SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
17.05.2019 – 22.05.2019
Our time in Korea was filled with firsts:
- First visit to Asia
- Our first time skipping an entire day while traveling (Thursday didn’t exist for us as we crossed the international date line)
- Parker visited a Korean medicine doctor where he experienced cupping and acupuncture for the first time
- Rachel visited a bath house where they go full on au naturel
- Evelyn was “stolen” by multiple restaurant owners while we ate our meal
We stayed with my cousin, Taleen, who is living and working at an international school outside of Seoul. She was extremely helpful and hospitable. It was fun to get an idea of what her life is like living there. We were especially grateful to have someone help us get oriented after such an intense trip (we departed Chicago just before midnight on Wednesday and arrived in Seoul early Friday morning).
Our first order of business was to get some Korean barbeque. It was a fun and delicious experience. We also learned what Taleen meant when she had told/warned us that babies are “extremely pampered” in Korea. The restaurant workers grabbed Evelyn out of our arms and began to dance with her in the kitchen. They put her to work greeting customers as they came in. Evelyn absolutely loved it and we found it to be both terrifying and hilarious. This was the beginning of a theme for our trip as Evelyn was beloved by everyone we met.
The next morning as we were loading up for a few hours drive to explore the countryside… tragedy struck. Parker threw out his back as he lifted Evelyn’s carseat into the car. He tried to gut it out and insisted we continue but after a couple hours on the road (with a baby who never stopped crying… she’s not accustomed to carseats as we don’t have a vehicle in Zurich) we had to call it. We pulled off and found a Korean Medicine doctor who worked some magic on Parker’s back. Another quick visit to a western medicine doctor for some pain relievers and we turned around to head home. We often talk about “best case, worst case scenarios” and this certainly fit the bill. Thank goodness that if this was going to happen we had Taleen to help translate for us. Seriously, she was the best our entire visit.
While Parker stayed in our room for the next couple days to rest and heal his back, the girls went into Seoul (about an hour by train). We visited lots of artisan shops – pottery, jewelry, paper, and so on – while enduring nonstop rain. When Parker was starting to feel better, we went into the city and explored a historic village and the grounds of one of Seoul’s palaces. Our last day we stayed closer to our home base and went around Cheongna. It was bizarre how empty it was considering how many dozens of massive apartment buildings there are everywhere. While it was a massive city, it really is just considered a “suburb” of Seoul. Asia is huge.
As always, there is never enough time. Parker’s injury threw off our time in Korea and we didn’t get to see and do quite as much as we had hoped. We still really enjoyed our experience there and look forward to visiting again in the future!