Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Getting lost and new adventures!

 We have been working hard at trying to find a new home this past week and we are happy to announce that we will be moving in two days! Next post will be more about that, but during our search for a place to live we have been making an effort in getting out and exploring. It's hard to find a distance that doesn't wear out our kids. They really really really do not like walking. By the end of these two years, they should be pro walkers-right?

We decided to stick closer to the base this time around and went exploring at the IPark Mall, which is very close-maybe 3/4 mile away-from the base.

It is very overwhelming at times when we realize how out of place we really are. The first thing that caught our eye was this little girl near the entrance, playing a DDR for hands game. The thing that we thought was super cool was that she had this large bin filled with little gems. She would put the gems on the game board and it would change the characters clothing, hair, game play, least we think it did. She did it all very quickly probably because 5 waygooks (foreigners) were standing around her watching. I'm sure her parents thought we were weirdos-so I thought, "Why not make the situation more awkward?" ..a picture I then took.
We then got some chow, and I will admit I have no idea what in the world we ordered. We just chose a family-friendly looking restaurant that had pictures of big portions to share. So if you should know what this dish is called, do share! I didn't think to take a picture of the name between grumpy kids and a bathroom excursion. It was really good though! At least Larry and I thought it was.
The funny thing about our meal is that we weren't sure how to eat it. It took us a moment to realize our silverware/chopsticks were in a drawer on the side of the table and we saw some families pouring sauces on their dishes-but none of our food looked similar. Almost everyone in the room was watching us eat, so I'm fairly certain that we were doing something wrong. The waitress brought our food WITH the check. Yes. We are that family now.

Did I mention how big this mall is? I believe we saw a map of 9 floors high-who knows how wide- and the 5th floor was even the main Seoul Subway station entrance! While going through we saw a billion kids and family members swimming in some pools that had been set up in the middle of the mall. Our kiddos were pretty jealous and stood by longingly.
One of the fun things about Korea is the art work around the city. This is something that I love to find and see in cities, the artwork. I loved the ones we saw in Colorado Springs, Denver, Virginia Beach and the ones here are just as fun and somewhat silly.
Despite some grumpy kids and not getting to really explore as much as we hoped, I came away with my first ttoekboki in Korea!  I love this stuff! Note: this is not for the weak. ESPECIALLY the kind made in Korea! Pretty sure my tongue is still suffering some heat damage.

Eddie had to join in the chopsticks fun! He did pretty good with his grapes!

A couple of nights later, Larry was done being stuck in one bedroom with all of us (Edana came down with a bad virus making us home bound...hotel bound?...for a while- so he took Eddie out on a daddy and Joey adventure. They asked their taxi driver to take them to Dongdaemun Pet Alley. After awhile they were dropped off in a random part of the city that had a couple of pet stores side by side and the taxi left. Larry was pretty nervous since he didn't know where he was just dropped off at and that either the driver didnt' understand Larry or just decided to take him to a random pet store. So while Larry talked with Jen and tried to find his surroundings, he and Eddie explored.
The pet store that only had dogs and cats

The random street they were dropped off at.
 Poor Larry kept trying to find a taxi to hail but compared to the rest of the city, this part of the city was pretty empty and not many taxis went by. So on they walked!

He said that this must have been some sort of motorcycle and scooter way because most of the stores were selling either motorcycles or Vespa's.

Look! A fish!...but at a fish mart, not a pet store...

Squid- 1 foot long!
 While they were walking and looking for a taxi or the subway they came to a beautiful park! Mom was pretty jealous that she missed this part.

 They then came to an older bridge that you could wander underneath to look at.

The boys ended up finding the subway station and were able to find their way home. I think overall it was a fun outing, despite not getting the chance to see the exotics that Larry had wanted. Eddie sure had fun and kept telling Dad that he was "now in Korea!" (we have found out that Korea to Eddie is pagodas, castles and bridges. When we go to the hotel he always whines "AWwww! I wanted to go to Korea!"  If only he knew.

