We stayed up really late packing on Sunday night and woke up at 330am so we would be ready for our 430 cab. We were tired, but excited to finally be leaving.
While we were trying to check in outside, we discovered that our 7am flight to Dallas was delayed until noon. This was a problem because our flight to Seoul was supposed to leave at 10:30. So we had to go inside and wait in line for an hour to see how the three of us could get to Korea. It took about an hour until they had tickets for all three of us. We were now leaving the next day.
So we booked a new hotel with shuttle service to and from the airport. Tim called his new boss to tell him we would now be arriving Thursday morning instead of Tuesday evening. Clarissa and I went back to bed.
We got to practice our new pedestrian lifestyle by walking to Chick-fil-A and Target. We squeezed in one more dinner with my best friend.
Our new hotel had a shower instead of a bathtub. I thought that would be great practice for Korea. Wrong! The shower was really slippery and it freaked Clarissa out.
We were thankful for a later flight so that we could sleep in. We had one last visit with my parents and then headed to the airport. Thankfully there were no delays going to JFK.
Clarissa was excited to be in her new car seat on the plane. The man sitting in front of us was not because she kept kicking his seat. Once the plane took off she fell asleep .
JFK was interesting. We were switching airlines so we had to go to a different terminal. The problem was that we had a ten hour layover, so they wouldn’t let us go through security yet. So we made the most of it and took the train into the city.
I have always wanted to go to Time Square, so we went there and met up with my middle school best friend for dinner. We had five carry on bags, a stroller, and a car seat to lug around the city. Poor Tim was in shorts! But we had a great time.
When we got back to the airport, the security line was crazy long. But we had three hours so we weren’t worried. The guy for the first class line saw us with the baby and told us to come in his line. Our wait time went from two hours to twenty minutes. Thank you Jesus!
Clarissa really enjoyed our time in that terminal. She spent an hour running around, looking at people, pointing to all of the other children in the airport. There were even a few dogs for her to get excited about.
Our flight out of JFK left about 1am. Clarissa did amazingly well. She only cried a few times, and not for very long. She did enjoy some snacks and watched a movie. She slept several hours (on me of course, who needs a carseat?!). She refused her pacifier but didn’t seem to have any problems with her ears.
In Seoul, we had to go through immigration and customs. We didn’t have a long time and were getting nervous that we would miss our flight. The line was really long. Again, someone saw Clarissa and opened up a new line just for us. God really gave us favor as we traveled with a toddler!
Clarissa had a great time running around the terminal in Seoul. She didn’t quite understand that the moving sidewalks only went in one direction. She would get bored halfway and turn around to go the other way. So I would pick her up, as she kicked and screamed, and carry her the rest of the way and then we would get on the other one to go the opposite direction. Thankfully everyone thought she was cute and didn’t seem irritated about the noise.
Clarissa was fussy on the last flight. She was probably sick of being confined to a carseat. But once we landed, she was excited. We met Tim’s sponsor and his supervisor at the airport. They brought us to our hotel.
I have to admit that I was feeling a little overwhelmed when we got to the hotel room. I was definitely exhausted after 30 hours of travel. The room was a little disappointing. Before we had Clarissa, this set up would have been great. It took me a while to figure it out, but after listening to some worship music and organizing, I felt much better.
The view from outside our hotel window
Tim and I decided to nap with Clarissa. We figured that we would nap for a bit, then go out to lunch. We were surprised when Tim’s alarm went off at 8pm and we were still asleep!
The view from our window at night
The jet lag hasn’t been awful. It has definitely been the hardest on Clarissa. But she has napped once or twice a day and is still sleeping about 6-8 hours at night. She is getting up for the day between 3:30-5am right now, which is way different than at home. Usually she gets up between 8:30-10! So we’ll see what our schedule becomes later.
Because we were up so early, we went for a walk and had breakfast. It was neat to see things early before they got busy. We tried a few new things for breakfast. We had some kimbap (the cooked Korean version of sushi) and tried some drinking yogurt.
Tim went in to work on Friday for in-processing. Clarissa and I napped twice. We also spent some time running in the hallway, looking out the window, and playing with water in the bathroom.
On Friday evening, Tim’s sponsor took us on a walking tour of the area. Our hotel is in Daegu City Center, so we really are in an excellent location. We saw several stores and the subway. We bought cases for our new phones. They are awesome at putting screen protectors on phones. They use steam and some tools. Perfection. No bubbles or anything. We had dolsot bibimbap for dinner.
Tim’s sponsor really is a blessing. I feel like they are a good fit for each other. Their personalities really gel and they have a lot in common. I think they will enjoy working together. The funny thing is that his name is Shannon. So we could both end up having a best friend named Shannon!
Saturday, we took the subway to visit Home Plus, which reminds me of Walmart. We got to explore a bit on our own. We look out of place with a stroller. I have only seen one other mom with a stroller in Korea. Most moms wear their babies in a carrier. I think we need to invest in a good carrier because this area isn’t really stroller friendly. The elevators are difficult to find and there are stairs everywhere.
People love to look at Clarissa. I expected that. She is a beautiful baby. Her blue eyes and light brown hair are definitely not normal here. Everyone “oohs” and “aws” over her. What I wasn’t prepared for, was that people would want to touch her. The smile at her in her stroller and then start stroking her hair or her hand.
We should have researched the banking situation before we got here. I like Discover for banking and credit card because of the interest rates and rewards. They don’t really take Discover here so getting cash from an ATM has not been possible. Most places want cash. But the bank they want us to use for our housing allowance will be great once the debit cards arrive. In the meantime, we found some creative solutions.
I had wanted to start checking out churches this morning but Clarissa is coughing so I don’t think they would let her stay in a nursery. Her nap times have been anywhere from 9am-1pm so that really doesn’t help either. Hopefully next week we will be in a better groove for that.
We are going to hang out with Tim’s sponsor again this afternoon and also get more permanent subway cards. Hopefully we will also start the apartment hunting process in the next week or so. I will go to base tomorrow to get my ID. I have to attend a spouse orientation on Wednesday.
Ways you can be praying for us
Hopefully we can meet with the realtor soon. Shannon’s wife is friends with the realtor and she said that there wasn’t anything available right now. That’s what she said when they were apartment hunting a few months ago and they did find something eventually. I am hoping that, like everything else, things will move quickly once people see Clarissa.
We have been to South Korea before, but never to Daegu. So this area is new to us. We don’t know where everything is yet to know which area we would like to live in. So you can pray for God to open up the right place for us to live. I would love to have good neighbors to be friends with as well.
I never thought I would say this, but eating out does get old. First world problems, I know. They emptied out the minibar so we could use it like a refrigerator. But it’s really small and we don’t have a microwave. So we have to eat out a lot. The room is large enough, but it is one room. So today, I am typing from the (very nice) bathroom so that Clarissa will fall asleep in the crib.
Like most bathrooms in Korea, there isn’t a bathtub. The shower is huge and very nice, but Clarissa is terrified of it. We did buy a large container to use as a tub. So hopefully she will get used to that.
I don’t think she completely caught my cold, but she is a little sick. She has been coughing a bit the last couple of days. I can tell she isn’t quite herself.
She does seem to sleep well in her crib. Her schedule is still just out of whack. Fourteen hours is a big difference! Especially for her.
There are six English speaking churches in Daegu and several Korean churches as well. I don’t really know where to start. You can be praying for wisdom in where to look and that we would know when we have the right fit.
Our Norfolk House
Our garage pipe burst again with the last snow storm! It is being handled by the property management company. Two families looked at the house this week, but we still don’t have a renter.