This past Wednesday was a day of family time, an adventurous 12 hours in Seoul, and reflecting on turning 23. Every time I visit Seoul I feel like I am visiting for the first time; there's always something new to see and a new discovery to be found. The day was spent visiting Gyeongbokgung Palace, shopping at Shinsegae, Itaewon, Namdaemun, and Myeong-dong, eating at a Turkish restaurant for the first time, getting lost in Kyobo bookstore, and the highlight of the evening, walking through the mini antique street in Itaewon. Here is the beginning of the Seoul Birthday Mini Series -- this is Part 1.

These unique antique shops and antique filled mazes line a street in Itaewon that I have never ventured down before. I was in a hurry to hail a cab and make my way to Myeong-dong for some retail therapy, but my brother insisted we take a detour - I always find myself staying on the main shopping and dining road of the diverse melting pot of Seoul. There's always expectations and ideas when you are visiting a new place - how is it going to be like, what will you see, and even how will you feel. The first "antique home" we entered was a maze of floors and boasted everything one could possibly imagine; furniture, lamps, tea sets, maps, books, combs, and everything in between. We were mesmerized by all the items squeezed into every nook and cranny, and we couldn't wait to visit the other places. There weren't so many of these "antique home" galleries, but there were shops to visit - and how could I leave without making a purchase? We went into a store after being lured in by the aroma therapy scents and window display, and I found mason jars so I can finally be able to enjoy making detox drinks.

Walking through the floors of antique pieces, there's a wonder of the stories the pieces hold. I hope to find more antique wonders.