Sunday, October 19, 2014

안녕하세요 Korea! {part 1}

Last month I was able to take an incredible trip to Korea with some of my family and I wanted to share while some of my thoughts are still pretty fresh. My little sister Maren was serving a mission for our church for the past 18 months and has just finished so some of us were able to go "pick her up" and have her show us around for 10 days. Let me tell you, having someone who speaks the language, knows the culture and how to get around, and absolutely loves the people is an incredible way to experience a place. My dad also lived in Korea as a young man, first in the army, and then as a missionary. We grew up with Korean words scattered in our dad's vocab, funky stinky fish and yummy kimchi in the fridge, and a general love and appreciation for the Korean people, even though the rest of us hadn't been to Korea. Well the timing was right and Job basically pushed me out the door to take this trip (he didn't have to push too hard as I was super excited, but I was grateful for his enthusiastic support :)

I took a few notes each night before bed so I will include them below for my own journaling sake here, but you can just enjoy the pics and all that jazz. (More pictures on my facebook, cute little link in sidebar).

September 2nd and 3rd---started out early 4am, 6 1/2 hr flight
Flew to San Fran and had to meet with mum for our flight to korea! We flew for 11 1/2 hours. It was Long and my knees got a bit creaky, but overall not bad. I tried to sleep as much as possible. It was very weird to leave Tuesday morning and we got in on Wednesday afternoon! The Bunces picked us up and we took the train trip into Seoul to stay at their apartment. The Korean place was closed by them so we went to get baked pasta and pizza for dinner haha. It was the morning in Boston but I felt ok, and went to sleep around 1030 so a good time.

September 4th--Thursday morning woke up at 545 and enjoyed a beautiful sunrise over the city, I had a great view just from my yo :) Happy birthday to mom too!
We went to a big fish and food market in the morning which was fun. Lots of stands, lots of interesting seafood and produce I had never seen before. There were also tons of scooters which went whizzing by as you walked down the center aisle, you had to get right out of the way because they just went right by all the people haha. We enjoyed hot honey buns for a street food snack.

After the market we tried to go on base to buy some food for breakfasts and the Bunces. It was a tricky experience since they had lots of rules that are very different than other ones we have been too. It took hours to get around things but we finally did. In between all the trying while we waited for paperwork we went to the national museum (of art?) and it was gorgeous. A huge, lovely (and free) building, definitely worth a visit. It had cool Asian art which i really enjoyed.

After base and museum we hopped on a taxi right to the mission home for Maren's last day! It was her last day as a missionary. We had a lovely and delicious dinner, her mission president and sister president spoke, the three sisters going home spoke, and two played the piano and flute (Maren). Then we sang happy birthday to mom and had cake and ice cream, yum!
Just up from the home was the chapel where dad was baptized!! It was so cool to walk up there and see it. Mom shared the story of his conversion and about the day of his baptism. It was a really cool experience.
Then back home on the bus and subway, into some comfy grandma pants Maren got me (yay because I forgot my pj's haha)
Talking to Maren before bed,

Friday-we woke up-630 because Maren was staying on her mission schedule. We headed out to explore. We saw Gyeongbokgung Palace and explored it's huge ground. It was beautiful. There was also a folk museum on the grounds which was cool. We also were interviewed for a little Korean TV show haha, fun. Walking around different neighborhoods in Seoul was cool, there are some unique ones. After the palace we went to have a delicious lunch (icey kimchi soup for me, it was soooo good!) then we went up to Seoul tower to get some incredible views of the city! It was amazing to see how enormous the city really is! It just kept on going and there are mountains upon mountains. Really beautiful. I also send Job a love letter from the tallest post office in Seoul.

We then tried to find Dr. Fish-the little fish that swim around your feet and eat the dead skin off your feet. We found the place but it was moved to a different location we didn't know about. So we didn't get to do it, but we did enjoy the busy a vibrant shopping of  Myeong-dong. It was evening by that time and we were all a bit worn out (in a happy way) so headed back to the apartment. Enjoyed some Korean desert called dock, as well as some delicious chocolate chip cookies from sister Bunce. I talked to Jobito on the phone and got some good news. It was also fun to hang out with mum and Maren and laugh and talk.

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