Formerly known as "Cruzers in Korea"

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Haeundae Beach

Sunday, June 28, 2009 0

I love the beach. That's part of the reason why I joined the Navy. As much as I love Korea, I think it would've been a totally different experience had I been stationed in Seoul vice Busan. There's no beach in Seoul. Haeundae Beach is just a few minutes away from our apartment. I can actually see the water from our window.

Here are two pics of the Haeundae Beach boardwalk. It's very clean and well kept. This picture is a little deceiving though. During the heart of summer, you can't even see the boardwalk because of the massive amount of people.

CJ found a starfish on the beach the other day.

This one was scaly and fishy smelling, not goofy and loveable like Patrick from Spongebob.

We almost moved into one of the apartment buildings on the left. It was a really nice apartment with a great view and lots of storage space. Unfortunately, that storage space came in the form of a balcony area that was not cordoned off very well. I could just see Jake taking a bad spill off that balcony. Couldn't pull the trigger.

Surfing at Haeundae Beach. I'd say it's a little better than the pseudo-surf we get in Virginia Beach.

Jake and Olivia playing peacefully on the beach. They got along so well.

Carol enjoying a nice beach day with good friends. That's baby Maddy in the foreground.

CJ needs a haircut.

Jake and Hannah - best buddies!

These pics are from a recent sand festival.

That's gotta hurt.

There's always some kind of festival happening in Busan.

Koreans stay pretty modest on the beach as far as attire. I've seen many on the beach dressed in long pants. Koreans are very careful about sun exposure too. You will see many carrying umbrellas around on a sunny day. I'm sure that's one of the reasons why they look so young. They take such great care of their skin, unlike us sun-glorifying Americans. So no, you won't see too many Koreans thonging it up on the beach with their savage tans.

This picture gives you an idea of how crazy it gets at Haeundae Beach over the summer. Last year, this beach broke the world record for number of umbrellas on a beach at one time. During the summer, there are shows going on, people on jet skis, banana boats, music, etc. It's quite the spectacle if you're into people watching. So there's your virtual tour of the beach. Hope you enjoyed. Until next time -- C2

Friday, June 19, 2009


Friday, June 19, 2009 3
Fair warning:  This post may only interest the Cruz siblings.  Carol wanted it on the record that she did not approve of this posting.  This is a follow up to a previous blog post on "buttressing."  Here's the refresher from the old post:

The dictionary defines "buttress" as "a projecting support of stone or brick built against a wall."  The Cruz family has its own unique definition to this word.  A good buttressing is when you entice the victim to place their head in the vicinity of your buttocks, preferably at point-blank range, so that you can release a loud bombardment of flatulence right in said victim's face.  The enticing usually consists of something along the lines of, "Hey, can you pick that up for me?"

During the Cruz beach house vacation this past summer, Beanie received an incredible buttressing from me when I got him to bend over to pick up a big bowl of water balloons.  It was such a heinous act of buttressing that we all collectively agreed that the act of buttressing should be in the Geneva Convention, right next to waterboarding.

Fast forward to present day.  The "pull my finger" trick, although extremely childish, is very popular in our household.  Well, at least with the male members.  So CJ was sitting on the floor in his room.  As a test, I strategically placed my buttocks at the same level and in close proximity to his face.  My right cheek was literally three inches from his nose.  It should've been very obvious to CJ that he was in danger of blowing out his olfactory senses.  I offered him my index finger and said, "pull my finger."  Surely he wouldn't pull it.  That would be akin to jumping on a grenade.  Maybe he was disoriented or not fully awake.  Maybe he was in a mind-numbing hypnotic trance from watching too much TV.  Whatever the reason, he pulled my finger.  I couldn't believe what just happened.  He had buttressed himself!  BUTTRICIDE!  Totally unprecedented!  The outcome was atrocious.  The stench was amplified tenfold since it was at point blank range.  He could not escape the mushroom cloud of foul aroma that was now dispersing throughout the entire room.  Utter devastation.

Here's a reenactment of the buttricide.  This is right before the pulling of the finger.

The after effect

After we recovered from the massive amount of side-splitting laughter, I asked CJ why he did it.  Why did he pull my finger with my canned ham right in front of his face?  He had no good answer.  Just oblivious I guess.  I suspect that one day, maybe in the middle of the night when I'm half asleep and I least suspect it, my eldest son will exact his revenge on me.  I don't blame him if he's currently plotting.  It was a pretty inhumane act.  Until next time -- C2   

Monday, June 15, 2009

Picture Taking

Monday, June 15, 2009 2
Before I came to Korea, one of my friends told me that Korea is a very homogeneous society.  I don't know what a type of milk or sexuality has to do with anything, but I'll tell you that it's practically 99.5% Koreans here.  The foreigner community is very small.  I guess that's why the Koreans like taking pictures of the boys.  CJ and Jake don't get it nearly as bad as our other friends that have the blonde hair and blue eyed kids.  Check out these pictures of total strangers taking pictures of the foreign kids:

I guess it's not any stranger than a person taking pictures of people taking pictures.  Until next time -- C2

Scissors in Korea

Because of all the work related social events I have to attend, a significant portion of the paycheck goes to the babysitter these days.  I'm thinking that when the babysitter graduates from college, I should at least get to sign the bottom of the diploma because of my part in funding her college tuition.

Anyway, the babysitter was watching the boys this past Saturday.  Dinner for the evening was Domino's pizza.  For some reason, the pizza was not sliced.  So what does the babysitter use to slice the pizza?  Scissors.  Yup.  Regular old scissors.  That's the way they roll in Korea.

When you go to restaurants, scissors are part of the kitchenware, just like a knife and fork in the US.  Scissors are used to cut meat into smaller chunks at bulgogi and sam gyup sal (pork barbecue) restaurants.  It's actually very convenient once you get over the mental hurdle.  What is not cool is when you get a dull pair of scissors.  Makes cutting the meat over a hot grill rather tedious.  

Here are some of the MSCO Korea team having lunch at a sam gyup sal restaurant.  You can see how you would need scissors to cut the long strips of pork into smaller pieces.  This is one of my favorite meals in Korea.  You take the pork and put it in a lettuce type leaf with other stuff.  Very tasty.

On another scissors related topic, Korea is huge for using Rochambeau, or the "rock, paper, scissors" game as the decider for major decisions.  You'll see people playing at bars to see who drinks.  I hear that difficult decisions are even settled using this method.  There's actually another Korean version of rock, paper, scissors with different hand gestures but you get the point.  Might explain some of the antics we see out of North Korea.  Hmm... conduct nuclear test, imprison US journalists or invite the Philharmonic Symphony?  Rock, paper, scissors.

Anyway, next time you lose your pizza slicer, or need to make a major decision,  just break out a pair of scissors.  Until next time -- C2

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Sunday, June 7, 2009 0
This blog entry has nothing to do with Korea other than the fact that we use the a2bTV service to get our US channels.  The a2bTV service allows us to use DirecTV and a DVR through a Slingbox.  We basically get American TV through our internet.  Like Napoleon Dynamite's brother sang, "Yes, I love technology."  I mainly got it so I could still watch my Miami Dolphins even in Korea.  

So the other day, Carol sees an ad for the upcoming reality TV show, Big Brother.  Yes, we both admit that we're reality TV junkies.  When Carol typed in the word "BIG" on the DirecTV so that she could record the show, here are the entries that popped up:

What I find disturbing is that in order to have Big Black Booty Attack 7, there must've been Big Black Booty Attack 1 through 6.  Until next time -- C2
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