

My sister Hyun Mi called TGIFridays and told them they ruined two couple's wedding night! Let's hear it for my big sis!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Traveling Like a Real Korean

I love where we're staying in Busan. The hotel is not one that necessarily caters to Westerners. Bonus! What a cool experience.

The greatest thing I like is that the hotels provide everything a traveler could need--hairspray, combs, brushes...even condoms! haha! Okay, that's a little weird because you start to wonder what the previous guest did before you!

The two hotels we've stayed at also provide DVDs that you check out. You can also play PS2 in ours.

Korean Wedding was a Success!

We got married for the second time... it's so nice to renew our vows so close to our anniversary and to have a traditional Korean wedding in Korea!

The day started out early. We had to be at the wedding company at 8 a.m. for hair and makeup. It's a really interesting process.

The brides here will pay a company to do everything. And brides don't buy wedding dresses... they rent them. So, a bride can do both a traditional and a Western wedding to celebrate their nuptials. Most brides these days do Western weddings (with the white dress, like Americans.) In fact, one of my second cousins, who's 19, says he's never seen a Korean traditional wedding until ours. The company also provides engagement pictures, and the couple gets to wear several different wedding dresses/suits. It's a little like playing dress up. I think it's a great business idea, by the way.

Though the day is long, it's not like Western weddings. We had our wedding at noon, and by the time we were finished bowing to our elders, most of our 150 or so guests had eaten their lunch. Afterwards, we changed into our jeans and had lunch with just some extended family. Then, we went back to the wedding company to take more pictures with the immediate family. There's no band, no open bar, no dancing, and definitely no drunken dancing. Although, there is likely some heavy drinking among the Korean men at the wedding meal.

We wore three outfits today. We wore a hanbok, which is a traditional dress that's often worn by Koreans at things like weddings or holidays. Today, we all matched and the four of us wore a hot pink and bright blue hanbok. Pink is a good color in Korea, and it's a good color for men. Of course, that is a little different in Western culture, right? That's why Glenn and Jim were a little embarrassed to wear the pink outfit, but they did look handsome. I promised Glenn I wouldn't post a picture of video of him in the suit. So, sorry!

We took a lot of pictures with the company, but I'll have to post them when we receive them. We were running behind so I didn't have time to take personal pictures at the ceremony.

The ceremony is also a little difficult. First of all, the attire is uncomfortable. For the ceremony, I wore a heavy dress and a very large wig that looked something reminiscent of Star Wars. Pad Mei, anyone? Hyun Jeong's wig weighed 15 pounds. I can't begin to tell you how much strain that puts on your neck. At first, I felt like I was going to get sick. It reminded me of that feeling you get when you're at an amusement park and have been on too many rides. Your neck gets heavy and you think you're going to throw up. At first, that's how I felt. As the bride, you also have to keep your hands and arms up underneath your face. After 20 minutes, it can get uncomfortable. There is also deep bowing involved. Anyway, not to sound like a wimp, I'm just saying, it's a little more physical than your average Western wedding.

After that, we changed again. I don't have any pictures, but we changed into another traditional dress to pay respect to our elders in a paebeck (pay-beck) ceremony. We bowed to our elders and gave them drinks. In return, they gave us good wishes and gifts. I was really touched by what our birth father said. He spoke in English and said that no matter where we are, we could depend on each other. I found out later that Glenn helped him write it. I was really moved. Also, there was a fertility ceremony, of sorts. Traditionally, the parents throw chestnuts at the couple, and the couple tries to catch them. How many you catch tells you how many children you will have. Uh, Jim and I caught 8! Glenn and Hyun Jeong weren't really ready, and I'm not sure they caught any! But, I think they pretended to catch two or three! ha!

In the end, it was a pretty amazing day. It was really great to see Glenn and Hyun Jeong get married. Even though we were a part of the ceremony and got married in front of my Korean family, we were mostly happy about seeing my sister marry Glenn. After all, it is their first wedding (they'll probably have another ceremony in the U.S. one day.) They definitely deserved to enjoy today, and we were just honored they wanted us to be involved with their special occasion!

I've got more videos from today on Facebook. Pictures will come as soon as my adaptor and I find each other again.

