When my kids were little and had a stressful day, they would sometimes burst into tears when they saw me and were safe in my arms. I always thought of it as some kind of release of stress or tension. Sunday was kind of like that for me. There weren't any tears, but I was grumpy. I think the combination of jet lag and concern over Reggie caught up to me. Or maybe I was just grumpy. Who knows.
We spent the day at a huge shopping mall called Lotte World. Vali and Jake loved it, so it wasn't a wasted trip. And Nati was as well behaved as you can ask a four-year-old to be under those circumstances. I could write this as a happy, flowery recap, but it wouldn't be true. I don't like malls. They stress me out. This mall was beautiful and fun, but there were so. many. people. cramming their way in front and around you that it was insane.
But! We got some great pictures, and went to the Hard Rock Cafe - which everyone seemed to really love. So my grumpiness aside, Sunday's trip to the mall was a hit for most of us.
Here are some photos:
We started off with another subway ride. Nati hadn't quite woken up yet. *photo of Dusty and Nati on the subway
Pikachu! *photo of Jake, Tyler, Vali, and Nati in front of an animated character.
These awesome lights were in the subway right before the mall's entrance:
This giant crown was near the entrance and had thousands of little notes that people left with their Christmas wishes on them. It was cool to scan them for English notes to see what people said. *photo of Dusty and Nati in front of the giant, golden crown:
There such a mix of eastern and western culture here. This wall is from a fast food chain and the words on it don't really make all that much sense.
This was a cool display wall outside of an aquarium.
Here's a panoramic of it. Dusty liked seeing it because he builds this kind of thing for his job.
The mall had all sorts of these ponies all over it. Nati is obsessed with My Little Pony and was in love with them. We put her up on one to take a picture and a security guard came over and hovered around us. He didn't say anything, but we could tell that was frowned upon. After I took her down, I saw the sign in the bottom right corner of this picture that probably means "NO CLIMBING ON HORSES" or something. Oops.
There is a tower being built close to the mall that I think Tyler said is going to be the tallest building in Seoul. It's massive:
We ate at the Hard Rock cafe:
Dusty and Brie were commenting on their eye color being the same. Both of them have eyes that change colors:
Some other photos of the mall:
Nati with some other animated characters:
A big piano like the one in the movie Big:
Jake bought this new coat. He loves it.
We rode the subway back to the hotel and had a low key evening. Brie brought in Korean fast food. I forgot to take pictures of it, but it didn't look all that appetizing anyway. I really liked it, though. It was a dish of rice, chicken, mayonnaise, and soy sauce. Sounds gross, but it was tasty.
Nati got some toy hello kitties at the mall and Dusty was pretending that he was going to eat them, and she gave him this creepy, unibrow face:
Brie and Tyler have a friend who came over and watched a movie with us. It was nice meeting one of their local friends, although I'm embarrassed to say that I crashed about 10 minutes into the movie and Brie tells me I was even snoring. Yikes.
December 28th, 2015
Monday was fun. We saw some great sights that really felt like Korea to me. But first, it was an exciting day for Nati. Brie had to work and she took Nati with her to school. Nat was so excited that she kept saying it was her first day of school.
Here they are on their way!
After they left, we grabbed some breakfast and then walked around the Gangnam area again for a bit.
Samsung's headquarters are located just around the corner. We went on a tour of their "Samsung D'Light" museum.
It was three floors of gadgety toys that you can play with.
Hmmm. Based on some color and pattern choices, this is Samsung's description of me:
*thoughtful, intellectual, vibrant
This picture doesn't do this TV justice. It's enormous and curved and the picture on it was phenomenal:
They had living areas on display with Samsung appliances:
I've seen these 3-D goggle things on commercials before. We got to play with them. It's kind of creepy how they work, but the technology is really cool.
Here's another shot of that cool, wavy building that I like - with some goofballs in front of it:
After Samsung, we went to pick Nati up from school and take Brie to lunch. Here are some photos of the school that Brie teaches in:
The play area:
And here's Nati with her new friends at school:
Playing My Little Pony with Lucy!
Monday afternoon we went to Seoul Tower, which is a tower placed on the top of a mountain that sits roughly in the center of Seoul. You take a cable car up to the mountain and can see the entire city.
On the way there, we stopped at a subway restroom. Here's what the first stall I went into looked like:
Uh.... I guess you're supposed to squat over that to do your thing. I wasn't about to attempt that with Nati, but luckily they had "normal" toilets on the other side of the restroom.
In order to get to the cable car, we walked through some very hilly streets. You can see the tower in front of us here:
Here we are once we got to the tower:
I've mentioned that Seoul is huge, and that it's the second most populated metropolitan area in the world. Getting up there and seeing miles and miles and miles of skyscrapers and buildings in all directions really puts it into perspective. My photos don't do it justice.
We were up there for sunset, which was perfect because we could see the city lights come on:
There's a view like this from every perspective since the tower is centrally located in the city. So huge.
Here's the tower. It has a huge King Kong climbing up it:
We've seen so many metropolitan city structures, that I thought this traditional Korean temple design was beautiful. I'm looking forward to seeing more of this type of structure later this week:
After the tower, we met up with Brie who was done with work for dinner in Itaewon. Itaewon is where the military bases are and there are tons of Western restaurants, bars, etc. It's got a completely different vibe than the other neighborhoods we visited.
A bar/restaurant named Valerie!
We went out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Which cracks me up since we're in Korea, but Dusty isn't a fan of Korean food (except the Korean BBQ) and so I'll get my authentic food fix on the times that we split up and do separate things.
It was a fun day, although we were cold and tired by the end of it. I left my fitbit at home and would have loved to see how many steps we put in yesterday. I'm guessing it was well over 20,000. As a result, we slept well and are looking forward to another day in Seoul today!
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