Monday, October 25, 2010

Korea, October 14-17, 2010

내가 만약 한국 Gyongbokgung, 우리의 호텔, 서울 서머셋 팰리스, 약 여행에 대해 가야 우리의 긴 여행에 대해 공유했습니다.

I drafted this before I realized I could not sign in to post from Korea. This is the first in a series of retrospective posts about our trip.

It is hard to believe we have been here less than 48 hours. This is my sixth trip to Korea. It is my husband's third visit, Faith's second, and the younger girls' first return visit since they were babies. Since this was a planned trip, I chose my favorite itinerary: leave on Thursday, arrive on Friday, and spend the weekend recuperating so we've recovered our wits by Monday morning.  At the last minute we decided to haul Joy's car seat to use on the plane, instead of the FAA-approved 5-point restraint CARES harness we had planned to use. The seat was worth the hassle for the extra support it provided for the long flights.

We left home Thursday October 14 and arrived at 4:30 AM Saturday the 16th thanks to the International Date Line and a delay in Narita due to mechanical problems with the plane. Joy used the unexpected layover to stretch out for a nap.

We're staying at the Somerset Palace in Insadong, a lovely hotel with nice amenities for families. (I'll make a separate post about the hotel for my adoption friends.)

The Somerset Palace, Seoul

By Sunday, we'd recovered enough to want to get out and do something. We chose Gyeongbokgung, the reconstructed royal palace across the street from our hotel--although in Seoul, "across the street" means a 15 minute walk and crossing 10 lanes of traffic. Inside the gates, modern Seoul vanishes--with the exception of tourists.

For years, the English language guided tours of Gyeongbokgung have been at 1:00 PM. My first trip, my mom and I arrived at 9:00 AM and could not return later. Afterward, browsing the English titles in the Foreign Language section in the Main (or Jongno) branch of Kyobo Books, I discovered an inexpensive series of photo essay books, Korean Ancient Palaces, by Youl Hwa Dang Publishing Co., in which Kyongbokkung Palace (same place, alternate spelling) is Volume One. The book is more detailed than the English language tour (which I caught the next trip) and at 4,000-6,000 won per paperback title, is easy to bring home.

On my second trip, my husband and I were standing at this spot in Gyongbokgung when we named Hope.

Six years later, she saw the place she's always heard about at the beginning of her story.

As the trip progressed, it became clear that the girls are enamoured with koi.

They spent half an hour following a school of fish around this reservoir.

Grandma and the girls heading back toward the Somerset at the end of our second day in Korea.


Tracy said...

I can't wait to read the rest of the posts!!! Looks like the first full day was wonderful.

John and Maura said...

Hi Carrie! Thanks for sharing your blog! I'm excited to see more about your travel to Korea. I l love seeing the pics! It's funny how we haven't been there as much as you guys but the place gets in you and you miss it. Can't wait to read more! ~Maura

(Hope's dress is adorable!)

amy's family said...

Did you arrived in safety?
When we'll made blog , you can see my family poto.
Blog address spend to E-mail.
We can study English hard from now on, so taking a lot.
We miss your familly.
again visit your blog. bye~

amy's family said...

I made blog.
I hope you visit my blog.