Saturday, April 16, 2011


This week for spring break we were supposed to be heading to Japan with a group of Jeff's students and moms.Unfortunately due to the devastating earthquake that struck Japan last month, we had to change our plans. We had a list of other places we wanted to go, but because we had such a short amount of time to book something, our choices were limited. We thought about going to Jeju Island, much like Hawaii in the US, Cambodia or even Australia. After a frustrating time trying to find flights and hotels we gave up on traveling out of the country and decided to go somewhere closer to home. After much deliberation between Seoul and Busan (Pusan), I decided Seoul sounded like the best choice. Who knows how long thing will stay calm between North and South Korean. This way we get to travel North and still feel safe. So the with the help of Jack, tickets for the KTX were booked and Jeff found what we though was going to be a great hotel. We left on Monday and came home on Friday, not nearly long enough to see everything on my list, but we had an amazing time there.

Traveling to Seoul on the KTX and our hotel room.

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After we got settled into the hotel and had something to see, we went to check out Seoul Tower.
The cab ride to the tower was a bit scary, but the view alone made it worth it.

After seeing all of the locks of love on the fence and trees, Jeff and I decided we had to put one of our own on.

It is fun to think that it might be there forever.
Poor Tyson got mobbed by a bunch of school kids on a field trip. Their teacher explained that they had never seen a young American child before.
Tyson enjoyed the attention for a few minutes, but then got a bit scared when they tried to pick him up.
So to get away, we went up into the tower, we didn't know the kids would be right behind us and he got mobbed a few more times.

I am glad we waited until sunset to go up, because the city looked amazing all lit up at night.

So did the tower.

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The next day we decided to go visit the Korean War Memorial. Tyson had a thousand questions for us so I told him that every time he learned something new, he got a new wrinkle in his brain. He spent the rest of the day saying he wanted to get a spaghetti brain. After the memorial we walked to

Wednesday was Tyson's day. Since we had was no longer able to go to Tokyo Disney, I decided to give him his own day at Lotte World. Even though I had seen pictures online, I never imagined it would be as large as it was. The huge indoor amusement park housed over a dozen rides that even Jeff and I enjoyed. Jeff and I couldn't help but wonder how they managed to have a water ride on the third floor of a building, but it was fun. Tyson said over and over that it was one of the best days of his life.

Seeing Lotte World for the first time. This alone made it worth it.

Inside Lotte World

The outside of Lotte World

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Thursday we decided to go check out the Coex mall. The underground mall is the largest in Asia ".Along with hundreds of shops, the mall houses two food courts, a 16-screen multi-cinema complex, an aquarium attraction, a large bookstore, and the Kimchi Field Museum. It also features a game area which is used to film computer game tournaments (for which South Korea is known) which are broadcast on local television. There are also stages inside and outside the mall for seasonal events and public appearances by celebrities" The mall is 85,000 square metres in area. I am not much into malls or shopping but was excited to go to the Kimchi museum and Tyson wanted to go to the Aquarium. Although I don't think the aquarium was worth the money, it was still fun.

I never realized how many different types of Kimchi there are.

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After the Coex mall, we wanted to head over to Bongeunsa Temple. When I looked up the directions, it said to take a bus from the mall to the Temple, but we could not figure out what bus to take. Instead we decided to just hop in a cab and ride over. When we got in the driver motioned to us that it was the other way. We had encountered a few taxi drivers that seemed to get upset that we were heading in the wrong direction, so we figured he was going to turn around. When he started laughing I knew something was up. He drove around the mall and then pulled over. I was a bit embarrassed when I realized that we were at the temple. The number on the meter never even changed. Oh well, at least the man got his base pay and a good laugh from the stupid Americans.

Bongeunsa Temple was constructed in the 10th year of Shilla King Weongseong’s reign (794). In 1498, Queen Jeonghyeon refurbished Gyeonseongsa Temple at the east of King Seongjong’s royal mausoleum and renamed the temple as Bongeunsa.

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Friday we decided to just hang round the hotel until it was time to go to the KTX. Jeff went and got us breakfast at DD and we got ready to go back home. I am really glad we decided to go to Seoul because we had a great time.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Something special for my Mom.

Right down the street from our apartment is the flower district. Now I'm not sure if that is what it is actually called, but it's how we have all chosen to refer to it as. The district consists of an entire street block of nothing but flower shops, tree lots and planter stores. Having spent most of my summer days walking around the greenhouse where my mother works, I have grown to associate seeing flowers here, to feeling a little closer to her back home. Even Tyson had a moment where he broke down and cried saying that the looking at all the flowers made him miss his Nannie. So Mom, these photos are for you, to show you just some of what the flower district has to offer here. We both miss you so much and are looking forward to when the greenhouse is full and we are once again walking around visiting with you.

(Hopefully we will be spending more time in the kayaks on the water than in the greenhouse.)

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Dalseong Park

Yesterday we decided to go look for Dalseong Park after another teacher had told us about the free zoo there. I have to admit that I was not expecting anything big. A small park with a few farm animals maybe, but it was still something to do on a nice Saturday. Since we did not know exactly where the park was, we decided to get a cab. Even though the ride seemed like it took a long time, it only cost about 10,000 to get there. Once we realized how close to downtown it was, we felt a little silly. I can't believe we had been this close to it and never known it was there.

Being me, our walk around the park couldn't possibly start without a little touch of drama. Some Korean women started yelling at me as soon as I got out of the cab. Thankfully Jeff came to my rescue and told her we didn't speak Korean and we walked away. Who knows, maybe she knew bus guy. (A story for another post) Anyway, once we walked in I was amazed at how beautiful the park was. It reminded me so much of Central Park in New York, in that it is a little piece of heaven in the mist of a bustling city.

As we were waking around the zoo, it didn't take long to realize it was a lot larger then I expected. The variety of animals far exceeded my expectations.The best part was when I walked around a corner after looking at some bunnies and birds to see two elephants walking around. Tyson was walking around with his Dad and I hurried to find him, covered his eyes and walked him to the exhibit. He was laughing nervously not sure where I was taking him, but as soon as I took my hands off his eyes, he started yelling "ELEPHANTS". He was so excited and for finding them, I was given lots of hugs. We stayed there watching the elephants for a long time, until the male elephant got a bit, well too involved in spring time lovin. After having to explain that the elephant didn't have 2 trunks, I figured it was time to leave before he got the live version of the birds and the bees.

After walking around for another hour looking at the different animals, statues, monuments and just enjoying the view, it was time to go. There was a small museum area, but as soon as we walked in the door, a very spirited Korean man started following us around. Tyson was getting upset at his actions, as was I, so we walked out the door down to try to find a cab. The man tried to get into the cab with us, but after spotting another American family, left us to venture off in following someone else.

I am really happy that we were told about this place because it turned out to be a perfect Saturday spent together as a family. So thank you to Mrs. Smith for telling us about the park
and to those reading this, I hope you enjoy the photos.

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Walking Around Korea

I started to write a blog about the differences between living in the US and in Korea, but since I am not finished with that, I though I would start you off with a few fun photos of things here in Daegu that I found amusing. I hope you enjoy......

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