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.


matt and michelle ray said...

Wow! I had no idea you were headed overseas! What an adventure! Thanks for sharing!

Debby said...

Enjoy your time overseas! We did several overseas tours and it was great to learn about so many different people, places and cultures. Looks like your family is ready for some great adventures!

Karen said...

I had no idea you were going to South Korea. How long will you be there? How are you and your kids adjusting? How is your branch/ward? Kevin is in the Air Force for School, so we owe them three years, that's why I'm full of questions. We're excited about the possibilities of the places we could go, but it does also make me wonder how things work out with moving all the time with a family. It looks like you are happy and well. I'd love to hear more about your adventures.

Janelle said...

Looks like a blast! You guys are going to have an amazing adventure these next two years. I am SO tempted to buy tickets to come visit. Maybe we'll just make it happen. Cross your fingers!!

Shelly said...

Nicole, I have no words, other than I am sooooooosooooooosooooo jealous. It looks amazing. I love how you notice all the fun stuff. It looks and reminds me a lot of Japan. And I bet you might be able to get Lukas to try octopus before you leave! lol

Justin and Ashleigh Smith said...

Wow! What an awesome adventure!! Our kids always get LOTS of attention when we are in latin american countries for the same reason but I'm sure in Korea it's even less common! How long will y'all be over there? Good luck learning the language :)

Janice said...

What an adventure! I'm so glad that you get to be there as a family! Oh the memories you are making!

Bri said...

Wow, so exciting. I am hoping to go overseas next too. Sam is rooting for Grad school and we are both dreading WA DC. But we have a few years until we have to worry about it. Until then, we will enjoy reading about your adventures.

Tara said...

finally decided to google your blog to see if you had done anything and you did! :) good job! Pictures are gorgeous, looks so cool and so fun!!! Those hula hoops are ridiculous though....

anywho...MISS YOU!!!!! Be sure to post more! I have to see pics of my best bud (aka Katy ;)

Rob and Christina Watson said...

Korea looks like lots of fun Nic! So I found some baby shoe websites and wanted to share... I know you'll go back to making them sometime! :)