Tuesday, November 28, 2017

I'm a soul man

When we were leaving the States, Blake and I explained that we love our family very much, which is why we had gone back to Utah/Arizona/Washington a whole lot during our first four years together, but we were probably not going to come back for visits and they'd need to come to us. Well, when my dad had a business trip to Seoul, South Korea, and my mom would be coming along, I figured that was close enough and hopped on a plane of my own. Ultimately, we had a whole week together and while it was interspersed with a few meetings or client dinners, we also had a lot of time to explore together on my parents' first to Asia! (Warning: photo heavy post.)
Bongeunsa Temple

Bongeunsa Temple

Bongeunsa Temple

Bongeunsa Temple

Bongeunsa Temple

Jangseung - tall wooden poles carved out of wood and placed outside of Korean villages for protection.

Traditional Korean home

Dad had just asked me where his umbrella was.

Gwanghwamun Plaza - Admiral Yi Sun-sin of the Joseon Dynasty

Gwanghwamun Plaza - King Sejong the Great of Joseon

Gwanghwamun Plaza - King Sejong the Great of Joseon

Gyeongbukgung Palace

Japan does not have a monopoly on great toilets.

Changdeokgung Palace

Love locks at Seoul Tower

Love locks at Seoul Tower

Reppin the Y - This photo was featured one of BYU's Instagram accounts!

Since my first trip to Seoul, I've wanted to rent a hanbok like locals do when touring historical sites, but just hadn't yet for some reason. So when this little tent popped up at Seoul Tower (For only an hour or so! It was gone before we even left!), I happily took advantage of being able to try one for free!

With a guard - The mounds behind us were for beacon fires to warn the city. They did a reenactment of this while we were there.

Overlooking Seoul

Overlooking Seoul

Sprawling for miles in every direction

Rooftops as seen from the cable car coming down from Namsang Park (Seoul Tower)

Found a Clash of Clans maze. We had a few minutes, so I completed it and earned some stickers for Blake. He has played this game, so this was all for him. I sent him video evidence as well.

Han River Cruise

Han River Cruise

Photo spots on the riverfront

My parents did the romantic ones - I did the silly ones.

Because why not?

Visited the burial mounds of some former monarchs with just my dad

I think my favorite activity overall was going with my mom to the Dragon Hill Spa, a Korean bath house or jjimjilbang, with several floors dedicated to relaxation and entertainment.  It's actually not terribly different from an onsen in Japan, but this place was even flashier in some places than the onsen I've visited so far. We both got a full-body massage (more of those should happen in the middle of my vacations) and tried all the saunas and bath options and some traditional snacks. We ended up spending several hours here and missing a dinner that got scheduled while we were out of contact, but oh wow it was so worth it.
Entrance to Dragon Hill Spa

Like I said, a little flashy

Instead of paying inside the spa, you scan your wristband for any extras and pay when you leave.

Cold sauna

Himalayan pink rock salt sauna

Himalayan pink rock salt sauna

Sweet rice drink

Of course, no vacation to Seoul is complete without delicious food.
First meal with my mom (we met up with Dad later) - I have no idea what we ordered, because another customer ended up ordering for us because of the language barrier. Good thing it was tasty!

Taiyaki is a custard-filled fish shaped Japanese treat, but when we found one while shopping in Insadong that was filled with an Oreo, honeycomb, and topped with ice cream, I couldn't pass it up.

Korean barbecue!

Rainbow colored ice cream with a heart-shaped drip guard? Yes, please.

It would have been even better if Blake had been able to join us, but I'm still glad my schedule was flexible enough for this trip! Next time, Mom and Dad, if you could land in Japan instead of flying over it, that would be even better!
Parents worn out in the back of a taxi

1 comment:

Giggles said...

What n amazing trip and opportunity for all of you.