Saturday, June 14, 2008

Day 3 - Day with Mrs. G and Forum Friends

Today we spent most of the day with the mother of a friend of ours. We know Migum from Charlotte and were thrilled that she had encouraged us to contact her mom once in Seoul. Mrs. G took us to a palace, out to eat, and showed us about Seoul. We learned more about Korea today than we ever had! There is definitely something to be said for spending some time with a local!

First we went to Gyeongbokgung Palace. It was beautiful! The paintings and scultpures/statues were fantastic. The National Folk Museum is also located here and we visited there too. Mrs. G helped us obtain an English guide to show us around so he could explain everything to us. It was really interesting to learn about Korean history, everyday life, and art. We got to see how the King and Queen lived in the palace although it was cut short by the temper tantrum of a certain 3 year old (This is the first he's had since leaving San Diego so we certainly cannot complain! Jack is a trooper!). Maybe we'll be able to go back and look around some more another day. Once in the car, he started calming down. I think the heat and just being outside so much was getting to him. Mrs. G took us to a wonderful authentic Korean restaurant. We ate octopus, small fish, anchovies, bulgogi, jap-chae, and other tasty dishes I can't name. I tried everything I could, but some of the food smelled so spicy I knew I couldn't tolerate it. Some of the food didn't seem spicy, but the spice built and within minutes I felt my mouth on fire! We learned that you eat rice with a spoon and mixing bulgogi, kimchi, and rice is wonderful (well, I didn't do that for the spicy kimchi!). It was really neat to eat in an old Korean house at a low table and have an authentic Korean meal.

Afterwards, she took us to Namdaemun market and we got to experience that. It was quite crowed with shoppers and the vendors with their goods. I am amazed at how many people are in Seoul, and this market was just a small portion! The market is divided up into sections and each section sells certain goods. All of the kids stuff is in one area, household goods in another, and so on. It was better than any department store in the US!

We also met today, two families I met on an online adoption forum. They both received their travel calls this week and are staying at the same hotel. One family already had plans, but we met the other couple (Christa and Steve) for dinner and we walked around Insadong. It was really fun to meet them in person and we all shared in one another's excitement of the children that would soon be joining our families. Christa and I talked and talked this evening and we are going to go to Itaewon tomorrow together. It is really neat to have another family here that is going through the same thing as us. We didn't get to experience that before so I am glad we are this time around!

Various pictures around the palace. It's amazing to me that something this beautiful and serene is located in the middle of a very busy city!


Jennifer Lundstrum said...

After reading all the wonderful places and adventures I feel like having a tantrum too... :) Jack sounds like he is doing great! Just handling the plane right alone is an accomplishment!

Emily says "Palace pictures please, when you wake up!"

Enjoy your day (night??)

Jennifer Lundstrum said...

I must be tired too....

Above should say "Just handling the long plane ride is an accomplishment!"

I'll drink my coffee first next time I post! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing your excitement, experiences and sights with us all!
We pray that the remainder of the trip goes as smoothly.
Dad & Mom

Anonymous said...

Cool palace pictures!


Hunca Munca said...

Ah, we had such a great day at this palace and Folk Museum when we were there. Great memories. Thanks for the pictures. :-)