We hope you all are well and will post pictures of our new place once we move in!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

FHE adventure-You Are Here Cafe!

Hello again friends and family:

So we have gotten very very very...did I mention very?...stir crazy in the hotel. So for FHE tonight we decided to go out and explore Seoul.

Our three options: Pet Alley, Norayangjin Seafood Market, or You Are Here Café.

You Are Here Café won. I will be honest, we are YouTube nerds. Big time. So what better place for Youtube nerds placed in Korea to go than the new café opened by two big Youtube channels, Talk To Me in Korean and Eat Your Kimchi!

I was pretty hesitant at first, knowing that we would be going into a younger part of Korea i.e. college area with three little kids but it was actually a lot of fun and everyone we met there was super nice and inviting.

We were even greeted at the door by Hyunwoo and his wife and newborn son when we got there! We did not get a photo with them but it was really cool to have a conversation with the guy that built Talk to Me in Korean from the ground up. If you haven't gone to their website, you should try it out. Great podcasts and easy to learn Korean material-and the best part is the majority of it is free! Woot!

We went inside and ordered a grapefruit-ade and Nutella shake: both pretty darn good! While ordering inside, we noticed a large crowd of people all looking in one direction-Sooozeee! Poor Soozee probably knew she was being awkwardly stared at by a large group of people, but she pulled it off well pretending she didn't care. I figured that she was probably a pretty cool person to meet so I went up and talked to her. Very sweet and down to earth and even put up with our family taking a picture with her later on.

We later went outside and met a number of fun people that were going to school here in Seoul. One guy was even named Eddie! I think our Eddie thought that was kind of cool. Ethan was followed around by a sweet college-aged girl that wouldn't stop watching him. He was pretty good with the flirting for her-and she totally ate it up.

boys trying out the Poi lights
While outside we got to see a guy playing around with Poi balls-here in Korea lighting things on fire is a no-no apparently so they use LED lights in these instead. The boys LOVED this and had to try. We got the guys info on the store he has and when they do shows by the Han River.

We started to leave, when we noticed a very familiar KIA drive by. I didn't quite catch on til Larry yelled a, "Hey guuurrlll!" -note: I did mention that we are BIG TIME Youtube nerds. If you do not understand this reference, no worries, we are not the norm.  So, we then decided we should turn around to meet Simon and Martina from Eat Your Kimchi.

Meeting a Youtube celebrity is pretty much that, meeting a celebrity. Poor Simon looked pretty overwhelmed with everyone surrounding them and jetted but Martina was super friendly and stuck around to talk to everyone and take pictures with us. Edana was pretty excited to meet her. I pretty sure it is the Pink hair factor and that Martina LOVES Sailor moon as well. We were invited to come back with the kiddos for Halloween-Koreans don't really celebrate Halloween, so a place where a bunch of foreigners hang out might be fun-we will see.
Edana and I with Martina. Edana kept talking about how cool it was to meet her after.
The little boys were the most excited about Spudgy. They kept following him around so they could pet him. That's right, we really just came for Spudgy. Mission accomplished. :)
ha ha! apparently they both wouldn't sit still long enough for a photo! The blue streak is Simon and Martina's dog, Spudgy.

After that, we attempted to find some food but with the kiddos tired and extremely hungry, we ended up buying stuff at a small shopette.

Our haul for the night: banana milk, banana puffs, yogurt drink, some kind of angry bird chips, steamed corn (Eddie insisted on this for some reason) and TTMIK workbooks to help with our Korean.
Overall, it was a fun experience to meet some of the people that we have been following and learning from to get ready for this Korean experience. It was a pretty awesome way to start off our adventures!

We love you all, and think of you often!
Until our next adventure!!

*and here is a video of the guy showing us the Poi balls!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Latter Day Saints Seoul Branch

Hello friends, families and others that may find this page!

We made it to church here in Seoul yesterday! We were lucky enough to have my cousin's two daughters to be our tour guides in helping us find our way in the subway!