Friday, October 23, 2009

My nephew and his experience with white guys, The greatest little school on earth, and little Korean kids who cuss in English

7:30 p.m. Korea time, Friday--

I can't post pictures right now, so I can't tell you in good detail what we've been up to. It's no good without pictures.

I broke my camera. Of course, it was the one I bought JUST for this trip. Yup, at the DMZ, right before we got to the "good" part. So, then Mr. Chae drove all around Gyeongju to find a camera shop. We bought a new camera... a Nikon Coolpix-- the cheapest in the store...and guess what? I lost it. Sort of. Actually, after several minutes of panicking and searching, my birth father found it in his car. Too bad we are in another town, so we won't be able to retrieve it for another day. Jim really, really loves it when I do stuff like this.

At least I've got some video I can share.

The cutest thing is Won Hoo, my nephew. He's my youngest sister's baby. He's also the first grandchild. He is a little more than one year old. When Jim and I first showed up at my birth family's house yesterday, Won Hoo took one look at us and started bawling. Big tears, too! My birth family said he also does this when he sees Glenn. Poor Jim and poor Glenn. Our little nephew is afraid of the white guys...that is, until recently. Watch the breakthrough... off camera, Jim even got three kisses from the little guy. Thank goodness for chocolate! Hershey's should get a payout from that!

Also, now that we're in Miryang, we had a chance to see Hyun Jeong and Glenn's school that they started a few months ago. Jim and I are really impressed with their accomplishments. They look so professional around town with their flyers, billboard-banners, and cards! They have a lot to be proud of. I hope they'll move back to the states and try to teach English to our international students. Do you think I can convince them? ha!

After that, the four of us went to a park and played frisbee. Actually, Jim and Glenn played frisbee...and they made a few small friends in the process. The funny thing is that these kids didn't know a lot of English. They knew "Hi!", "Hello!", "I'm sorry!"...and "S-H-I-*!" One kid kept yelling it over and over and over. Glenn and Jim both kept saying, "No! Don't say that!" But, I don't think the kid understood. Or cared. I was laughing on the inside and wondering... where did he learn Hi, I'm sorry, and SHI#?! I guess, in reality, those are about the only three English words one needs to know anyway.

More will be posted on Facebook a little later. Right now, we're in Busan... and headed out to find some Mexican food for Glenn. I think he's super excited that we found near our hotel!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Day 3 and 4...and 5 short version

We are now with our birth family! I wish I could send some pictures, but I have a limited amount of time. I will try to post some tonight!

Here's some quick details: Went to Gyeongju, visited a Buddhist temple, traveled to Miryang and am staying at my birth family's home.

We were so excited to meet Glenn. He's a great guy! And we love little Won Hoo. He gave Jim "boh-bohs"... (kisses)...but not at first.

Okay, Jim says he loves his family and I love you, too! Mom and Dad... will write soon--love you!
We have to kop-shee-da (let's go!)... I think Glenn is going to try to get us some pizza. Thank goodness.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Day 2 in Korea: Going to North Korea (Kind of), Guns, and Traditional Dancing

(It's 6:15 a.m. Wednesday, Korea time)

Tuesday was another long day, and I think my jet lag really hit me hard. Jim has been better because he's actually been able to sleep.

We did two big things:

1. Go to the Joint Security Area (where North and South Korea meet), also known as the DMZ or Demilitarized Zone.

2. Go to Chongdong Theater for an evening performance of traditional dancing and singing.

Let's start out with the DMZ. We had to meet early in the day at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul. We went to the sixth floor to meet with our tour company. Mr. Chae set this up for us because he did not go on the all-day tour.

Our bus had a lot of Japanese tourists and some English speaking tourists. However, Jim and I were the only ones from the U.S. The tour was split up into two parts-- the one before lunch was a quick look at the Third Tunnel (where North Koreans dug a tunnel to infiltrate and attack South Korea), a Korean War museum, and the Dorasan Station. The Dorasan Station is the train station that connects North and South Korea. It hasn't taken a trip yet because the North has not sent a train. So, there's a brand new train station with no passengers. Kind of creepy when you think of it.

This is at the observatory- people are looking at North Korea. Security woudn't allow us to get closer.

