Bookend - A Trip to Daegu

by Grace Ko

The other weekend, Y and I ( with "squad") went down for a weekend trip to Daegu. It was both Y and my first time in Korea's third largest metropolitan area and we anticipate it'll most likely be our last "trip" before baby's arrival so we packed our bags, stocked up on snacks for the ride and made our way down. 

Traffic out of Seoul on a Friday evening was brutal but after a break at a rest stop to fuel up on dinner, a cornucopia of udon noodles, donkatsu and fried rice, we made it to Daegu in one piece, albeit with very swollen feet and legs due to the long ride. But I remedied that as soon as we arrived with a walk around 수성못 (Suseong Lake), a thermos of peppermint tea and hearty belly laughs thanks to friends. 

 Rest stop food is the best & fist bumps for baby 

Rest stop food is the best & fist bumps for baby 

Saturday morning was spent with a good sleep-in and a slow start to the day, the girls chatting away while the boys leisurely made us breakfast (the best kind of morning, if I say so myself). We walked to a nearby cafe, one our friend A has talked about for quite some time, claiming it has the best coffee in Daegu, possibly some of the best coffee in Korea! (I secretly recited one of my favorite lines from my favorite movie Elf in my head: "Congratulations! You did it! World's best cup of coffee!") 

With coffee in our systems, we moseyed on over to County Market, naturally thinking it would be just that, a market. But we were pleasantly surprised to find a white, airy venue for the best meal of the day - brunch. Good thing squad is always up for more food. We vision-casted, dreamed and planned over the choicest salads, pastas and even steak (!) 

The day continued driving into Daegu's "Downtown" - the equivalent to Seoul's Myeongdong.  Y & I met up with friends from home and I was gifted a stuffed animal from B, a 5 year-old. He made sure I knew he had won the stuffed animal all by himself and I quietly prayed that our baby boy would possess B's sweet, tender heart. Later that night, while Y and A went out for Daegu's famous 막창 I chose to end the evening with a pamper session with the girls - a hydrating sheet mask to combat the bitter and dry winter air. 

Sunday was lovely - the perfect weather for strolling. A introduced us to a tea house hidden in the mountains and we ordered a myriad of teas (basically one of each on the menu, the owner chuckled at our varied choices) but we wanted to make the most of it. And plus, "sharing is caring". 

We ended our time in Daegu at a gelato place and I left feeling energized by roasted pistachio and chocolate gelato but also recharged by the parting messages from R - someone I had just gotten to meet. 

It was my kind of trip - no pre-planned agendas, which is surprising as I am a planner to the core. But I've grown to love the "Let's see how we feel" kind of trips where being present wins over worries of what to do next, and where quality time trumps crossing off things on our to-do/to-see/to-eat lists.

Personally, the craziest part of this trip? This trip is a bookend. Back in May, this same group of friends made a trip to Busan. It was an exceptional weekend because we escaped the hubbub of Seoul to fill up on Busan's fare, scenery and slower pace but it was also the weekend Y and I found out we were pregnant! [I told Y on the KTX train ride down to Busan so that trip will always have a special place in our hearts.]

Now we're nearing the end of this chapter of pregnancy and have memories of Daegu to keep with us. Bookends, a sweet reminder of seasons and friendships.