I have good news and bad news... I've decided I can't possibly blog about each individual day as it passes. Days of family vacation will be crammed together starting... now! It's both the good news and the bad news, I hope you like it!
We left off of Saturday the 25th, exhausted from a full day of going, so I'm proud to report that my family rallied again early the next day, Sunday July 26th, to head to Changdeok Palace & Secret Garden. It was home to a few kings during Korea's Joseon Dynasty, and was rife with exactly the traditional kind of Asian architecture and plants that foreigners love to see.
We even got a few glamour shots of Dad and Ricki to show off the incredible detail that goes into painting these palaces.
And the day didn't even end there! After our tour of the beautiful Changdeok Palace and it's even more beautiful Secret Garden, we headed out to do a little tourist shopping, in the shopping district of Insadong. Insadong is home to one particular very busy street lined, on both sides with traditional Korean knickknacks and souvenirs, and busting at the seems with people, vendors hawking their wares, food that you can't even imagine, and random live entertainment.
We shopped for souvenirs for quite some time, and just as we were finally about to call it quits and head home for the day, what should we stumble upon, but a street show with men and women, dancing, singing, and playing traditional Korean musical instruments. I couldn't have created a better ending for the day if I had tried!
We called it quits relatively early on Sunday, because we knew we were going to have a big day on Monday.
Monday was July 25, and another beautiful day. We had such good luck with weather this whole week! We woke up bright and early and hopped on the subway to Suwon, and the Korean Folk Village. There was a lot to see, and we were there nearly until it closed.
A word to the wise however: If you don't like Korean food, really Korean food, pack a lunch. You'll be glad you did.
Day 7: Tuesday, July 28, was a well earned recovery day for the family, without any major plans. One of my mom's bigger goals for the trip, aside from seeing me of course, was to find herself her dream leather jacket, at a very affordable price. We headed to Itaewon, otherwise known as foreigner-central, and the home of many tailors who will hand make anything for you, at a special price of course, because you have a beautiful family. We wandered around for a little while, took in the sights, enjoyed the ability to communicate in English and eat whatever we wanted, and I'm happy to report that Mom found exactly what she wanted at this little shop right here.
Day 8, Thursday, July 30, was one of the biggest days of all. After our relatively restful day on Wednesday we got up at the crack of dawn on Thursday to leave for the greatest place in all of Korea... Everland! It's of course no secret to anyone that I love amusement parks, so I was super pumped about spending the day there.
I won't write too much about Everland, as I already have, but suffice to say it was a rockin' good time. My mom even went on some of the rides. We also fed birds, very exciting!
Day 9, and my family's second Thursday in Seoul, boasts no pictures, as I forgot my camera. It was mostly a stay-home sort of day, and recover from everything that had happened thus far. In the early afternoon my parents went to Yeoido island and 63 building, while Ricki and I lounged and enjoyed not moving for a few hours. We met up with them that night for a breathtaking Han River boat cruise. You should do it if you get the chance.
On Day 10, our original plan has been to visit the Olympic park, but we were rained out and instead spent some time wandering around COEX mall, before meeting a friend from Home, Brian and his wife to have dinner. We ate at a Vietnamese restaurant and it was delicious!
The dinner was lovely, and Mom and Dad made plans to do something with Brian and Jenna while I'll be in school next week, which means I don't have to stress about that day. Excellent!
On our way home from dinner we were shopping a little outside in one of the markets, but it started to rain on us -- I think my Dad may have cleverly orchestrated this with mother nature, to covertly end the days shopping. And so ended Day number 10.