Anyway, then we had lunch. That's when our tour split up. Some people chose not to attend the Joint Security Area. Others could not go because of security reasons. I don't think individual Koreans can go to the JSA because of security issues.

The JSA is incredibly armed... it is intense. There's a lot of passport checking, warnings, oh, and you have to sign a waiver that basically says, "This is a hostile area. We cannot guarantee your protection, and you could get hurt or killed." Sure, why not sign it?! What?

We walk into a room and get briefed on how the DMZ began, how North Korea attacked the South on different occasions, and what we can't do when we get to the border (demarcation line.) NO POINTING, NO SMILING AT NORTH KOREANS, NO GESTURES, etc.

We walk out into the open, and low and behold, there are several armed South Korean guards standing at attention, all facing the North. There is a North Korean soldier, staring back at us with his binoculars. We all walk into a room, where important, joint meetings are held. That is the only time we are allowed to cross over into North Korea, since the room is split it half!

It's called the Demilitarized Zone, but as our guide said, it is actually one of the most heavily armed areas in the world. When I asked Jim later what he thought about it, he said it was a lot more serious than he thought it would be. He didn't realize it was going to be so serious, but he really liked it.

It is rather creepy and scary to realize that you're staring at a North Korean soldier, and according to the U.S. and ROK (Republic of Korea) soldiers, they might just attack you if you do something stupid. We couldn't bring purses because the North Koreans might think we have guns or weapons inside. Military personnel evaluate our clothing to make sure it is appropriate since the North watch us. It's crazy!

North Koreans also built a propaganda village on the border to make it appear that they were a really rich country. No one lives there. When they dug tunnels into the South, they lied and said the Japanese dug them. They also said they were digging coal mines (and even painted the tunnels black.) The area doesn't have coal... just granite.

There's so much I want to write about the DMZ, but it's already jumbled in my head. Bottom line: It's not for the kids. It's scary, but it's incredibly cool to think you could be at the edge of one of the most isolated (and arguably, weird) countries in the world. And it's heartbreaking to think that the two countries were separated by war and bloodshed. Reunification is the ultimate goal.

Oh, and I dropped my camera at the Dorasan Station, so the JSA pictures are on a disposal cam. Great.

Next, we went to the Chongdong Theater to see the musical, MISO. This is a famous theater in Seoul, known for traditional dancing. I can't believe the seats Mr. Chae got us. They were front row, center! I've never had seats like that. Amazing.

I couldn't take any video of the show, but this is from the show and Jim's favorite part:

The dancers are incredible. The drummers are flawless. The show was endlessly entertaining. This is the kind of show that makes me wish I knew more about Korean culture. Or, I guess, a part of Korean culture somehow. It's so beautiful. The way the girls dance with their eyes... they way they intricately move their feet under their hanboks... it's such a beautiful and difficult way to dance, but the women look like they're floating! Jim said he was go glad we went, so that makes me happy. I was worried he wouldn't want to see a show, but he said he really enjoyed it.

After that, it was time to hit the hay. I've never been so tired and cranky in my life. But it was an awesome day. We really absorbed some culture Tuesday!

Wednesday we head off to Gyeongu, the Capital of the Ancient Shilla Dynasty. This is about 3 or 4 hours south of Seoul and is a beautiful city. More to come later.

*You can see more pictures and video on my Facebook page.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Day 1 in Korea: What I Learned About my Adoption...and Babies!

Day 1: We woke up and had breakfast in the hotel. It was great. Not only did they have the Western standard of bacon and eggs, they also had kimchi, pulgoki, and rice. Yum...

Mr. Chae picked us up and we headed up a mountain to see an overview of Seoul. It's really interesting because the city is so huge, yet it is wedged between mountains. Very beautiful.

Next, we headed to Gyeongbokgung Palace. This palace is from the last dynasty in Korea. It's really interesting, and if I got my facts straight, it lasted essentially until Japan colonized Korea in 1910. It sounds like a true story, anyway.

We then went through Bukchon Village. It's really neat because it's a historical village. If you ask me, it seems like it would be rather expensive to live there.

