Seoul Week

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This was our longest trip to Seoul so far, and I think also our best. We took a taxi to the train station, which we’ve never done. We had too much stuff to take the bus and the subway this time, plus it was raining. I think this made it a better trip for everyone. Plus it started Clarissa saying, “taxi” all week.

I made a new friend at Dragon Hill who was headed to Daegu on Sunday. We had dinner with one of Tim’s work friends at Green Street (one of the restaraunts at Dragon Hill Lodge).

Because Tim had class all week and didn’t really want me exploring outside of the base, I thought that Clarissa and I would have a lot of down time. But that wasn’t the case.

On Monday, Clarissa and I went to the library just to see when story time was and we happened to walk in on a baby story time where we made friends. We had lunch with them and made plans for the next day. Monday was Tim’s birthday so we went to our favorite Thai restaraunt, Buddah’s Belly, for dinner with a couple of friends from his class. We then had the best gelato ever before coming home.

Tuesday, Clarissa slept through the baby play group that we were invited to. But we met up with our new friends afterward and headed to iPark for lunch. iPark is like a huge mall attached to emart. They had a Tayo that sang the show’s theme song and moved for 1,000 won (about $1). So while everyone else went to Daiso, Clarissa and I did that.

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She was super cute and loved it! Then, I tried to put her on a different vehicle, but she flipped out when another child got on Tayo. The mother didn’t seem to care and took her child off Tayo (not that I wanted her to). Because I was planning to let her ride the other vehicle, I just let her ride Tayo again. She definitely threw a fit when our friends were ready to leave. But she stopped because one of those friends happened to buy her Tayo stickers while in Daiso!

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We then went to Burger King for lunch where Clarissa ate an entire serving of french fries by herself. Finally, we went to PlayTime which is a huge play area. They had two. One for babies and one for older kids. The baby one was quite full, so we went to the older child area. It cost 10,000 won (about $10) for two hours, which I thought was kind of expensive. But Clarissa had a great time!

First, we had to take off our shoes. Then, we went to the bathroom to change her diaper. They had shower shoes there and Clarissa loved wearing them. She walked on a huge floor piano that lit up and made music. Then, we went to the ball pit, where she stayedfor at least a half hour.

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They had a teddy bear that you could jump on that took up an entire room. She was kind of afraid of that, but the babies we were with loved it! We went to the sand room for a bit. She didn’t really know what to do at first. They had rainboots to wear and she loved those. She enjoyed putting sand in a dump truck. She put sand in a cup and then tried to drink it. She didn’t like that her mouth was messy at that point. But once I cleaned her off she was happy again. She definitely didn’t want to leave when our time was up.

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We went out to dinner with one of my new friends, her husband, and six month old son. It was a Korean barbecue place. They called it beef and leaf, which makes sense since you put the cooked meat on lettuce to eat it. We had waffle and ice cream for dessert before heading back to Dragon Hill Lodge.

On Wednesday, Clarissa woke up a little earlier than I expected so we went to one of the playgrounds at the Lodge. She was bored with the baby playground but wasn’t really tall enough to climb most things on the big kid playground. So she mostly had fun running around.

Then we headed to our friend’s apartment. Clarissa had a great time at their playground. They must have a preschool there, because I think it was recess! There were like 20 three year olds at the same time. But Clarissa did a great job of standing in line and waiting her turn for the slide. We had pizza for lunch, which Clarissa loved. But I think her favorite part was the cat. She said, “Itty tat” the rest of the week.

Wednesday night we headed back to iPark for dinner. We ended up at a Japaneese place called Teriyaki that had incredible (and cheap) sushi. I was smart and went to Burger King before and bought Clarissa some fries to eat so she wouldn’t go hungry. Then the plan was to go to the electronics market there. Apparently it closes at 8 (which is odd because it seems like malls and things are open late here), and since it was 8:30 we were out of luck.

On Thursday, I let Clarissa sleep in. Then, we Skyped my parents and headed to the playground at the elementary school on post. It was the best school playground I have ever seen! Clarissa had a great time climbing and going down the slide. She definitely has no fear! She even went on the swings. For lunch, I gave her a choice and she definitely wanted pizza.

Thursday night we went back to iPark for the electronics market. Our friend didn’t find what he was looking for so the next step was to go to a different market, but Clarissa was getting fussy since it was late, so she went to Baskin Robins for dinner and got an Apple Fruit Blast while the men kept shopping. That seemed to give her some energy so we went to a city park along the way home.

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Friday morning, Clarissa and I went swimming in the Lodge pool. The rule is that you have to shower first and she is generally afraid of showers so far. But when I explained that she had to take a shower to go in the pool, she eventually complied. She had a great time in the pool and didn’t want to leave. She had a blast in the locker room too! She was not happy when  we were finally headed to lunch, but the pizza made it better!

Friday evening we went to 63 City. We had dinner at a place called Shabu Shabu. (It means swish, swish). There is a burner in front of each person. They give you a small pot with water and then some raw vegetables and meat. Once the water starts boiling, you add the vegetables. You can start eating them before you add the meat, or you can wait. Clarissa wasn’t interested and so we just ordered her some rice.

63 City is a huge building that has an aquarium, wax museum, art museum, and an observatory on the 63rd floor where you can see most of Seoul. We went to the aquarium first. Clarissa loved it! I think her favorite were the sea lions.

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It was about 7:30 when we went so the seals and were sleeping. The penguins were fun though. At the end, she chose a shark stuffed animal that was almost as big as her.

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We all enjoyed the views from the top floor. They had viewers that you could put a coin in to see close up. Clarissa kept pointing at it and so this young guy (maybe 20) who was on a date kept going through his pockets. His date was like, “what are you doing?” and he kept saying, “eggi” (baby). He definitely put change in the view finder so that Clarissa could see out! She was definitely popular and got her picture taken several times. Someone even gave her a lolipop.

It was getting late so we decided to take a taxi back to post. Clarissa was thrilled. “Taxi” is her new favorite word apparently.

On Saturday we were going to head to some palaces, but Clarissa was fussy from a long week of going to bed late so we were going to try her nap first. We had Mexican for lunch (because Tim loves me) and then thought for sure she would sleep early. Wrong. We were about to give up on the nap when she fell asleep. The palaces close at 5 so that didn’t end up happening this trip.

We headed istead to Insadong. Of course it started raining once we got there. But we still had a great time. I bought a new purse for 8,000 won (almost $8). They have a lot of cultural and crafty things in Insadong so I think that it would be a great place to go when it is time to go Christmas shopping.

We headed to a Buddhist Temple. We actually went there three years ago, but they were having a service of some kind so we didn’t get close. They were having a prayer service of some kind this time as well. So we just explored the outside, which was pretty neat. Tim felt some weird spiritual things there. But Clarissa and I mostly just walked around.

We ended up at a place called Hollywood for dinner. It was basically a traditional Asian restaraunt. Clarissa enjoyed the rice cake appetizers and we enjoyed our food as well. We had Dunkin Donuts for dessert and then saw a Daiso that was five stories. My friends had planned to go this week but it didn’t work out, so we went to check it out. I really don’t think it was that big. We have a two story one near us that I think is actually bigger.

Sunday we headed home. Clarissa was determined to hold her shark for the entire trip, which made holding her interesting since the shark is so large. But she was pretty happy for most of the trip.

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