We celebrated New Year's Eve a little differently this year.
We've never been huge party people on December 31. Last year, we went out to Gangnam, but were actually home by midnight. For this year, we thought about a few options, but we were really inspired by a Korean custom. Many Koreans greet the new year by watching the first sunrise with their friends and family. It's a beautiful way to start a new year. There are several sunrise festivals up and down the east coast of Korea, but we just did our own thing.
On the 31st, we drove to the east coast of Korea and camped at a Sokcho beach we have visited before. We had our tent, a fire, and our dog, and it was pretty perfect. Winston had never visited the beach before, and he loved running on the sand. I think it reminded him of snow, because he bounced and hopped just like he does in the snow. When the wind picked up, we moved into our tent and bundled up. It took me awhile, but I managed to wrap Winston up like a burrito and get him inside a sleeping bag. He was quite toasty, even if he was a little grumpy. The temperature dipped below 20, and the wind blew fairly strongly all night long. However, we had packed a lot of layers and stayed very warm in our sleeping bags.
We woke up in 2015 and walked down the beach to find the perfect spot. There were several Koreans scattered up and down the shoreline, and there was even a group of surfers paddling around in the water. It was significantly colder outside our sleeping bags, and like me, my camera batteries froze up and refused to work. Luckily, Jared and his camera handle the cold much better than I do, and he captured all the pictures for this post. When the sun barely peeked above a cloud, the crowd cheered and clapped. A few of the surfers attempted to catch a wave, and most of the sunrise watchers moved swiftly to shelter.
Yes, I'm somewhere under all those layers!
It was cold, but it was one of my favorite ways to start a new year. I loved adopting a Korean custom and doing something so different, yet so very us. We are no strangers to waking up early for sunrises, and I am happy to add this one to our list.
I wish you many glorious sunrises in 2015!