Jeju's King Cherry Blossom in Full Bloom

April 08, 2016

Before moving to Korea, I hated flowers with a passion. Partly due to terrible allergies. After moving to the States from Jamaica I developed allergies to many different plants. I am usually highly medicated before any contact with any plants in the springtime. Take this day, for instance, I was fighting the flu, on top of severe allergies. I told myself I would not stay in bed all day and thankfully I had a little motivation outside my door. Cherry blossoms! So off to the Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival I went.

When to see Jeju Cherry Blossoms

I saw them on April 3, 2016, and the cherry blossoms only lasted for a two days, so it was now or never. The festival is usually held the last weekend of March or the beginning of April, it all depends on when these babies decide to bloom.

The weather has been consistently changing on Jeju Island, since February. This was all the reason I needed to forget about hibernating and get my ass out and about. Come to think it, I saw some trees blossoming, as early as mid-February. I lucked out big time because it rained the day after I attended the Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival. It was so beautiful and it was hard not to capture every single moment. The festival took place on the main street of the Jeju National University and it was so incredible. Both sides of the street are lined with trees. The branches grew in many directions. But my favorite were the trees that grew towards the center. They created arches. It was so gorgeous!

The weather Gods were on our side for a brief moment. It was so warm that I didn't need to wear my jacket. Sidenote: check out the yellow birds on my sweater! A present from one of my lovely students. Totes not my style, but it was given to me with love, so I will cherish it forever. I am so happy I got island gal swag back after a frigid winter. Honestly, I am exaggerating, but my 'temple' body is not made for winter. Anywho, I survived, that's the important thing. 
Two weeks before the festival I thought I would attend the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival because I had been many times before and it's always amazing. But due to feeling ill, I decided to stay on Jeju Island. I took some meds and put my big girl panties on and was ready for whatever. I think I made the right decision because it turned out to be great. 

First impressions

Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival was not as crowded as the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival, which I liked. My first impression was compared to other flowers festivals in Korea, it was smaller. I think it helped that I arrived early in the afternoon. I was able to enjoy the afternoon sunshine before it got too crowded. With all the excitement and gorgeousness around me, I wandered aimlessly and enjoyed these ancient trees. Most of the trees lined one street, but I spotted other trees around the area outside of the festival. One thing that was lacking from the festival was FOOD! There weren't enough street vendors. I was so damn parched. I got a $7.00 mango juice from a small cafe along the street.

Oh so, romantic

After my very expensive, but delicious mango juice, I walked some more. They call these cherry blossoms trees, Jeju's King Cherry blossom Trees because they are more luxurious than the rest. Aaaahem, sorry Japan! The petals are bigger and fluffier. They are just sexier! They have curves like no other! Let me stop...Hahaha...I wanted to call them Jeju's Queen Cherry Blossoms Trees instead.

 It was so romantic. Some of the blossoms were white. Some were pale pink. Others were a brighter hue of pink. And depending on the light (natural or artificial) they may look purplish. Maybe I'm a romantic, but I loved watching the blossoms float from the tree like snow. It was so gorgeous! I know I keep saying it, but it really was too beautiful for words. I pranced up and down the street like a giddy school girl and thought about Marco (my crazy human).

Bumped into my student

I got to one area that was gorgeous and I stopped to take a photo. Then I heard a little voice next to me, "Lecia Teacher?" I was so surprised when I looked to my right and it was my student, Charlotte. I picked her up and hugged her and my friend captured the moment perfectly. I was happy to see one of my naughty little devils outside of the classroom :)  Good thing I was on my best behavior, I wouldn't want her to see me behaving unruly in the streets ;) It was a cute moment! Also, it was funny, that she was not sure if it was me.

The day after the festival

The day after the festival in rained a lot and it was very windy and just like that they all fell to the ground. And they were still as beautiful as can be. 

I hope you are getting warmer temps where you are. If you can't see some cherry blossom in your city, then enjoy other flowers around you. All plants and flowers are gorgeous this time of year so take advantage of it. Thank you for reading this post, please leave your comments below. Stay irie until next time!

See a short video I made HERE.

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