Seoul, South Korea, Day 1 and 2: Travel and Korean War Museum

Gah, I’ve reverted to my days of yore when I would write a post every three months!  I’ve been spending much more time taking care of myself…which I’ve realized lately is VERY important for me (as I have not done a very good job of it since becoming a mom).

BUT anyway…better late than never, right?  Here are our adventures in South Korea!

For Thanksgiving this year (or rather, last year since it is now February already) Adam wanted to go somewhere cold.  So we bundled up our family of four and headed north to Seoul, South Korea! And success: it WAS cold!! Here is our journey to and full first day in Seoul!

Day 1:

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All smiles in the Naha Airport…actually, we flew Peach Airlines so this is in a weird warehouse by the side of the Naha Airport. There were several families also going to Seoul at the same time and we were all staying at the same hotel!  The kids all got to play together while waiting for our flight and then we saw them a few more times during the week!
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Shorts and a t shirt on our way out!
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Travel buddies. E and Adam do very well together on flights.
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And here’s my travel buddy…he is not my favorite travel buddy on flights (to be perfectly honest). But I’ve learned to pack TONS of snacks and stickers for him. He’s still learning how to travel…we just gotta keep practicing! And he’s just so darn cute, that it makes up for his wiggliness.

We arrived at the Incheon Airport in Seoul and caught a shuttle to our (on base) hotel a few hours later.  But we were waiting with the same friends who were also staying at the same hotel so time flew by pretty quickly.

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By the time we got to the hotel and sat down to eat, we were a bit tired…
And E wanted nothing to do with pictures...
And E wanted nothing to do with pictures…

Then…sleep.

Day 2:

We stayed at the Dragon Hill Lodge on the Yongsan Army base in Seoul and it was lovely! It has several restaurants and cafes inside and that is one thing we ALWAYS struggle with while traveling: WHERE TO EAT when we are tired!!  Also, the age-old dilemma of local coffee shops not opening until 8am, but your kids are up around 6am and you DESPERATELY need coffee…So it was awesome to have coffee and donuts or muffins every morning in our room while we got ready for the day!

After our carbalicious breakfast, we took a VERY short walk to our first Seoul sight: The Korean War Museum.  I’m not kidding, it’s literally across the street from the base.  AND, it’s FREE!! woohoo!

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Here is the actual Museum, it’s lovely.
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Outside of the museum are acres of military vehicles and planes to explore!
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There are mannequins inside some of the vehicles and planes and it completely scared me at first!
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Seoul tower on the hill beside the museum
And, you can climb into the tanks! So, we were super cold...and it snowed this day while we were here. But crawling into the tank and sitting on these cold benches, you can just imagine how miserable soldiers felt fighting the Korean War in the freezing snow and rain, with no end in sight. It was sobering.
And, you can climb into the tanks! So, we were super cold…and it snowed this day while we were here. But crawling into the tank and sitting on these cold benches, you can just imagine how miserable soldiers felt fighting the Korean War in the freezing snow and rain, with no end in sight. It was sobering.
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One of my favorite rooms…

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A snack stop at the museum cafe
A snack stop at the museum cafe

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And my favorite part of the War Museum was the Children’s museum!  They run a whole program (in Korean) every hour or so (again, totally free!).  My kids couldn’t understand a word, but they didn’t seem to care!  They just loved walking around with the group from station to station, making things and trying to figure out what to do.  It’s actually awesome just to watch your kids learning social queues and directions without having any verbal back up!

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Station 1: Watching Korean war history cartoons
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Station 2: building a wall (this was so much fun for G. I wonder if I could make something like this for our house…)
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Station 3 was another cartoon about Korean Grandparents telling about their childhoods in the war (I had to guess what was being said and whisper it to E). Station 4: Crossing the Han River – such a cool illusion.
Station 5 was tracing the South Korean flag and then playing matching flag games of countries that aided South Korea. Station 6 was PLAY TIME!! They had a small padded area for G's age that he loved!
Station 5 was tracing the South Korean flag and then playing matching flag games of countries that aided South Korea. Station 6 was PLAY TIME!! They had a small padded area for G’s age that he loved!
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And E’s play land was wonderful too! But they were NOT allowed to go into the other’s area and there were volunteers stationed all around to make sure we all stayed in the right spots. And PS. can we all just note how rad my daughter’s hair is? Crazy!

It was wonderful for the kids to get to play somewhere warm for an hour or so after walking around the museum quietly.  It got wiggles out and made them hungry for lunch!

We walked only about a half mile up the hill to Itaewon to scrounge up some lunch.  Itaewon is known as the international food district of Seoul and it’s so close to base! We found a place called Vatos Urban Tacos and had a delightful taco lunch while Little G slept in the stroller.

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The waiter like E so much that he gave her a free drink…we teased her and said that she was a big girl now that a boy bought her a drink!!  Boy, did that make her giggle!

While walking away from lunch, it started SNOWING huge flakes!!

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We walked back to the hotel to take more picturesque snow shots…but it totally stopped by the time we reached the hotel.  So we ended up relaxing instead, exploring the hotel, buying necessities at the shoppette, and eating dinner there.

 

AND sleep.

Stay tuned…

Next up: Day 3 (Gyeongbokgung Palace and Gwanghwamun Square plus chicken soup with an ENTIRE chicken to dissect and some delightful South African pub food)

Peace,

E

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2 thoughts on “Seoul, South Korea, Day 1 and 2: Travel and Korean War Museum

    1. Oh MARY!! I’m so glad you can see the blog! It’s been too long and we definitely miss our old neighborhood, but we are taking advantage of our time abroad!! hugs!!

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