To sit down and try to recap an entire weekend of Hallyu awesomeness is no small feat but I promised you all that I would come back and share all my stories with you, so that those of you who weren’t able to attend KCON 2014 would be able to get a glimpse of what an entire convention dedicated to all things Hallyu is really like. I also promised to share all of my other adventures while I was in L.A. which means I’ve got a lot to cover so I’d better get to it! Are you ready? Then let’s go!
I flew into L.A. Wednesday morning, after a refreshing four hours of sleep the night before, feeling exhausted yet excited that after months and months and months of waiting, I was finally in the City of Angels. Knowing my best blogging buddy, Tanya (aka Hallyu Tanya) was waiting for me at the car rental building, I was filled with giddy anticipation as I impatiently waited for my luggage to make its way around the painfully slow carousel in baggage claim. Once reunited with my luggage, I hopped the shuttle bus from my terminal to the car rental building and was certain I was going to die before being reunited with my lovely friend and even worse, before I got to see VIXX in person. Seriously, the bus drivers in L.A. are some of the craziest people in the world and I saw my life flash before my eyes on more than one occasion on that one short bus ride across the airport.
The insanity of the airport terminal paled in comparison to the madness of the car rental company but the hours Tanya and I spent waiting for our car gave us ample time to catch up on the happenings of the months that spanned between our last meeting and drool over the pictures in the Block B Jackpot album that Tanya miraculously got signed for me while they toured the U.S. back in June. (By the way, the pictures of Jaehyo in that album are absolutely divine… And he’s not even my Block B bias!) From the album we moved on to my copy of VIXX’s Hello Stranger! which should give you some idea of just how long we waited for our car to be ready, as savoring all of the lovely in that book takes quite a bit of time! However, we did eventually get our car and of course, we headed straight for K-Town.
Having never been to L.A., I happily spent my time gawking at the scenery and taking pictures like any self-respecting tourist would do, while Tanya chauffeured me around the city. I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed at how brown everything was but that’s to be expected when there’s a drought and there were still oases of green here and there to help me overlook the rather wilty looking palm trees. Still, once I got to K-Town, all of my thoughts turned to soaking in the wonderfulness of a place completely devoted to all things Korean. (With several random Mexican chicken places thrown in for good measure.)
From food to shopping to billboards and buses, everything in K-Town called out to me and I willingly answered. Oh boy did I answer! I seriously feel like I ate my way across K-Town and stopped at every little shop along the way. From bulgogi burgers to black sesame bingsu, passion fruit macaroons to a chocolate raspberry cake as rich and sexy as Yongguk’s voice, I sampled all of the food I’d only ever dreamed of eating and I have to tell you, it was all heavenly. But what was even better than the food was the spa…
Oh the spa!
Tanya and I decided that the best way to celebrate our reunion was to spend the night at a Korean spa, reenacting all of our favorite drama spa moments and though we failed at the reenacting, we excelled in the relaxing. Oh my goodness! Never in my entire life have I been in a place as peaceful and relaxing as that spa! Ugh! What I wouldn’t give to go back! The hot tubs were fantastic, the food was delicious, the guys singing in the kitchen were adorable and the sauna rooms were heaven, especially the clay room, which was easily my favorite. I mean could there be anything better than burying yourself in a room full of tiny clay balls? It’s like an over-heated ball pit for grown-ups and it’s fantastic!
If you ever get the chance to experience a true Korean spa for yourself, do it! Just know that when you go, you’re going to have to mentally prepare for the trip as it’s not an experience for the self-conscious or faint of heart. I’m sure this sounds funny to some but for those of you who have no idea what Korean spa is like, let me just say that when you enter the “bath house” part of the spa, you’re expected to bare it all (as in bathe in a room full of equally naked women (or men, depending on your gender) and yes, they are kept separate as in on totally different floors and entrances are guarded by CCTV & the threat of expulsion, should you try to cross the line).
While this may bring back painful middle school gym class flashbacks for some, I can assure you, no one there is judging you but there are robes handy, just in case wandering the halls in the nude isn’t your thing. (And for the record, it really isn’t mine so I did a whole lot of hiding behind my robe and/or towel as I changed from my street clothes to the super comfy clothes provided by the spa. I realize this probably makes me a dork but I’m okay with that.)
The entire spa experience was absolutely unforgettable and though I was a little uncomfortable with the whole being naked in public thing at first, I did get used to it, especially once I figured out no one there actually cared about my looks. Everyone was simply there to unwind from the day and spend some quality time relaxing, bonding with family and friends and enjoying a little break from the craziness of life and I was totally able to go along with that! An entire night spent hanging out with my best friend, talking and laughing without the distraction of a computer or cell phone was totally worth the $35 it cost to get in and I would happily go back. Actually, I’m ready to go right now! That clay room is calling my name…