Sunday, September 09, 2012

flashback to Korea: part 1

I had grand plans of keeping up with my blog during our trip to Korea. Clearly, that didn't work out. I've waited to write a post this long because frankly if I had done it any sooner, I feel it would have been abysmal at best.

So here's how it all went down…

• our last photo as a family of 3 •

We left on Thursday afternoon and didn't arrive in Seoul until 4 AM SATURDAY! 

The worst part about that flight - the 8 hour layover in Atlanta. The best part - getting "upgraded" seats because our original tickets were not together. We aren't talking first class or anything, but being in the front row of the exit isle with no seats in front of us for a 14.5 hour flight was pretty grand.

We landed in Seoul, navigated customs and found our luggage and driver with no problem, but when we arrived at the hotel, we couldn't find our room. 

lost in DMC Ville
(the digital media center of Seoul, whatever that means -
I didn't see any K pop stars when we were out)

Something about S. Korea - they conserve energy by not air conditioning "unnecessary spaces" - this includes hallways. Kudos to them but really annoying at 5 am during the ultra humid monsoon season. So Brad leaves me in the stairwell with all our luggage to go find help when I discover another energy saving strategy…lights are motion censored which required me to wildly wave my arms every 30 seconds so I wasn't left standing in the dark. Not a great start to our hotel experience but at least now I can see the humor. I wonder if the security footage caught my wild flailing or if a guard was mocking this insane foreigner.

S. Korea is 13 stinking time zones away. I was famished at 5 am with nothing but a 7-Eleven open for business, so we browsed the Korean food products and bought something to snack on...Special K cereal and milk, if I remember correctly. Then we crashed for a few hours on the hardest mattress I've ever laid on. No lie. I think the ceramic tile floor and a blanket may have been softer. *only slight exaggeration*

We decided to venture out later for dinner and found a Paris Baguette bakery and a pizza joint, so we decided to try both. 

We learned something else about Korean dining after ordering the salad bar…they only give you one bowl per table and everyone is supposed to share. This was a difficult concept for Brad the "I don't share my food man" to grasp, so I think I was the only one to eat the salad bar that night. Also, take your used bowl BACK to the bar if you want seconds. Grody! I'm sure we butchered the etiquette and insulted many Koreans that night. *apologies all around*

And that was Saturday.

Sunday was our city tour compliments of our agency who provides a tour guide for their adopting families. Our guide was the cutest, sweetest college girl and her  boyfriend. They were great showing us around Seoul. We toured the Gyeongbok Palace and a museum, ate at an amazing hole in the wall we never would have found on our own, and shopped for gifts to give Zoe every year on her birthday as she grows up.

And that was Sunday.

It was pretty hard to sleep that night knowing our gotcha day was just one nights sleep away…

Gotcha day deserves a separate post of its own…coming soon. I promise.