Friday, April 20, 2012

The Beginning of Our Adventures in South Korea

Well, we made it safely to South Korea and are happily getting settled into our new home. We live on the US Naval base in the beautiful city of Chinhae, known for having quite possibly the largest concentration of cherry blossoms in the world. We got here the very last day of the national cherry blossom festival and it was gorgeous. Our duplex on base is located on Cherry Blossom Lane. Needless to say it was great to walk outside for the first week or so of us arriving. Then all the blossoms fell off and it looked like it was "snowing" for a few days. The kids loved playing in the piles of white petals and throwing them up in the air over and over again. Now they are all gone and the trees are bright green. So weird how quickly things change.
Luke took the pic above.
All the Korean parks here have exercise equipment for the kids to play on. Pretty cool. They also have these awesome plant sculptures everywhere. The kids love them....okay, who am I kidding, I LOVE them! ;)
One thing about traveling across the world is that jet lag lasts a long time. We still are jetlagged. Meaning we go to bed most nights by 8pm and wake up at 4 am or 5am. Its gotten better. Last night we went to bed around 9:30pm and didn't wake up this morning until 5am (Matt) and 7am(me and kids, YIPPIE!!!). ;) So one day last week, before Matt started work, he said we should go see the sunrise at the top of the hill on base. Okay! So off we went walking at 5:45am with 3 kids in tow. It was beautiful and well worth it.
Since we don't have our car yet we have to walk everywhere. My calves hurt like the dickens for the first week after arriving. lol. While up on the top of the hill on base watching the sunrise and overlooking all of Chinhae, Matt says, "look kids, we're going to walk over to the top of the Chinhae tower waaaaaaaay over there on that FAAAAAAR away hill". Lukas (okay, me too) was like NO WAY dad! that's too far!!! Well, it really wasn't that far. Chinhae is a small town. It was only like a mile and a half or 2 miles to get there. We did it no problem. They had animal plant sculptures, beautiful views, and Korean famous giant hula hoops! SO FUN but painful. I have HUGE bruises on my hips to prove it. :/
Admiral Yi invented the turtle boat that saved Korea from Japanese invasion. This monument is located in a circle just around the corner from base.
Luke took the pic below of the turtle boat.The oldest post office in Chinhae.
Everyone stops to touch and adore our blonde hair, blue eyed, white children.
Good think I decided early on not to care about it because there is no stopping a complete Korean stranger from touching your baby's face, hands, hair and giving them food. ;)

Luke took the pic below.

Look at these grandma's go! I don't know how they weren't dying from pain.
This is how they exercise for hours. Amazing!

The Chinhae tower is only 8 stories high but it is located on a hill making it the highest building in all of Chinhae. We had to take a crazy small monorail up the hill. They jam pack you all in like sardines. I thought, there is no way this would fly in the US. However, it worked and we all lived. ;)

The Korean market is quite something. Before we moved to Korea we watched a youtube video of someone visiting Korea. In it they zoomed in on someone's was moving. Kind of look like tiny octopus legs going wild. And there was a whole pig roasting on a pit. Well, I guess that didn't sit well with Luke because every time we asked him if he was excited to move to Korea he emphatically would say "NO! becuase they have octopus and pig there!". haha. SO we were walking through the market and lo and behold there was octopus for sale! Luckily dead but boy did Luke not like it! Oh and as a side note. The market is very stinky. Luke couldn't help but plug his nose the whole time. Heck, I had a hard time not~! haha.
Luke took the next 3 pics while I was in the glasses store. I love this pic below. Perfect summation of Korean transportation - nothing like the US. Note the man on the motorcyle: he's driving on the sidewalk, has no helmet, and is smoking in the process! haha.