We even walked by the former home to the current president of Korea. So, it would be like living next to President Obama before he became president. Yeah, I doubt those homes come cheap.
The funny thing is that we saw these metal signs on the ground that said "photo spot"... they're basically telling you "This is a photo op!" I just love that.

Anyway, people say Bukchon Village is cool because it shows how Seoul is a city of contrast. Ancient coexisting with modern.

After that, we headed to Holt Children's Services to review my file.

We were already told that we would not be able to see the babies there because of swine flu. They didn't want to expose the babies to any of us.

We met with a young woman, Ms. Lee. She sat us down in a private room and reviewed my file with us. Surprisingly, I had a lot of questions and still got a little emotional over the whole ordeal. I really learned a lot about times and dates. It was important to me.
  • Born at 7:30 p.m. on October 13th. I never knew the time.
  • Born at "Moh Ja Bo Kohn" Center, or Mother/Child Welfare Center in Busan.
  • Went to a foster mother in Busan 2 days after I was born.
  • Came to Seoul and transferred to another foster mother, Ms. Kim on Feb. 7.
  • Ms. Kim was born in 1924 and had an elementary school aged daughter. She also took care of several children in her lifetime before dying in May of 1984 from cancer.
  • On my pre-flight evaluation, dated May 1, the Holt worker wrote that I, as a baby, "babbles a lot" and "cries if someone is not around her." Go figure. Anchor-in-training?!
  • My guardian in Korea was Mr. Kim (Kim, Dae Shick), the executive director of Holt. He was born in 1918. He was the one who had to officially sign off on my departure papers.
  • I flew to the U.S. one day after my pre-flight evaluation, May 2,1980.
  • I also learned that my birth mother had not been truthful about my relinquishment. She told the adoption agency she and my birth father had both agreed on my adoption. However, it was noted in 1998, that my birth father was surprised of my birth, let alone my adoption.
  • I came to the agency on July 3, 1998. The agency contacted my birth mother...and she and my birth father arrived in Seoul at the Holt office on July 6 to see me. At that time, though, I had already headed south towards Busan. We met on July 11th.
I feel so much better about what I learned! Little things that I never knew but always kind of wanted to. I feel blessed to have had two foster mothers because I know what kind of dedication it takes and how close those women usually feel towards the babies. I also feel bad that my birth mother lied to the agency because I'm sure that was extremely difficult for her. I think about her, as a woman, and how desperate and lonely she would have been. It makes me sad to think there are still women out there who have not seen a happy resolution... or that young women in today's society still feel like they have to hide their pregnancies or make adoption plans for their children. This doesn't happen as much in the states, but unwed mothers homes and secret pregnancies are still prevalent in Korea.

On a happier note, I saw a really cool picture of my mom and dad (Charles and Sharon) that they had taken in the 70s and sent to the adoption agency. I had never seen that picture of them before--not even in our old photo albums. That made me teary-eyed!

So, then I asked if we could see the babies. "I know about swine flu, but could we even peek through a window?" Ms. Lee didn't think so, and told us that so many people had died in Korea. But guess what, she asked... and my persuASIAN skillz paid off. We got to do it!!

We had to take our temperatures first, but after that, it was okayed. I think Jim had the most fun. He was super cute and seemed to be really touched by the whole ordeal. The great news about the babies was that all the ones in our room had been assigned already. And most are scheduled to come to the United States! It made my heart burst.

I fell in love with one little baby girl who was the youngest, but weighed the most. It was a little joke in the room among the nurses. She was such a doll, which you'll see in the video.

I wish I knew where these babies were going! I would write their families a letter and let them know how much their babies are cared for! Definitely the highlight of the trip so far.

Afterwards, we went to the Gwangjang Market Food Alley and looked at the Cheonggyecheon Stream. Mr. Chae told us the stream was a project by current president Lee Myung-bak. Apparently, Mr. Lee helped construct the stream as Seoul's mayor... and that launched his popularity and helped win the Presidential seat.

Also, the Gwangjang Market is really cool because it has the "food alley" where you can find long lines of benches, grills, and lots of hungry people. The old women try to get you to stop at their alley and eat some Korean pancakes...or octopus. We also drank this farmer's wine, called makali wine. It's a rice wine, that to me, tastes like a carbonated chardonnay. It's pretty good! And it goes down nicely with some Korean pancakes.

