A Mostly Seoul Adventure

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I finally finished unpacking our first shipment at the house. Then, the furniture that we ordered while living in South Korea arrived ahead of our Household Goods. So now I have two couches and two dining room tables. It’s kind of funny really to go from living out of suitcases in a fairly empty apartment to having too much furniture. But our apartment is large enough that it’s fine. First world problems right?

Clarissa and I have developed a routine that works. We stay home and play at the playground on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday. Wednesday we go to base for PWC (Bible study) and grocery shopping. Thursday we go to story hour to see our friends, have lunch with Tim, and pick up a few more items at the commissary. The weekend is for exploring as a family.

Last weekend we tried a fish barbecue place. Even if most signs and menus aren’t in English, you can figure out what a restaurant serves pretty easily because there is usually a sign with an animal outside. The fish place across the street from our apartment always looks pretty busy, so we decided to check it out.

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We were not disappointed. The ladies were very nice. One took Clarissa over to see what they were doing in the kitchen when she was bored. We chose barbecue shellfish, which was excellent. Not too spicy for me. They bring everything out on a tray. It cooks in front of you on the burner at your table.

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My two favorite side dishes were the boiled peanuts and the seaweed. Clarissa ate both side dishes as well.

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Tim had to go to a training in Seoul on Thursday so we decided that Clarissa and I would come too and we would stay for the weekend.

While we were waiting for the bus with our suitcase and stroller, an older woman took a liking to Clarissa. She kept trying to play with her. She even gave her money! She then carried the stroller on to the bus for us. We took the bus to the subway to the KTX station. Clarissa did very well considering she didn’t get a nap that day.

Once we arrived in Seoul, we took the subway to our hotel. The plan was for Tim to carry the suitcase and I would hold Clarissa’s hand and the umbrella stroller. But Clarissa didn’t cooperate so Tim was superman and carried both the stroller and suitcase up multiple flights of stairs while I carried Clarissa. When we arrived at the hotel, they wanted to give Clarissa a gift of a teddy bear.

On Thursday, Tim went to his training and Clarissa and I explored Yongsan. We went to the commissary because you can’t request a product in Daegu if they don’t carry it at Yongsan. The commissary there is probably three times bigger than the one on Camp Walker so I do have a few requests to make.

Thursday night we took the subway to Gangnam. Clarissa wandered into a shop and I actually did buy some shoes. Now I can say I have been shopping in Gangnam (like in the song Gangnam Style).

We had dinner with Tim’s friend Minnie. She is really cool. Teaches fifth grade. I got to see a picture of Tim from 2006. We made plans to visit her soon where she lives in Suwon (about a half hour South of Seoul).

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Friday morning we headed to Coex mall, one of Tim’s favorite hangouts during his Air Force days. The mall has recently been remodeled so it looks very different and has different stores. While at the mall, we took Clarissa to the aquarium.

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The Coex Aquarium is very nice. Clarissa loved it! She was running from tank to tank yelling, “fishy!” I tried to capture it on video but it never happened.

She loved looking at all the fish.

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Clarissa enjoyed watching the penguins and otters. She had no interest in touching anything in the touch tank. She was afraid of the big sharks.

Friday night we had dinner with Jocelyn, Aaron, and Amari. We went to a Mexican place first and the guy asked if we were Tim, party of 6. So we sat down and had some chips while we waited for our friends. Wrong Tim. We didn’t have a reservation and it was a long wait for a table, so we left. They wouldn’t let me pay for the chips we ate.

So we ended up nextdoor at Buddha’s Belly. Best Thai food I have ever eaten! And if you know me, that is saying a lot. If you are ever in Itaewan, I highly recommend it.

Friday night I posted pictures from the aquarium. A friend who was actually visiting Seoul saw them so we decided to meet up on Saturday.

I met Yongki in 2003 while we were both attending Old Dominion University. I was leading a Bible study and he was the only one who came. It actually worked out really well. He had learned to read English in Korea but didn’t know how to speak it. We met once a week all semester. I invited him to several holiday meals at my grandmother’s house over the years. I always thought it would be cool to visit him in South Korea. The funny thing is that now I live in Korea and he doesn’t.

We decided to meet at Gyeongbokgung Palace. It was great to see Yongki again as it has been about three years since Tim and I last saw him. We were able to meet his brother and wife (who is a tour guide for the Seven Churches tour in Turkey. If you are interested in touring the seven churches in Revelation, let me know and I will hook you up).

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The architecture was pretty cool. Tim took way more pictures than I did. It is hard to take pictures and keep up with a toddler at the same time.

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On Saturday night we decided to have dinner on base because there is a Mexican restaurant on Yongsan. I haven’t had Mexican in months, so this was a real treat. Tim must love me!

Sunday we came home by KTX, subway, and bus. Did I mention that Tim was superman? He carried the suitcase and the stroller up the stairs and in the rain. We decided that next time we are leaving the stroller at home because most of the time Clarissa wanted to walk or be held so we carried it most of the weekend.

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