A Weekend in Seoul

When Stella turned 4 months old, she was up for her second round of immunizations.  I switched over her Tricare insurance plan so she could be seen at Osan AB, where a pediatrician is on staff. Osan AB is north of Kunsan and is only about 30 minutes from Seoul, so we figured it would be a great opportunity to see the city.  Stella should at least get to have a little fun if she has to be poked and prodded, right?  Of course, the clinic on base is only open on weekdays, so Bobby decided to take a Monday off and we spent the long weekend together.  On Saturday, we went to the Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition (air show), we walked around and saw the sites on Sunday and poor Stella received her shots on Monday…. [Read More]

CNN’s 50 Beautiful Places to Visit in Korea

The most famous view from the stone bridge across the pond

While doing some research on places to visit while we’re in Korea, I came across an ex-pat’s blog that proved to be very helpful.  She listed the sources she used to find travel ideas, one of which being CNN’s 50 Beautiful Places to Visit in Korea.  I’m always intrigued by lists, as they generally provide a clear cut “check-list” of things to see and do and it’s easy to keep track of what you have seen and what you haven’t.  I must admit that my Korean geography is pretty sketchy, so I had to look up most of the locations to see how far they are from Kunsan AFB. Of course, I learned a lot along the way, which is always nice.  I found three places on the list that are within a two-hour radius, a “must” if Bobby doesn’t want to take leave / ask permission to be gone.  So, we started there.  The three places seemed to be pretty close to each other, so we set off early in hopes to see all of them on one Sunday afternoon…. [Read More]

Jeonju Hanok Village

:)

Hanok Village in the town of Jeonju is home to more than 800 traditional Korean “hanok” houses and represents the largest cluster of hanok in Korea. It’s a bit like walking back in time because while the rest of Jeonju is pretty modern, Hanok Village stays true to historic Korean culture and customs.  In fact, many people rent traditional garb and walk around in bright, colorful period outfits/dresses.  It is quite touristy, with small trinket shops and street food vendors lining the roads, but I believe we were the only people from the western hemisphere in sight. We spent the day perusing the village, looking at the architecture, tasting some of the local treats and people watching (my favorite!)…. [Read More]

The Baekje Cultural Land and Naesosa Temple

This was actually my favorite structure in the complex (it's not the actual temple. This houses the large drum)

When Stella and I finally got on Korean time, we were ready to take our first trip (albeit small) to some of the neighboring temples.  Our first jaunt was to the Baekje Cultural Land near Buyeo.  A fellow Air Force spouse had mentioned this complex and considering it wasn’t a very long drive (just a little over an hour), we decided to check it out.  Our second trip came the following weekend to Naesosa Temple in the Byeonsanbando National Park, south of base…. [Read More]

Our Korean Adventure Begins!

The Koreans' simulator building

At 10 weeks, Stella finally started feeling better.  We changed her acid reflux medicine to first-omeprazole/Prilosec, which is a bit stronger and ended up working a lot better.  She seemed to finally calm down and I felt good enough about it to make the plunge (i.e. agree to take an infant on a 14 hour plane ride across the Pacific to go see dad).  I heard a lot of “wow, you’re brave” and “that’s crazy” and “that’s a really long flight,” all of which I can understand.  However, as a military family, you have to be willing to do some things that aren’t incredibly easy.  I’m not going to lie….  I gave myself a lot of pep-talks and told myself that if the flight went absolutely terrible, it was only one day of my life.  I was pretty terrified that I was going to be on a flight with a screaming baby for who knows how long and everyone was going to hate me.  However, I put on my big girl pants and I got all my paperwork in order to take the military “rotator” or “Patriot Express” (great name, right?) from Seattle to South Korea…. [Read More]