Saturday, December 27, 2008

A week in Korea

Korea.... another world away. It was a whirlwind week. But lets start at the beginning.
Ask anyone who I talked to before this trip and they will tell you that I dreaded the 15 1/2 hour flight with a toddler. I was concerned that he would lose it a few hours into the trip, feel trapped, want to run around, etc, etc. And it was the total opposite - he was a doll. Jakob did great. He was patient and understanding of the constraints. The only thing I would have changed was his eating, he really wasn't interested in food. He wanted to snack alot, but had no interest in the food offered to him. And that was ok. He played his game, he watched movies and shows, we took walks up and down the aisles for a bit, and he finally slept for a short while. He was a great traveller. He was able to pull his little roller suitcase through the airports, he stayed close and held hands when necessary, and he guided me to where we needed to go. He slept on the bus from Incheon Airport to the hotel, but was a live wire when we got off the bus. Tim was there to meet us with his fiance, Nicole. I finally met my future sister in law, just a mere 4 days before they were to be married. Strange, I know. But what are you going to do when they live on the other side of the planet? Nicole is great. She's kind, gentle, beautiful, quiet, and funny. Her English was better than I expected (from what Tim told me), and communicating with her was easy. So we hung out for a while, had some dinner, and then settled into the hotel for the night. Mom arrived later, we each had a room with two single beds, and a door connecting us. It was convenient for us to have rooms like this, that's for sure.
The next few days were spent getting adjusted to the time change, the korean ways, and definitely the food. I am sad to say that I think my skinny mini of a boy lost a pound or two. He was so not into food on this trip - he would snack like a fiend, but when it came time to sit down for a meal, he was uninterested. And I got some flack for it. But I did what I believed was best for my boy. He was happy (most of the time!), healthy (mostly), and enjoyed himself (again, most of the time). He is making up for it now, eating regular meals, snacking appropriately, and drinking water and milk - he didn't drink milk in Korea, it totally tastes different. So I think soon he will have put the weight back on that he lost in Korea and I can let out his pants a little since I had to cinch them in over there.
Lets get to the wedding. It was a very interesting day. The wedding was a traditional white dress ceremony. Nicole looked beautiful. I think the Koreans do it right - they rent their dresses. What a clever idea - save a fortune!
Here is a pic of the happy couple getting married. Shoot - can't find my memory stick. Will upload some as soon as I can find it.

Jakob looked adorable. He was the ring bearer. He did a great job - and made me proud.
Here is a pic of him (I downloaded this directly to my computer - not on the stick!)

Cute eh?
Then there was a brief stop at the buffet, and then off to the traditional tea ceremony. I was unaware that I was expected to participate, and was a little nervous that I was put on the spot to speak at the ceremony. But I managed to say a little something, and hope that I didn't sound too lame. I wanted to say something profound to Nicole and Tim, in welcoming her into our family. Here is a pic of the couple in their traditional garb - again, saved on the computer, not the memory stick. Arg.

The rest of our days were spent checking out some of the old places I loved when I was living there, we went shopping in Itaewon- the area for shopping for foreigners, we visited Tims new apartment, toodled around Insa-Dong - the area for artists and their wares (J, you would have spent hours and hours there), went to a Palace, and just hung out together.
It was great to be there with family, my Mother, Aunt and Uncle, and my cousin and his wife were able to make it over too. The trip to the Palace was really cool. Jakob loved it. It was like he was a celebrity - the Korean kids loved him. I guess it was field trip day because the place was packed! They swarmed him like bees to honey. They chased him around and practised their very limited English on him. At first it was a little overwhelming for him, and ME! Bu then he got into it and was upset when we had to leave, saying he didn't want to leave his "girls". What a flirt!

Ok, enough Korea for now. I am sure there will be future posts of bits and pieces that I remember as the days pass. But let me end this by telling you about the flight home. It was great, another easy flight with Jake. It was 13 1/2 hours long and he slept 7 of them! And the others he amused himself with his game, movies, etc. He was a little out of it getting off the flight, and then there was the little girl that insisted on hitting him over and over again waiting in line at customs (her mother was useless at preventing it, or disciplining her), and then the three security checks we had to go through in Atlanta, before getting to the gate to see Daddy! But he was a trooper.
I have to say that I am really really happy that I was able to make this trip with Jakob. It is something I hope we both remember for the rest of our lives. A Mama can hope, right?
Congratulations Tim and Nicole! May your life together be filled with love, comfort and understanding. Thanks for the memory.
Love big, Bake often

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