Friday, April 04, 2008

Home. Friday 4/4

Totally missed a day there - not surprising given that we're exhausted. We're all facing jet lag, but at least we're doing it together. We were all up around 4:00 this morning. I imagine tonight will be a long night, because Alex is sleeping hard right now, and has been for a couple of hours now. This is similar to what we saw when Andrew came home - naps the first day or so, then a really long "overnight" sleep. Except that it wasn't overnight. I think I remember things settling down a bit after that though, so we'll make it through. We all napped this afternoon, anyway.

No photos yet, because I haven't managed to unpack the connector cable. There's a bag of cords and cables in one of the suitcases, but there's also a lot of other stuff in the suitcases...

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Wednesday 4/2

Well, we'd planned for a quieter day today... We decided to make a repeat visit to Insa-Dong - a really cool area with lots of artisans. Pottery, embroidery, calligraphy, lacquer, stationery - all sorts of things. We picked up some gift there. ;) Here's a photo of the main street, from the bottom.
And from the top of the main street, near the map. Please notice the eyes of the small boy in the picture. It shows what was coming from him for the rest of the day...

After Insa-Dong, we walked down to Gyeongbokgung Palace. The main gate is under construction, so we missed that (and the appropriate entrance, but I don't suppose it matters). I believe this is the biggest of the palaces, and the structures and grounds were beautiful. It was raining today, so we didn't stay as long as we might have liked, or take as many photos. Still, it was neat. Here's the front entrance (but inside the gate that's being renovated):
We're not exactly sure, but there seemed to be a reenactment going on while we were there. So we got our photos taken in front of the traditional guards. I don't know if you get the full impact, but their costumes and hats (and weapons) are very detailed and quite beautiful.

After the palace, we headed over to the agency to meet up with Alex and his foster mother again. This time they left us alone with him, I presume to make sure he'd be okay if his foster mother wasn't right there. He did fine, but Andrew is having a little trouble. I suppose the reality of having to share us is finally hitting him. Tomorrow ought to be interesting.

This will be the last update from Korea - we leave tomorrow morning on the 10:50 flight out of Incheon Airport. We should be home by late afternoon - as a family of four. :)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Tuesday, 4/1

Busy day today - I don't think any of us realized just how hard we went, or how far we walked until we got back to the hotel around 4. And couldn't move... I think it took Andrew all of 3 minutes to fall sound asleep, which is a sure sign that he's exhausted.

Fingers crossed, I think we're finally over the worst of the jet lag. Everyone slept until about 5:30 this morning, which isn't bad considering we fell asleep before 9 the night before.

Can you find the human here:

A little view from the back of our hotel - this is the way we sometimes walk to the subway station. It's also the way we usually come back. Down to the subway, up to the hotel. This is about half the hill - it's a bit too steep to get it all in one photo. It shouldn't be a surprise that our feet hurt, and our legs are getting quite the workout. :)
We made a visit to Deoksugung Palace today - it's the last palace that an emporer of Korea lived (and died) in. Our guidebook said that there was a changing of the guard ceremony every day, but we didn't see it. Ah well, it was lovely to visit anyway. There weren't many people around when we got there, so Andrew could run wild. (And he did.)

The throne room:

One of the fun stone fountains on the grounds:
The three of us, not in front of anything in particular:
After the palace, we walked down to the Kyobo bookstore. It's huge - and in the basement of an office building. It's really amazing how they fit things in here - there's all kinds of things like the bookstore in the basement, or little side streets. Heck, we find something new every time we walk to and from the subway, and it's only about a quarter mile away! Anyway, we shopped there for a bit, and had a nice lunch.

After lunch, we went to InsaDong - a cool artsy type market. Lots of pottery, embroidery, and lacquer work. Beautiful items. We picked up a number of souvenirs here. ;)

We meet Alex again tomorrow, and need to do a bit more shopping. We might fit in another palace as well (one that was closed today) - we'll see how we feel in the morning. Lots of packing to do too, as we leave fairly early on Thursday. Well, our flight leaves around 10:15, but we'll need to leave the agency by 7:30 to get to the airport (about an hour away). Not sure how long we'll need to be at the agency, so tomorrow we'll figure out what time we need to leave the hotel. Early-ish, though.

Thanks so much to everyone sharing our journey! :)