This morning we woke up bright and early with a renewed energy. We ended up sleeping away the entire afternoon yesterday, so by today we were feeling much more rested.
We had the plan to take the city bus tour around Seoul today and stop along some neat places along the way. It was a beautiful morning, overcast skies with a cool breeze coming in. We left the hotel and headed toward Insadong, which is a neat part of town with lots of art, restaurants and things for sale. We were planning to catch the bus from there, but decided to look around a bit first. Well, it's a good thing we didn't hop right on the bus, because a girl stopped us while we were there and said she was our tour guide from Holt for the city tour. What? We were told that it was scheduled for Tuesday and here today this girl had gone to our hotel and then walked around the city looking for us! Talk about mis-communication! Well, we of course were flexible and decided to join her and leave Insadong for another day. Let another adventure begin!
Insadong in the morning
A street vendor trying to give Randy and the boys his sales pitch
We headed to Gyeongbukgung Palace first and of course it was beautiful.
The pictures do not do it justice- it was really neat and full of rich Korean culture and history. The place is huge and since the weather had changed while we were there, we were ready to move on. Oh yes- the weather! Since it had poured yesterday and was cloudy this morning, I fully expected more rain today, but instead we walked around in super sticky, humid heat! We were all pretty sweaty after only a few minutes!
Us with our guide JongGu
Jensen's becoming quite the photographer!
After the palace, our guide asked us where we wanted to go and I told her we wanted to shop at Namdaenum market because I heard it was huge and full of good deals! Well, let's just say that after a few minutes there, the boys were ready to get out and go back home! It was huge and very very crowded and full of unfamiliar smells. Not to mention it was hot and sticky. I at least managed to buy a beautiful Hanbok for Elliana and a few pairs of cute cheap shoes for her before we left. Nathan got a cool Korean soccer jersey. Score!
We survived a scary taxi ride back to Insadong and found our way into a traditional Korean restaurant where we ordered anything that wasn't seafood-lol. It was the boys' first experience trying Bulgolgi, Bibimbop, Japchae, and Kimchi and I was proud of them for trying everything that was offered to them. Austin even tried seaweed. In the end, the Bulgolgi (beef) was the favorite and I am pretty sure they won't be begging for Korean food anytime soon!
Hmmm, how do you use these things?
After lunch, we left our guide and walked through the vendors of Insadong towards the hotel. We were all too hot and sweaty and tired to do anything else! The boys found a few little souveniers, but I'll let them show you those when we get home. We got in the pool for a little while, came back to the room and just crashed for several hours. Sorry for the post being a little behind- but sleep came first! Just like last night (when we ordered pizza) we were way too tired to go out to try and find something for dinner, so Randy ventured out on his own with not too much luck. Because it was Sunday after 8pm, everything seems to be closed. He came back with a loaf of bread, vanilla ice cream, and pineapple soda. yum.
I think we are going to need to figure out a better plan for dinner the rest of the week!
Plus, the boys are still sleeping so they never even ate that very nutritious "dinner" anyway.
Good thing there is a decent breakfast buffet here!
So, now it is 10:30PM on Sunday here in Seoul and I can hardly believe that in 12 hours we will be seeing our little girl! I wrapped all the gifts to take to the foster family and donations for Holt-Korea today, and am making sure all the camera batteries are fully charged. What a day today has been, but what a wonderful day tomorrow promises as well! I promise I won't wait so long to post tomorrow- I know you are anxious to see the pictures from our first meeting!
Speaking of pictures, I'll leave you with a few from our day today. Remember if you want to see more, click on the image and it will take you to the album labeled Korea!
More from the palace
Because we just couldn't resist
The boys with a few of their finds...
Goodnight from the other side of the world!