*Whew* We have had a whirlwind over the last couple weeks. We have been so busy! The weekend of the 15th, Joshua and I traveled to Seoul to visit my little brother Bradley who is stationed up there. It was nice to see him! We did some sightseeing while we were there. We went to Lotte World (a theme park kinda like Disney World), Seoul Tower (their "tower" like Eiffel Tower, Sears Tower, etc), Teddy Bear Museum, and E-Mart/shopping (which is always my favorite!!). The first thing we did when we arrived was go to E-mart. E-mart is like a Korean version of Walmart. The major difference is the look. Walmart looks more modern and up to date. Also, Walmart products (believe it or not) also seem better quality than some of the items at E-Mart but the prices were great.
The next day, we went to Seoul Tower. The Teddy Bear Museum is located inside the tower, so we went there first and then went up the tower (which is an $8/person ride JUST to go up the elevator to the top...geeze!) and looked out the observatory. It was very cool. They had each section of window labled to say what location it was aiming towards. The closest the windows came to Texas was Miami. They also had Seattle, D.C and New York. It was neat! Outside the tower, there is The Lock Trees. It's essentially a bunch of wire that people hang locks on. Usually it's a thing for couples to do. (The guys over here have no shame in being all lovey dovey!) You buy a lock (or bring one), write things on it (Lovey dovey things, of course ;)), then lock it to the wires. Once they are locked on, you throw the keys over the ledge (as to say you will always love that boy/girl). Joshua and I definitely did one...of course! But then I forgot to throw the keys! Eeek! So I decided that I would just throw them in random places that we visit from now on (I have three keys for the lock). I tossed one at Lotte World so now I have two more that I can toss.
The next day in Seoul, we went to Lotte World. It as fun but DEFINITELY a knock off of Disney World. But really, what in Korea ISN'T a knock off?? Nothing. It was neat though. It is supposed to be the largest indoor theme park in the world. They also have an outside theme park but it was bitterly cold this winter in Seoul so it was closed off until warmer weather (not that any normal human being would have ridden rides in such cold weather anyways!). It was three stories. We only rode one or two of the roller coasters since I tend to get car sick/motion sickness. We went on a trolley ride around the park to see everything and we also went on a "hot air balloon ride". The hot air balloon ride was a mechanical air balloon that just took you across the top story of the park so you could see down it. We rode with a Korean mom with two kids. Even though I couldn't understand what they were saying, you could still hear the little kids excited squeals! [Side Note: It's interesting that certain things always stay the same no matter what language barrier. We even passed by a guy would was showing his little girl some game or something and he was speaking Hangul and then said "whoa!" in reference to something the game was doing. How cool that whoa is still the same :)] We then went to Pizza Hut afterwards and grabbed a canadian bacon/pineapple stuffed crust... YUM.
We then came back home and the next day left to go back to Seoul AGAIN! This time for a marriage retreat. We spent three days at a hotel in Seoul (on Bradley's base). Everything was paid for- hotel, meals, childcare (if we had kids), everything. We spent most of the early day/early afternoon in classes then we had the evenings to hang out and go around to different places. The first night we were there, we went bowling with a couple that was there. (They had their little two-year-old with them. He reminds me so much of Carly. I just love it!) Bradley came and joined us to bowl. The next afternoon, we went with the same couple to the aquarium. It was a lot of fun. They had all kinds of crazy animals at the aquarium. Well let me rephrase that: crazy to the Koreans, not crazy to us. They had prairie dogs, gerbils, ground hogs, monkeys, etc. It was interesting to see all the animals that they felt deserved a spot in an aquarium.
The next day was our last day of the retreat so we left that afternoon. All in all, we had a great time. That week went by so fast but it was so nice to have a little vacation from all the stresses of Joshua's work.
We have found an apartment! We should be moving in soon! I am very excited. It's one of the most American apartments we have found. It even has a dryer (which for a Korean apartment, is rare!). As soon as we get moved in, we will be taking pictures....lots of pictures! :)
We send lots of love to you guys! I also promise to come back and update with pictures soon! I am going to start working on my tax refund so as soon as I get done with that, I will update!
Until next time,