Mr. K. decided we should head for the Yellow Sea. We drove for nearly two hours and then couldn't find a great beach right away. After driving to the end of the road (literally) we decided to grab lunch. All the restaurants featured raw seafood and while I'm all for sushi having a live octopus chopped up in front of me is not my idea of a yummy meal. Got back in the van and stopped at a place a little further away. At first it looked kind of hopeless but I was brave and asked a table full of college students if any of them spoke English. Luckily one did and helped us order. What we got was a huge pot sat over a burner on our table. In the pot were various sea creatures in a fairly natural state. Claims, scallops, and mussels still in their shells. Shrimp still with eyes and all. A medium sized crab, a small octopus, and a thankfully cleaned out squid. Honestly if the squid had still had eyes I think I would have bolted. I'm all for trying new things, but I have my limits. It was good once we figured out which bits of the clams to eat and which to avoid and was served with rice and a large number of kimchi sides.
Then we headed to the beach. We found a good little spot and the Kids and I played in the sand and water. The water was cool but not cold but we were the only people in it which made me somewhat nervous. (Talking to my Korean friend at the post office today I learned that most Koreans don't swim.) Defne loved playing in the small waves and Deniz loved digging and running in and out of the surf. As the tide receded I noticed these small creatures in the back wash. At first I thought they were minnows but then noticed tiny legs. Then I thought they were shrimp and this is what I am still hoping, but then the idea came to me that they might be a kind of parasite. (Having recently read Parasite Rex by Carl Zimmer I see parasites everywhere I look.) If they were parasites my hope is that humans aren't in their life cycle because more than once I caught one crawling on my toes.
Around 6pm we loaded up to go home. I told Mr. K. a trip to the beach isn't complete until ice cream is had so I ran into a little convenience store and bought ice creams, shrimp crisps, and drinks. Back on the road we kept seeing roadside stands selling sweet potatoes. Finally Mr. K. pulled over and bought some freshly roasted and still warm. They were so good! Far sweeter but more yellow than the American variety. We munched on our various treats all the way home.
Look for Day 3 tomorrow. My all of two readers thank you for sticking with me!