Friday, September 24, 2010

Sightseeing

Chusok break is winding down.  We've been making the most of our week off of work and school.  The weather has finally cleared up.   The rain and heat and humidity are GONE.  Sunny, clear skies, cool mornings and evenings and warm days have set in.  Finally!  I saw on the weather news that we've had almost 4x the normal amount of rain - recording setting. 

So, the break in the weather has made for wonderful sight seeing.  We celebrated two special occasions this week: my birthday and Anna's adoption day.  Make that three special occasions; our new couch and chair arrived after a 3 week set of delays.  Halleluia! 

Mexican food makes a felix cumpleanos
For my birthday we headed back to Itaewon, the Global Village area with a plethora of shops and ethnic eateries.  I have been hankering good Mexican food, and I knew I could find it there.   What an eclectic place.  We met Mr. Jokeman, a tailor who accosted Brent on the street insisting he could custom make him a suit and tell jokes "for free."  We've got his card to prove it.  (Tailored suits ARE a big thing here, and Itaewon is a good place to go since you have a better chance of finding an English speaking taylor.)  We also had a street artist create a banner with our last name on it with amazing artwork!  Can't wait to frame it and put it up in the apartment.  For lunch we walked Restaurant Row and found Amigos at the very end.  This was just what the doctor ordered - great Mexican food.  I had a burrito and a taco, rice and beans.  The mango margarita was on the house as a birthday present.  Cool.  Later I was told the Mexican embassy orders from them as it is the closest to home cookin' they can get.  After a few more purchases, we headed back home.

Drum and Dance show at Korean Folk Village
Dressed as guards for the Governor's Palace
 For Anna's birthday we made our way to the Korean Folk Village.  I got directions through a phone service here for foreigners, learning which buses would take us the 35 minutes to the Village.  It is sort of a Heritage Hill crossed with a Bay Beach Amusement park attached.  The grounds are huge, housing all kinds of authentic buildings, a few different museums, and various areas for entertainment.  Workers and artisans dress in the traditional hanbok, so the kids wore theirs, too!  (A lot of heads turned seeing two little blond headed kids in hanbok!)  While there, we saw a horsemanship show, a tightwire act, a concert of traditional Korean music, awesome drumming and dancing in bright costumes, and a traditional wedding recreation.  The kids both got to ride a horse led by one of the professional riders; a highlight of their day.  For supper we ate at the "foodcourt," an outdoor area where you order and pay for your food at a central ticket booth then take the tickets to the booths to pick up your order.  We had a marvelous noodle soup, pork kabobs, rice, kimchi, and water.  (By the way, most all places expect you to drink water with your meals, not milk, juice, pop, or alcohol.)  At the amusement area we took a relaxing trip on a little boat ride, rode a small rollercoaster (which the kids loved) among other things.  The nailbiting part of the day was when I lost my Flip for about 10 minutes until we retraced our steps twice and found it.

Enjoying a ride down the river at Korean Folk Village
Today our new couch and chair (cushy and reclining) arrived.  Wonderful!  The couch and chair provided would only seat three of the four of us and not very comfortable (too HARD).  So, now all that is left is a bit larger TV and we'll be set.  Don't expect anymore fabulous adventures for awhile - we'll be too busy lounging around as couch potatoes!

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