Welcome Back 2012

Hello, everyone!  For those readers who have either begun the spring semester, or are about to go back to school, how was your winter break?  Did you visit friends and family or take any exciting trips?  As your loyal blogger/Asheville native, I stayed true to form and spent my break in the Asheville area.  However, just because I stayed home does not mean that I had difficulty finding things to do; on the contrary, this was one of the most eventful winter breaks I think I've ever experienced.  I floated between my apartment near campus and my family's home north of Asheville, working, spending a little time with my family, meeting friends, and even travelling a bit.  As promised, here's a quick recap of what I was up to over break...
My first experience skiing was when I was about 12 years old.  Although I enjoyed the day-long foray into the crazy world of winter sports, it not until last month that I again felt compelled to strap a pair of skis to my feet and hurtle down a mountain at dangerous speeds.  Regardless of the fact that I am, even after a full day of skiing, pretty bad at the sport, I had an awesome time.  The weather was warm, so only a few runs were open (luckily, one of these runs was a beginner's slope), but as evening fell, it began to get cold and rain a little bit.  I ended my second ski experience with a lot of good memories (and bruises).  I had such a good time that I think I'll do another post about where to ski in Western North Carolina.   
If you've read some of my previous posts on this blog, you may not be surprised when I say that I really enjoy eating Korean food.  So, I was extremely happy to discover that a Korean restaurant has been opened in Asheville.  I've often thought that, given the profusion of Thai, Chinese, and Japanese restaurants around town, the only thing missing was a Korean eatery, and now we have one.  Its name, Stone Bowl, comes from the hot stone bowl that is used to serve many Korean dishes like bibimbap ("mixed rice," 비빔밥) and jjigae ("stew," 찌개).  I ordered some bibimbap, and enjoyed the numerous side dishes, or banchan (반찬), that came with the meal.  Although I ended up eating a bit too much, I left feeling full and warm, and will definitely be returning sometime in the near future.  If you like Korean food, or are interested in exploring a new kind of cuisine, I suggest giving it a try!

Finally, over the break, I was able to spend some time travelling.  My friend invited me to St. Augustine to visit with her family for a few days, so I was able to take a small road trip and enjoy the even warmer weather of Florida.  The trip wasn't necessarily the most eventful of vacations (we basically hung out at the house and the beach), but it was wonderful to be able to dig my toes into the sand, get some reading done, and just rest a bit.  We enjoyed snacks and conversation on New Year's Eve, a quiet and enjoyable way to usher in the experiences and journeys that 2012 has in store.  In the end, the weather and scenery was so beautiful and the company so fun, that when the time came to leave, I could hardly stand to tear myself away.    
Thanks, 2011, for the experiences and friendships we were able to enjoy.  Welcome, 2012; may we all find happiness in the new semester and the new year.


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