Sunday, March 15, 2009

Birds Eye View

This Saturday's excursion was going to the Seoul Tower. It was a clear day, but very cold. We thought we better go anyway for the sake of pictures with no fog, smog or clouds.

This guy in the picture below gets lit up at night. I think he's really there to make us wish there was another mode of transportation besides stairs!
(There really was a gondola ride almost all the way to the tower.)

I liked this mossy stone wall as we were making our way to the top.

I had to make Lyle stop for a photo shoot. He's modeling my first completed knitting project!! It's full of mistakes {but was made with love.} He wouldn't know if I skipped a row or lost a stitch anyway. It's all about functionality, not style as far as he's concerned.

Nate (Krista's fiance) told her Seoul is tied for the no. one spot of Largest City in the World along with Mexico city. Here are some pictures to give you an idea as to why....these pictures really don't do justice to the size of this city. I'm showing you less than half of what we saw.

Our apartment is somewhere across the river in the background of the picture below.

We were also fortunate enough to be there for a martial arts performance on the plaza.

And of course we couldn't leave with out the customary "tourists with part of the cast" picture.
I promise some day it will be warm enough here to have a photo of me on this blog without the black coat on.

There was one female kung fu fighter...don't mess with her.

If you want to know how fun it is to chop bamboo I think this guys face tells it all.

Helen Cummings and I took a class about 21/2 years ago on Take won do. (I KNOW that's probably not spelled right, but I'm too lazy to look it up.) Anyhow, we never quite mastered the art like this guy did...but it brought back a few funny memories of two old ladies thinking they could get into shape and be cool looking at the same time. I'm pretty sure we didn't succeed at either one.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

We Love To See The...

Krista and I headed of to the CoEx Mall today and while we were wandering around lost {again} we stumbled onto this Budhist Temple area. The buildings are dated from the mid-1800's, but the site for these temples has existed since 749AD!

There are quite a few pictures here, but we enjoyed seeing the area so much we thought you would too.

There were people worshiping and praying in almost every building, so we didn't go inside.

This is one of the monks (below) walking on the grounds.

The Korean children are so adorable. This little girls father said we could take her picture. She was playing in the bushes, but got very sober looking when we asked her to smile. She waved and smiled later. Typical kid behavior no matter where you live.

People come to these statues and light a candle and leave it there or they drink from these community plastic cups. I believe they thing the water gives them good fortune.

I don't think this Budha is as large as "Our {famous} Butte Lady of the Rockies" but he was big!

We thought this was a cool knarly tree that must have taken years of pruning.

Krista drinking from the fountain... for good luck, or someone's cold. Everyone uses the same cups, and they are well used.

Women lighting candles.

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Monday, March 9, 2009

A Few More Reasons Why We Love Subways!!!

I know I mentioned all the exercise we get walking to and from the subway stations as well as all the stair climbing opportunities they provide, but I failed to mention a few more advantages to ditching the car payments and going on the subs.

There's all those photo opportunities!

Click on the picture below to see this Monk's eye glasses. Definately designer wear, as well as the Fila bag he is using.
Religious and stylish...he almost sounds like a member of that mormon faith I belong to.
Riding the subways is also a great time to show off your fake designer handbags, shoes and clothing. How do we know they are fake you might ask? If you could afford the real deal would you really be riding the subway? We, however have not given up our Jansport backpacks yet, even if they aren't counterfit.

Subways also provide that time for a quick little cat nap or a little reading time while getting to your destination. Korean's sleep alot on the subways. Krista picked up on that activity really quick.

And when your not sleeping you can always practice your model pose.

It's going to be tough leaving life in the fast lane someday and getting used to driving in a car again when we return to the States ...not.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Hwanyeonghamnida (welcome) Krista!

We got our first visitor to Seoul!
{Lyle's brother, Lynn does NOT count since he only had an hour layover and couldn't leave security.}

After about 30 hrs of driving to, and sitting in airports, and flying time Krista finaly arrived!

This is her "fresh" off the plane at the Incheon airport with her dad.

After a semi-good nights sleep on our very firm couch (Koreans do not like soft anything when it comes to home furnishings) She was ready to check out the neighborhood.

Next, we needed to sit and ponder with the rat about cow poop and where to find a bridal gown.

(Those to subjects just don't seem like they should be in the same sentence do they?)

Anyway wedding dresses won. Peace little rat buddy...we are out of here!

We thought our map to the wedding district was good....but we ended up walking in four different directions, because everyone we asked pointed to a different street. (I don't think they really understood us so they probably just wanted to get rid of us :) Things were starting to smell just a bit fishy...

OK, maybe alot fishy! (We were kind of glad we packed our own lunches, but we felt a little guilty eating tuna fish sandwiches.)

This korean lady was busy fixing all kinds of goodies for sale in her little shop. She was nice enough to let us take her picture.

So after walking around aimlessly for about an hour and down yet another narrow market street, this 20something guy stops his car in the middle of the road and asks me if I would mind if he takes Krista's picture?!?! We agreed (keeping in mind we had been outside in a steady drizzle of rain with no umbrella for quite some time and looking really swell)! The best part was he worked at a near by hospital, knew the area and spoke decent English. Yea! He understands us!!

I asked him where the wedding dress shops were, and the next thing we know he is clearing off the seats of his car and telling us to get in and he will take us there. I thought "Hooray!" and Krista gave me that "are you kidding me Mom?" look.

Aparently she had just watched some scary movie about a girl being kidnapped while in Paris.

Me, being forever practical thought he seems nice, clean, well educated (yea I know, so was Ted Bundy), and its two against one. Not to mention the fact that we are wet and desperate, besides I know its close by...about a mile and 5 minutes later we were finaly there. All for the meager cost of one more picture!
So many shops, so little time...

Each shop has their own seamstresses and dress designers, and they all tell you they can make any dress you want in about four weeks. We should have done our homework and ripped pages from brides magazines before coming.

These are all pictures of dresses we didn't buy.
It was alot of fun. Krista wore out before I did. But then I was the one sitting on the couch, and she was the one that had to keep changing dresses and was still feeling the jet lag.

We went back to the first shop we ever went into (of course) and ordered her dress from there. Custom made to fit her in 20 days. The lace on the dress we chose is from France and its really beautiful, but you will have to wait until June 20th to see it!

Morals of the story:

Fish can sit out on a wooden table all day and still be considered "fresh".

Don't drive with strangers in any country other than Korea.

Being the "baby" of the family definately has some advantages!
{Sorry Kacey and Lisa, you had the birth order disadvantage.}