South Korea

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Our family escaped the island for a few days over the 4th of July weekend to go visit some good friends of ours in South Korea. We've been trying to meet up with them for an entire year, and we finally made it happen! They were super wonderful hosts and our daughter very literally tried to trade us in and adopt them as her new parents. She cried at the airport, "Avery wants to stay in 'rea with Danielle and Tyla!" and then cried some more on the airplane, "I forgot to say 'love you' to Danielle!" I guess you could say it was a good trip!

Dinner our first night. Avery is definitely ready for bed!

On the 4th, we stuck around our friends' town of Pyeongtaek -- ate ice cream, played on the park, chatted, watched fireworks, and relaxed. It was perfect! They also took us up a small mountain nearby to visit a beautiful, serene temple. Amazing!

 Avery seriously loves Danielle, to the extent that she declared that the baby they are expecting this winter is her sibling.

Avery also made a new friend that day, who she still talks about and keeps requesting, "please can she move to Japan?". Being a military kid is tough.

On the 5th, we hopped a bus into Seoul for some exploring and some more eating.
 This is Avery eating a bowl of onions. She also ate a little bit of rice, but she primarily ate handfuls of green onions for lunch. Could have been worse.

It was my first time eating Korean BBQ. They cook the meat for you on a little grill in the table, and bring out a bunch of sides. You pay for the kind of meat you want and the amount, and then the sides are just whatever specialty that restaurant does, and unlimited. Sides ranged from onions to kimchi to garlic and glass noodles, plus different chili sauces. Once the meat is done, you put the meat and whatever toppings you prefer onto a lettuce leaf, roll it all up and eat it. Delicious!!

In Seoul, we spent a few hours at the Children's Grand Park. It was a huge, gorgeous park in the middle of the city, somewhat similar to Central Park in NYC or Ueno Park in Tokyo. There is a (free) zoo, an amusement park, an interactive children' museum, botanical gardens, walking trails, icecream and coffee shops, and plenty of playgrounds. The heat and humidity cut our stay a little short, but you could easily spend all day there.

After a full morning of fun in Seoul, we went back to our hotel for a bit to relax and get out of the heat. 

Then it was on to a baseball game. Things were going great at first. Avery loved the subway. She loved the stadium. She loved the clapping (though she clearly had no idea why she was doing it). She loved the random food everyone around her shared with her. It was all going great until she folded herself up into her chair and got stuck. And then three days of late bedtimes and no naps caught up with her and we had to leave early. But it was great fun while it lasted!

All in all, super fun trip!! It is always fun seeing a new place and getting off island for awhile, but mostly it was so wonderful to catch up with good friends and spend some quality time together as a family. Thanks, Korea! And expecially thanks to Danielle and "dat boy!" Miss you already!

Golden Week 2015

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

April 29th through May 5th is known as "Golden Week" in Japan, sort of a national spring break. We took our own Golden Week this year, spending several nights on the northern side of the island at Okuma and doing some exploring and relaxing locally. The "locally" part was a bit against our will, but I know no one feels sorry for us. "Locally" is still pretty much paradise, so I'll keep the whining to myself!

We thought that our fish-obsessed toddler would adore the glass-bottom boat ride over the coral reef at Okuma. We were very wrong. She waited until about two minutes before the ride was over to decide to have fun, at which point she declared that she saw a cuttlefish (what kind of 2 year old even knows what that is?) and started enjoying the ride and "super lotsa fishies!"

We got to spend our time at Okuma with our dear friends who were counting down their last few days on island. Avery adores their daughter, so she was on cloud nine the whole time we were there (and on dry land).

You'll notice that there are no pictures of my child in or near the gorgeous, warm, serene ocean because she decided to veto the sea for the weekend and pout that there was no swimming pool. 

We also stopped by the butterfly gardens, which was worth it more for the beautiful ocean views and landscaping than for the bugs. But then I don't like moths, no matter how pretty they look, and especially not if they want to touch me.

Avery asks to go to the aquarium literally every single day. 
As in: every single day. All of them. Usually two, three, or a thousand times. Often through tears.
It's a little over an hour away, so you can imagine that she doesn't hear "yes" as often as she would like. But since it was our golden week we agreed and we had so much fun, just like we always do, which only proves that I should listen to Avery more often.

This is how Avery knows what cuttlefish are. We pretty much live here.

Our little monkey also started her soccer class, thank goodness. I am running out of ways to help this kid get out her energy (you know, productively and without drawing on the couch). She has decided she doesn't like toys, and all she wants to do is play sports (especially tennis, soccer, and gymnastics), dance wildly (with me, not alone, and to only one specific song), swim (in swimming pools only), and climb all over every park on this island. This would be awesome if I had the energy of a 2-year old, but I don't, so it is a blessing to have some structured "run around like a wild animal" time in our lives.

Also, she looks ADORABLE.

After soccer we made a day of it at the beach.

 She wanted those buckets filled with water, but she wasn't willing to go within 10 feet of the shoreline, so I bribed her and made her smile for a picture. This is her "I'm humoring you but not happy about it" smile.

This one is better. She loves hermit crabs!


Some of our golden week plans got interrupted by some unexpected work happenings, so we had to cancel our hotel reservations and plans on Ie Island and stick closer to home for the rest of the week so Paul could run into the squadron as needed. It wasn't what we had in mind, but we still got to relax and go on lots of walks up the river trail by our house, go out to eat, and spend some fun quality time together.

 Ie Island or not, clearly there is nothing to complain about.


© Sand, sunshine, and sushi All rights reserved . Design by Blog Milk Powered by Blogger