My very dear friend, Ji Yon, was getting married on May 10th and I really wanted to be there. Having spent most of the last 10 years in Japan it means that I have missed many weddings of friends and family. This year seems to be a banner year for both of those things and I was going to try to be at a few if I could. So... Touma and I were off on an evening flight to Seoul.
We flew out on Korean Air from Haneda. I have to sing the praises of Korean Air. The flight attendants were wonderful about Touma - one even filled out the majority of our customs forms! And even though the flight was less than two hours, we got dinner! I would recommend them to anyone. :-)
First up, was the wedding. We arrived Thursday evening and the wedding was Friday evening. We spent the day with Ji Yon's good friend Sunny (she was the perfect tour guide!!) who showed us around a bit and made sure we got to the wedding venue in one piece. At a Korean wedding, friends of the bride go and see her and take pictures before the ceremony begins.
|In the midst of taking photos!|
|Checking things out!|
|My handsome date!(Look at the hydrangeas!! Gorgeous!)|
The next day we had a very low-key morning and then headed out to Yongsan station to meet Colleen. Her husband is stationed in Seoul with the military and she's been there a year. Our connection is funny... we've known each other most of our lives and to top it off she married, Pat, who was a neighbor of ours growing up! Ha! And we finally meet after many years in Seoul.
Colleen got advice from some friends about where to take us and we ended up at the Korean National Museum. I was very impressed that the museum was free and had a children's museum. It was so great!
|Exhibit of different types of bells. Touma thought he was spinning the wheel all by himself!|
That evening we met my friend, Sam. We had been in the same program in Hawaii. He was on his last semester when I entered the program. He actually took a teaching job at a university in Seoul and has been there ever since. We met him and found a nice Korean restaurant and made an evening of it. One thing about Korea that is a stark contrast from Japan is that even if there aren't baby seats or provisions for little ones the staff and restaurants are all welcoming of babies and kids. Even though there was no seat for Touma, no one seemed to be bent out of shape when he started making noise and not being able to sit still.
After dinner we walked around a bit, saw a few of the sights downtown before getting Colleen to her subway and bidding her farewell.
|Two Alaskans in Seoul.|
|Touma and Sam (kind of), this is the only pic with Sam in it. I'm so bad at taking pictures these days!|
I really want to sing Korea's praises on being a kid friendly place. Even though they have a very low birthrate, much like Japan, the people everywhere were much friendlier. From college kids to grannies, everyone was wonderful. If anyone wants a quick getaway (quick from Japan anyway...), Korea totally has my endorsement!