It's been a great day full of adventure. In fact, Jim is again, sleeping!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

We made it to Korea!

It's 7:30 p.m. Korea time, and we just got in from eating dinner. We are ready to crash. Mr. Chae, our guide, picked us up at the airport and already gave us a lot of great detail about the layout. I can't wait to hear more tidbits from him.

We ate at a little restaurant that had Chinese writing on the front door. It was packed full of Korean people, and Jim and I were definitely the only Americans there. It must've been obvious because the woman gave us a special menu with English writing. We sat on the floor at a table in a corner. There were posters all over the walls of local TV stations who had done stories on the restaurant. It was really cool.

Oh, and the government here is really taking swine flu seriously. There are quarantined areas, and as you get off the plane, you get scanned to make sure you aren't ill. I heard that officials were checking temperatures, though that didn't happen to us (to our knowledge). They did give us some literature about influenza A/H1N1, too. Oh, and a woman next to us on the plane was wearing a mask and kept coughing.

Now we're staying at Fraser Place in Central Seoul. It appears to be a financial district. We're not very far from city hall or the National Police Academy. And, there is a diverse mix of people in this part of the city.

Tomorrow, we go to Holt, my adoption agency. We can't see the babies because of the threat of swine flu. However, we'll get to see my file and learn about where I was when I was a baby going through the process. I'm excited. And we're also going to do some sightseeing... we're going to go to an old palace. Pictures to come.

I'm so glad we have our guide, Mr. Chae. I've known him since 2000 and consider him a good friend. Thank goodness for him and Beverlee Einsig. If you ever want to go to Korea you should definitely work with them. I've known Beverlee since I was four! Trust me, she's the best!

And of course, we can't wait to see our Korean family!!!! And meet Glenn!!! No words can explain... but I will try... later!

Anyway, we miss Minnie and our house... though our neighbors and friends are watching both. But we're having a blast so far! We'll be in touch! (Oh and Larry--I carried on your mics and lens... they made it here safely! Thank you!)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I Think My Birthday is Wrong

I have always prided the fact that I was born on the scariest day of the scariest month of the year--October 13th!

My birthday was on FRIDAY THE 13TH for two VERY SPECIAL birthdays-- my 16th and my 21st.

My 16th birthday was also homecoming. I took my driving test, passed, and went to school in my new-to-me hot red Cavalier. haha! After school, I drove a handful of my friends to get something to eat. I then picked up my homecoming date (still friends) Ryan Allen, and took him to homecoming.

A few days later, I flipped my car. Coincidence? I think not. It must've been the Friday the 13th curse. Try explaining that to a very disappointed and angry father.

Fast forward five years. My 21st birthday was also on a Friday. My college sweetheart bought me a keg at our favorite bar at KU. Actually, it was my least favorite bar, but it was one of the most popular ones because it was right off campus: The Wheel. I think I'm the only person who didn't love the Wheel, but I did love Wheel Pizza. Yummm...

Anyway, I remember I wore my favorite long, green leather skirt, knee high boots and a black turtleneck. Long skirts, boots and turtlenecks were kind of my uniform back then. Anyway, I remember someone else had also ordered a keg that night and suddenly my keg was empty. I though I looked H-O-T-T... too bad I ended up puking in a back alley and going home early. What I wouldn't do to still fit in that skirt.

But, as much as I've loved to be a Friday the 13th/October 13th baby... I think I've been celebrating the wrong day. Technically, if I was born on October 13th in Korea, I would have likely been born on October 12th time in the U.S.!

This travesty just occurred to me... TONIGHT on the way to dinner with Jim.

Should I switch my birthday? Or should I try to squeeze out more princess power from the two-day birthday snafu? I mean, I'm too old to celebrate a "birthday week" (though I try to pull it off every year regardless...) However, do you think I could try to get special attention on both days?

Friday, October 09, 2009

News Director Opening at KSPR

The information is out there, so I'm posting it on my blog.

KSPR's news director, Brad Belote, is leaving his post for another intriguing position as the head guru of digital content for both KSPR and KY3. That means the Internet... the future of news, folks.

