A family of 5, Super Mom, USMC Dad, & three boys ages 5, 7, & 9. This is glimpse into the daily life of raising 3 American boys while living in Bangkok, Thailand.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

South Korea April 2014


     We took our first International trip in April. My husbands office was having a Regional Training Event at Dragon Hill Lodge in Seoul, Korea and the boys and I decided to join.  First impressions of Korea was clean and comfortable.   The weather was amazing, not hot and sweaty like it is here in Bangkok.  We happily put on our sweaters to go on our sight-seeing adventures.  While the husbands were doing their work stuff, the spouses and children got to go out and explore Seoul.

DAY 1:  Lotte World

Lotte World is an indoor/outdoor amusement park.  The kids had a wonderful time and there was hardly any wait for any of the attractions.  In addition to typical roller coaster and kid rides, there was also a full-size ice skating rink and a section that had various animals (insects, some fish, bunnies, etc.).
Justice - Down below is the ice skating rink. 

This is part of the group that we went to Lotte World with.  

Arcadian and crazy faced Brosnan waiting in line for a ride.

Look MA, we found a bunny!!! Perfect timing since Easter was just a few days away. 

Brosnan as a turtle

Arcadian as a turtle... Their older brother Justice didn't want to participate in the Turtle photos.

The boys hanging out in a play area. 

The 3 cuties leaving the indoor part and heading towards the outside section. 


Brosnan about to drive a car... not a real one...obviously

Supposedly this building will be the tallest in Korea once finished. 

I am pretty sure this is the longest escalator EVER. It went underground to a ride that reminded me of "It's a small world" in Disney.

This is the ride the escalator went down to.  Justice was freaked out for some weird reason.  He said the ride was "creepy"

Me with 3 of the cutest kids ever. 

View of Lotte World

The next few pictures I took out a bus window.  Just some glimpses of the city.

Gentle Lady Cupcake???

Brosnan and Jack, my friends kid, on the bus to one of our adventures.

Korean Street

DAY 3: Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Tour 
   For those of you who are unfamiliar with S. Korea, as I was before I found out I was going there...  There is an area between the North and South called the DMZ.   We took a tour that brought us to the edge of the DMZ and went down some tunnels that S. Korea found.  The tunnels were built by the North Koreans so that they could invade S. Korea.  It was a very interesting drive to the DMZ.
 There are MANY of these buildings along the side of the road, several running along the river.  They all have armed military, protecting the border between the North and South.
 The first stop on our DMZ tour was to where the Freedom Train now rests.  
 The ribbons signify visitors (I believe). You can purchase a ribbon to hang on the fence.

The train

Map of DMZ separating N & S. Korea. 

Me and cutie Arcadian

Second stop on the tour was the DMZ tunnels.  Before going into the tunnels we went into a museum.  Arcadian liked their plastic guns. 

If you look behind the 4 of us you will see a yellow line on the ground.  If you take a photo while standing behind that line the S. Korean military will take your camera from you.  Not exactly sure what they don't want you taking photos of, all we could see was fields of nothing. 

I like it when they participate for photos.

Our last stop on our DMZ tour was at a train station.  It is the only train station that links the North and the South, however, there are no trains that head north.  This is a multi-million dollar train station that was built for "when" reunification occurs.  We heard a lot about reunification which was confusing because I don't believe that reunification is going to be happening any time soon.....

No photos were allowed in the tunnels.   The kids thought that the tunnels were the funnest part.  I thought that they were dark, damp, and creepy.  We had to wear hard hats so that we didn't bump our head.  Which I was thankful for since I did end up bumping my head.  I was a bit nervous going down after reading the signs that listed all of the types of medical issues that people were prohibited from entering the tunnels if they had.  Diabetes was one of those.  I figured no big deal, no-one will know if we cover up Brosnan's pump.  Then as I was looking around I realized that we had to go through a metal detector...hmmm... but it was buzzing for pretty much all the people so we went anyways.   The walk down was very steep and very long.  So the whole time I kept thinking to myself why don't they want a diabetic going down here....hmmmm.... if something happens, there is only 1 way out.  However we made it with no problems.  

There is an extended tour that we were not able to go on because all kids needed to be 11 or older.  Apparently it goes to the actual border between the north and south.  You get to go in a conference room where you can literally stand in North Korea and South Korea at the same time.  

Just some photos of the city.  I thought this was interesting. 

Korean War museum (I believe)

We went to dinner with some friends who know a guy who had a restaurant in Seoul...We went there for dinner one night it was a bar/restaurant.  This photo is probably funnier to those of us that were there, but Brosnan joined a couple other people that were playing darts. They guys were very patient with him and it was quite amusing to watch him playing darts at a bar. 

The other kids were playing Foosball 

Leaving Dragon Hill Lodge, headed to airport and then onto Beijing, China

What else about Korea???  We stayed at Dragon Hill Lodge at Yongsan Military base.  It was NICE to be surrounded by so many Americans.  I wish I had more time to shop at the Commissary and PX.  We also went to a Korean baseball game.  It was pretty fun.  I think I didn't bring our DSLR camera that night so those photos aren't included here.   Oh yea, the boys and I also went to a traditional folk village.  Probably would have been a lot funner if my kids weren't acting like kids so much.  I honestly don't remember to much about that day other than by the time my friend and I returned to the hotel I was finished being a parent for the day.  I turned over parenting duties to their dad.   

All-in-All a good first few days to our first international vacation!