Korea through our eyes!
December 25th, Christmas with my family was awesome this year and I will never forget it. I loved the time spent with my family. It was also a great day because my children and I started our journey to Korea. I flew out of St. George Utah at 2:45. The plane left a little bit late so the transfer to a different plane in Salt Lake was a little comical. I had a short time, 30 min, to get to my next flight but the plane left late like I said earlier. Delta gave me new tickets for catching another flight at a later time but upon arriving in Salt Lake the plane had a tail wind and had made up some time so I was quickly taken to a desk for boarding. My son was tired and was not wanting to walk anywhere and I had his bags to carry now plus my own. I got a wheel chair and put my son in and then piled the luggage where I could. This all would have been much better if I had a baby carrier for my 7 month old, but I didn’t so it wasn’t lol. Anyway when I finally made it on the plane with all three of my kids accounted for I had to sit back and laugh at my situation. I would have paid $100 bucks for a baby carrier. We made it to Seattle and I took my time with the kids. I found a luggage cart and made my way to the bathrooms for a potty break and a drink of water. I called my hubby and let him know I was safe then made my way to an elevator, went and got my luggage and then went to the USO.
The USO was almost empty because there was no flight leaving that night. I really appreciated the helpful staff and the family room that had toys, books, blankets, big couches, TV, rocking chair, crib, and oh how I am thankful for the shower in the back because little boys and accidents can happen anywhere, even in an airport. My children slept very well and there was one other mother with her small one that joined us in the room for the evening. The next day I went and talked to someone in the AMC office and found out I was not enrolled in Space A yet. I printed out my email to them on the 14th of Dec and they put me in the computer and I also found out that I would for sure be shooting for the flight to Osan Korea on the 27th, morning of the 28th. I took my kids for walks around the airport and found the best places for playing games outside of the USO because when flights were leaving the USO became crowded and my little ones needed to move their legs and make some noise. Ring around the Rosie, and many other songs were heard from the ba
lcony. The night of the 26th was quiet also and we slept well again. I again am so thankful to the staff. They checked to see if I needed anything and they asked those that didn’t have small children to stay in the other room and leave the family room for those with family so quite often I found myself alone with my children while the rest of the USO was packed. I got to meet Amy the evening on the 27th and we swapped back and forth with watching children so we could get the paper work done quickly. The rest of the evening went fast and before I knew it we were through security and resting in the play area while my kids made new friends and ran their energy out.
We boarded the plane early in the morning and got settled in. The lights went out and then not much later the lights came back on for breakfast at like 4:30 or something in the morning. Kind of crazy I laughed again at the situation.( I do that a lot. It helps me let go of the things I can not control.). I was thankful for the food though. I was surprised how hungry I was and the flight attendant let me have two meals because there were extra. My children slept almost the whole flight, waking up for a few snacks and My daughter got to sit with Amy’s girl to play for a while but she fell asleep again.
The stop in Japan was short but long enough for some grooming to feel more alive. My son was having a hard time with the cold so I ended up carrying my baby and him back onto the plane and some helpful soul carried my bag.
One more flight to Korea and we made it. Going through customs was not bad at all and it was over before it began. My husband was there to greet us and we rode the bus back to Yongsan.
My husband had a apartment for us but we needed some things before settling down for the evening. Here is where life gets interesting. You see I have an adventurous spirit so please enjoy my story. I am
having a blast and I take things at a fast pace. We don’t have a car and we live about three blocks from K-16 so everything we buy has to fit under the bus or on a taxi or be carried. We got our things from the PX and decided that was enough for that trip so home we went in the bus that runs back and forth from Yongsan to K-16. From K-16 we took a taxi to the house. We unloaded everything and time to inspect the house.
I like our apartment a lot. It isn’t high end but simple and nice. I love the heated floors and it is almost completely baby proof. It is partially furnished and it is in a quiet neighborhood.
The evening wasn’t over we still needed groceries. My hubby had just got the apartment so he didn’t have much time for preparing the place for us. Our next step was to be introduced to the bus system. We walked down to the bus stop and took the 57 (bus that runs right in front of K-16). To Kim’s club. (Korean version of Wal-mart). My husband got me a T-money card which is a prepaid money card that gets swiped when coming on and off the bus or subway. It can be used for taxi’s too if the distance is not great. Kim’s club was a fun place to stroll through. I got myself a baby carrier first thing, then groceries. I got to play charades with a store attendant to locate the hot chocolate lol. I knew the word for cold and hot and the rest they figured out. Oh the bus does not stop long so it is get on and hold on to something or someone, in this cause my son grabbed a gentleman’s leg and then when he got his balance looked up then looked at me and staggered his way to me as quickly as he could. I find the people here very nice. We don’t speak the same language but a smile goes a long way.
The 29th we spent exploring the subway and we visited the Co-Ex Mall. So many people. We ate at a Korean restaurant and my children did very well with trying new things. My daughter asked my husband and I if she was a Korean girl now that she had eaten Korean food LOL. The ladies working at the restaurant gave my children a variety of things to eat that we didn’t even order. They waved and smiled and took pictures. We took the children to the Aquarium and they had a fun time but we wore them out with all the walking we did around the mall.
The next couple of days are a blur but we got babysitters, and my hubby and I went on a date and went to I-Park, (One very big mall.). We ate sushi at an all you can eat buffet with a track that rotates around the restaurant and we could select anything that came by. We loved it and spent the rest of the night roaming around looking at all the camera’s that take up two complete floors of the mall. I am not sure how there can be so many different kinds of camera’s.
Sunday we traveled on the Subway to church and got to meet our new support group of friends. I am meeting up with one lady soon to have a play date.
Monday was fun because there was a get together here with the moms that are at k-16. They are great and the kids played in the play room at the K-kottage on post. The CAC center is also a lot of fun. There is an art teacher and I have my daughter taking classes once a week. He is great with the kids. There is an indoor swimming pool on post, really awesome. We also had a meeting today called MOPS, (Moms of pre-schoolers). It is all the moms at k-16 and I am getting to know them already. Great group of ladies. We swapped recipes and talked about supporting each other and maybe starting a gymnastics class for the little ones here.
I think there are a lot of things to do here in Korea and the military support is awesome. We took care of my temporary ration card and I got entered into DEBIDS yesterday. We are still waiting on paperwork for the visa and OHA for the rent but things are coming along and we are almost settled in and very comfortable, with my family in the states just a phone call away on Skype. I am so glad I am here and jumping the big puddle was worth it. I am looking into a school here locally for my 5 year old and I started school at home again today. So nice to get down on the floor and play school games with my kids again.