Brad Belote, (Google images)

Our general manager made the announcement yesterday afternoon during an employee meeting.

An immediate search will begin, but the position likely won't be filled until the end of the year. Brad will stay with KSPR until his replacement comes on board.

Brad is innovative, has great news judgment and is up-to-date on new technologies. I find it hard to believe that someone could match his knowledge and dedication to KSPR, but I'm hopeful!

If you think you know someone who's a shoe-in for the job, contact our Human Resources department.

Why would you want to work at KSPR?
  • New equipment: HD cameras, HD set, new editing equipment, brand spanking new office and newsroom.
  • Free range to do most things. If you can dream it, you can do it.
  • Working with a fairly hip crowd (with smaller egos, for the most part.) You also get to grow and mold a very eager and aggressive newsroom.
  • The growth is unmatched in this market. Ratings have no where to go but up. Heck, even I can say I helped quadruple the ratings on Sunday nights... who else can say that about their media career?
  • You can be proud of working for a company that continues to grow in a crappy economy.
  • You get to work with me. Though, in reality, is that a good thing?!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Our First Anniversary Trip: Stone Creek Ranch

I wrote earlier about our anniversary... but I never followed-up with where we went for my surprise to Jim.

I feel like I have done a great disservice but not writing about it!

We went to the Stone Creek Ranch in Mountain Home, AR! Jim was so surprised. He had no idea where we were, we were driving in the dark. I think he thought we were going to Eureka Springs until we passed the exit. Then he said something like, "I'm glad we're married, otherwise, I would be really freaked out." It actually reminded me of a time when one of the photographers at KY3 kidnapped my best friend from college during a Springfield visit (I was at work.) But that's another story for a later date.

We zigzagged through Flippin, Gassville and Yellville... and eventually found ourselves on a dirt road. Luckily, I saw the tiny sign... "Stone Creek Ranch"! Yea! We made it, and there were no banjos playing!

The ranch was awesome. Jim and I had a rustic cabin... though it had all the amenities anyone would want. We had two bedrooms, a DVD player, a full kitchen, screened-in porch, grill, etc.

I brought some movies with me so we could just hang out and drink a little wine. I actually could not drink because I had some sort of flu-bug and felt sick... but I was not going to let that spoil our fun!

Anyway, the next morning, we met with our handsome horse trainer, named Ryan. I only add that "handsome" detail in there, because in my mind, I was thinking of the other women who might want to take retreats there (which the ranch provides.) They'd probably get a kick out of it.

That's neither here nor there... anyway, Ryan showed us how to communicate with our horse. We practiced for a bit in an arena, and then the three of us took off down a trail! It was so much fun and a little more rugged than I expected. It wasn't scary at all, but we did go through a few little streams and down some semi-steep hills. It made us feel like we were really riding. It was so relaxing and fun.

I would definitely go back there again. The place was great... not only does the ranch hold company retreats, it also hosts family reunions, women's retreats, and horse training clinics. Advanced riders can even learn more about cattle drives. If you go on a women's retreat, massage therapists and guest speakers will even come out!

Arvell and Karry Bass are the owners. Arvell was out of town during our stay, but Karry was there...and she was awesome. She's someone I'd like to hang out with! She says that she often books other things for people to do, too. Let's say, you want to go fishing, she'll arrange a guided fishing tour of the White River... I should also mention, I think people go hunting and fishing on the ranch's property, too.

Anyway, I give Stone Creek Ranch a thumbs up. Great experience!

Monday, October 05, 2009

My Night at the Emmys

I didn't tell very many people, but I was recently nominated for an Emmy for a story I did at KSPR. The story was called, "There's no such thing as a free lunch." Simply because... there's not.

Anyway, the story didn't win, but I was still on cloud 9! I was asked to be a presenter this year, so I still got to go on stage... plus, I got to present an Emmy to Joy Robertson from KOLR 10! She was the only Springfield media type to receive an Emmy this year. It was a special moment.

And, I should mention, I re-met some great people at the event! I actually sat at the KMBC-9 table--that's the station where I had my first internship back in 2001... working overnights! (I should thank my former professor, Max, for that one.) It was such a fun night.

The only thing I regret? Working Sunday. Too tired.