It may not seem like a big deal in making it there, but here is an idea of what the subway systems are here in Korea:
It is fairly easy to understand, but it goes EVERYWHERE here is Seoul and is pretty confusing when you are trying to wrangle 3 kiddos and find the "English" version of things here.

To travel the subways here, you first need to purchase a T-money card:
This is a pretty cool little card. You load money onto it-most rides on the subway are w$1000 (roughly $1) and just scan the card right before you get into the subway station and at the station you come out of. The coolest part is that you can also use these cards if you take a taxi too! Most taxi's have T-money scanners, so no worries of looking for cash while getting kiddos to stay in their seats.
We only had to get 3 cards for Larry, Edana and I-the boys are free, you just carry the kids along with you.

To get to our beautiful LDS Church, from the Dragon Hill Lodge, we got on the Noksapyeong station and took Line 6 to Gongdeok station and hopped on line 5 where we got off at Yeongduangopo-gu office exit.

Stay right to exit the station, turn left once outside, continue left down a long side walk and once you come to an autocare service center on your right and a small food/cigarette shopette on the corner next to it turn left, walk a little bit more and turn right once you see a Fujifilm, and tada!!! Isn't a beautiful sight? It is huge! Four levels high with a basement for parking.

The branch is large as well! Over 100 kids in primary! My cousins family was such a great help and even helped us out so that we could go to all of our adult classes, rather than sit in nursery. We were so happy to go and so grateful for these two cute tour guides to get us there!


Korean sign: The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter Day Saints

Friday, August 8, 2014

Korea: we made it!

Hello friends and family! 안녕하세요!(hello!)

We have made it to Korea, the land of the Morning Calm!
How are we feeling right now? To be honest, calm would not be an adjective that I would pick for us at this point, but we are getting there.

We have started this adventure with many bumps and confusion but I think we need to just get use to it because this really is an entirely new experience for us!
a small little room to get some sleep in at Seattle airport

In getting here, we took 4 different flights, 9 very heavy and large suitcases that we kept ending up having to get from one part of the airport to another, and an overall of 19hrs of lay over time-not including the flight time! Whew! Needless to say, we got to the Dragon Hill Lodge very very very very tired at around 11pm.

The hotel is pretty awesome. There is a fun play area for the kids, a swimming pool, hot tub, and beautiful grounds to walk around and see. The base is located just outside of downtown Seoul, so it is a very busy area once you go outside of the base but there is so much to see and experience!

to show that squatting to sit around is actually part of culture
even in cartoons!
 The driving here is CRAZY! We have heard that China is even worse-??!!! Do you remember the game Traffic Jam, where you have to rearrange the cars to let the white one drive out? It is very similar here. We have had our realtor drive us around in the small side streets and if more than two cars were squeezing down these alleys every one would stop and have to do three point turns to try to get out. I will have to just take some pictures next time. It is something to see! (it makes me really not want a car here).

We have had some major set backs in things we had been told about housing situations and how some of our moving costs would be settled, but it has been very reassuring to receive help from other families that have been through where we are (or worse!) and are so very positive.

We have already gotten to have our first playdate with my cousin Sarah and her family, as well as game night (very important to us Eyrings!) We were able to meet with a friend of Sarah's and in just one evening was able to answer so many questions and concerns-so helpful. I feel so so lucky to have family here and contacts right off the bat. I don't know what we would do if we hadn't met up with them or didn't have anyone to talk to! It makes us realize how much we all really do need to look after one another and help where we can. It is so important to not feel completely alone in the this world.

As of right now, we still are "homeless". There has not been any report of whether or not we will be stationed at Camp Humphrey's, or here in Yongsan. Hopefully things will be cleared up this coming up week.
North Seoul Tower, about 3 miles from the DHL

We sure miss you all already. It has been strange to drive around the city, not know on earth what others are saying, and even just looking over such foreign rooftops of villas and apartments here. It really is such a different life than we are use to but I think for the most part, we are ready to hop in and figure it out.

We hope all is well! We love you!
나중에보자! (see you later!)