Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Lotte World

(Lrot-tay Whohl-duh)
We're not sure exactly what the Lotte Corporation is. We only know that it seems to own most of Korea. Food, drinks, restaurants, hotels, snacks, toys, even indoor amusement parks brag the Lotte name. And let's not forget the gift shops!! Oh, well. Even if we didn't understand it, it was a good day's entertainment all the same.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Happy Birthday

Jeremy's promotion

another visit to GyeongBokGung

some of my students

Monday, January 02, 2006

Trick Pony concert

Trick Pony paid us a visit here at Camp Red Cloud. They came and did about a two hour show for all the soldiers, DOD employees, and family members. But not only did they do a show, they also signed autographs and stayed for drinks. And they did it all for free!

The concert took place in the gym with a makeshift stage, dance floor, and bleachers. But what was lacking in ambiance, Trick Pony more than made up for with their enthusiasm and energy. Although the "crowd" was quite small, they played as though playing to a sold-out stadium. They sang and danced and traded hats with the audience all night.

Then, after performing their hearts out for us, they joined us at our post club, Mitchell's, to sign autographs and have a few drinks. They were warm and down to earth and just genuinely good people. And they weren't even trying to make money from us. The show, the pictures, the autographs...they were all provided to us at no charge and with the sincerest of "thanks for your service" from the band.

While, admittedly, I'm not much of a Trick Pony fan, I have tremendous respect for this band. They not only took time away from touring and making a gazillion dollars to pay their respects to the military, they put on one of the best shows I have ever seen.

Buddhist temple

There is a Buddhist
temple on Jeju-do that is one of the oldest intact temples in Asia. It also contains the largest statue of Buddha in the world.

The temple was pretty amazing. It is a practicing temple and not just a tourist attraction. There were monks praying or whatever it's called in Buddhism. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. The amount of artwork in every single detail of the temple and its grounds was awesome.

The fountain is said to contain magical water that will bless all those who drink it. Inside the temple, you are asked/offered to purchase rice that will be offered to Buddha. We would have liked to have taken more pictures inside, but after snapping this one of the statue, we were asked not to take any more as this is a religious place and not just some attraction. We respected the wishes of the monk...and were later glad that we did. Another visitor to the temple did NOT turn off his camera even though he was politely asked to do so three times until finally, out of desperation, the monk resorted to picking up a book and hitting the tourist until he finally stopped taking pictures!! So much for peace and love!

a little more Jeju-do

more Jeju-do


A couple of months ago, J and I took a trip to the island of Jeju-do. Believe it or not, it's similar to Hawaii as they are both volcanic islands. It was beautiful.

We stayed at the Seogwipo KAL hotel in, of course, Seogwipo, Jeju-do. It was one of the most beautiful hotels we have ever seen. The grounds alone were gorgeous enough that we could have never left the hotel. It was truly a tropical island paradise.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

All I want for Christmas is...hiking gear?!

Be careful what you wish for, they say, and boy are they right!

I was thinking that all I want for Christmas and the new year is to be able to spend time with my husband. Except...

that seems to include hiking!

How bad can it be...right? I mean, I love walking, and I love the outdoors. So we got hiking gear for Christmas. Korea is full of mountains. Big, beautiful mountains. And little teeny, tiny, old, bent-nearly-in-half Korean people climb the mountain every day for fun and exercise. If they can do it, surely I can!

So, we get all dressed up in our hiking clothes and head out. It's a beautiful walk (about one mile) to the trail that leads to the mountain. I'm all toasty and warm in my new clothes. No problem.

Then we get to the trail leading up the mountain. This is where I stop walking. J turns around and says, "yes?" I look at him and say, "that's right; mountains go UP, don't they?!"

I hate UP. And so do my thighs. They didn't like their Christmas present at all. But...we did it. We made it. Well, maybe we didn't go all the way to the top, but we definitely climbed, and I've got the pictures to prove it!!

It's Christmas

So, it's Christmas time again. I had to put up a tree. Maybe it's not as big and grand as the one we have in storage in the states, but it's here.

Oh, yeah...that strange thing in the foreground of the picture? That's Emma: the dog from he...aven. We were't able to go to America for Christmas, but our friends were. See, they have these two beautiful baby twin girls that they wanted to take and show off to all the family and have a big christening ceremony. There was just one problem--

yes, Emma. It was just going to be too much for our friends to travel to Kansas, California, and some other place I can't remember with twin two-month-old babies AND a dog. No problem, says I. We'd LOVE to watch Emma for you while you take your little ones and show them off!

All I can say is, Emma's going home! Emma's going home! In two more days! In two more days! Wecome home, Jackie and Vince. Really!!

Friday, October 14, 2005


Once upon a time, there was a beautiful stream that ran through the center of the town. The stream was very important to its people spiritually and also served as a physical and cultural boundary line. As the town grew, however, more and more space was needed for roads and buildings. And the younger generations didn't find the stream as significant as their elders did. Technology seemed grander than nature. And so slowly, section by section, the stream was turned into road.

Then one day, the people looked around and noticed that the stream was no more. Concrete now stood firmly where their once beloved water flowed freely. And this made the people sad.

But wait, the younger generation said. Our technology made the stream disappear. Now let us put all our inventions to work to rebuild it and make it grand again. And so they did.

This was the grand reopening and rededication of the Cheonggyecheon, or the beloved stream that was lost but rebuilt. It stretches the length of the city and has twenty-two bridges that cross it. It is now a place for all people, young and old, to stroll and dip their feet into the water and to display their crafts. J and I were fortunate enough to be there on this weekend when over a million people came to see the water turned back on.