Thursday, July 23, 2009

ATV-ing

So this is a SUPER late post.

We have some wonderful friends in Korea. I think the couple we're getting closest to is R&A. They are absolutely fantastic, and we have a great time with them.


A few weeks ago, they took us out for a Sunday afternoon adventure. We went to an ATV place in Yang Yang. We were a TAD skeptical.

We had no reason to be nervous - this place was the COOLEST! There were three courses that were kind of interwoven. The outer course was just a big circle. It was for kids, and of course was my favorite. There were no major bumps - just minor parts that had worn down a little. There was an S course in the middle which was just a curvy part. It was fun though - there was a HUGE part that was completely soaked in water. Of course, everyone (except me) went through at top speeds, ensuring a complete mud shower. Then there was the advanced course. It was INSANE! There were parts where I was sure I was going to die! There were MAJOR hills - no MOUNTAINS - no HIS EYE WAS THIS BIG!! Oops, got carried way on that last one... Anyway...


Daniel took to it like a fish to water. He was ready to tear up some dirt!



Thankfully, Daniel was kind enough to stop caring about safety every now and then and take some videos of our adventure. While driving one-handed. Over the crazy hills. Enjoy!

(The advanced course.)

video

And here is another video:

(The S course.)

video

Of course, no adventure is complete without some kind of lasting momento.


We're having a blast in Korea, that's for sure!!!!! :-)

design and function collide :-p

so as a cultural experience we went to a hotel/resort that was in our province.

we just spent a couple of hours there. it was rather nice.
the interesting think about the hotel is that it was shaped like a boat, but on a mountain side. . .
dont believe me here is a picture to proove it:

they did a lot to make the resort look like a hotel, even with the port holes in the side of the boat.

here is where design and function collide:

i thought it was humorous . . .

oh and did i mention that there was an ecclipse?


thats all for now, more to come . . .



Monday, July 20, 2009

fun stories

so in korea you get in to some very interesting situations and you dont know how you got in to them, and how you can get out of them because you are a foreigner, and there is that whole language barrier thing.

last week my kiddos had an english camp, where they spent three days at a hotel going to english classes and EVERYTHING being in english. it was a major thing for my school and for the kids. here are two of my favorite kiddos retelling "the princess and the pea"


one of the overnites my school graciously put tova and i up in a SUPER NICE hotel. it was a beach front hotel, and really nice . . .

it was very nice of them. the boys stayed at a hostel and the rooms looked like this:


yes, its just a floor. its a typical hostel room in korea.
my school felt like tova and i worked so much that we deserved a nicer place. we would have gladly stayed at the hostel. but were very happy with their genorosity.

so anyways . . . . on to the fun part of the story

we didnt finish teaching until 10:30 pm or so. and my co-teacher gave us a ride to the hotel.

in korea to save electricity when you get in to the hotel room you put your room key in a special slot by the door that looks like this :

the electricity ONLY works when the key is in the slot. (this is a very important detail in the upcoming story :-p )

we were exhausted (we hadnt slept much the previous nights, only 4-5 hours a night for three straight nights) so we got ready for bed and turned off the lights, and turned on the a.c. (a nice bonus when you arent the one paying for the electricity!)

we turned off hte lights around 11:30'ish . . .

then at 12:27, right when we were really starting to fall in to that deep sleep . . .

ALL THE LIGHTS IN THE HOTEL TURNED ON!

first this woke us both up

second . . . it scared the EVERYTHING out of us!

we both looked at each other and tried to figure out what was going on.

i got up and looked around the room, and to my delight no intruders were in. but EVERY light in the hotel was on. we were even more exhausted. so i tried to turn off the lights and go back to bed . . .
i gots nothin'! seriously, i tried to turn off the lights and the switches werent doing anything!

i tried for about 10 minutes and nothing.

at this point i thought about calling my co-teacher but decided against it cause he was so tired too, and it was for something small like a light being on.
then we thought about going to the front desk, but at one in the morning now, and with the language barrier we thought it might be more trouble then anything else. also we didnt want to be rude and just point to a light and repeat "on, on, off, off" that is really condescending and rude in our minds.
so we decided that the lights would eventually turn off, so we tried to go back to bed.

10 minutes later, i am still awake, and have a flash of genius!

why dont i take out the key from the wall? that would turn off the a.c. but at least i could have the lights off.
so i took the key out of the wall, thereby canceling ALL electricity in the hotel room, and went back to bed and waited.
again, i gots NOTHIN'!

we waited and waited and the lights and a.c. still stayed on :-(

so we decided to hunker down for the night and try to sleep with the lights on. eventually we fell asleep, close to 1:30-2:00 a.m. it was a terrible sleep cause every light was on. (seriously this hotel room had about 500 lights in it!)

then at 5:32 ALL THE LIGHTS TURNED OFF! and so did the a.c.!

that woke us up, we tried to figure out what was going on. by this point the sun was up and our room was rather bright as well. we tried to go back to sleep, but barely did.

in the end we got the worst night sleep EVER, even though the hotel was very beautiful.

we also were going to go for a walk on the beach in the morning, but with the terrible sleep that was canceled as well.
all in all another experience for us in korea!
(the only reason that we came up with for the lights being on is that the hotel forgot that the room was booked and turned on some hotel lights to make the hotel look fuller and more inviting. other than that the second best option is that aliens were coming to invade and if your room lights were on they would ignore your room and move on to someone elses room :-p )

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Anniversary ~ Late Post

So, July 9th was our 4-year wedding anniversary. Crazy, right? I agree!
Daniel and I celebrated four wonderful years as a married couple.
Right before our anniversary, we got a sweet present from my Dad, Karla, and Gramma D. There were so many awesome things in the package!!! THANK YOU!!!


On our actual anniversary, Daniel surprised me with the sweetest bouquet of flowers ever. They were ridiculously beautiful and huge!! :-) What a great guy.


The next day (the 10th), we hopped a bus to Chuncheon - it's about a two-hour bus ride from Sokcho. Chuncheon is beautiful - a much bigger city than Sokcho. We chose Chuncheon for that specific reason - we wanted a little taste of home. In Chuncheon, there are all kinds of familiar restaurants -- we chose to visit Outback, Starbucks, and McDonald's.


When we stepped inside Outback, I almost cried. It just felt good to see a familiar place again - the inside of a Korean Outback looks EXACTLY like the inside of an American Outback. So fun! For those who are curious, Daniel and I went for a strictly starch menu: Aussie Fries (they didn't have Bloomin' Onions!!), a salad, a steak, a baked potato, and a baked sweet potato. Delicious!


The next morning, we got up early (okay, not so early -- like 8 a.m.) and went to Starbucks. We got drinks (D got a caramel macchiato and I got a hot chocolate) and breakfast (D got a muffin and I got a BAGEL AND CREAM CHEESE). We sat in Starbucks soaking up the familiarity of it all (except the random Jelly in Your Coffee promo...) and talking. After a while, D got a drink for the road (iced caramel macchiato) and some coffee.


We checked out the underground mall that's right by Starbucks. It was just that -- a mall underneath the ground. However, this mall was different than malls in the states - each store was just a CROWDED stall -- no giant, spacious stores.



We then went to an art gallery that was supposed to be really cool. Turns out, it was one artist who had painted the exact same thing (lights reflecting off water at night) a million times. We spent about five minutes there. :-)





After that, we decided to take a short walk to the lake. So, we started walking. We walked and walked and walked and walked. Then, we rested for five minutes. Then we walked and walked and walked some more. Finally, we decided to take a cab. We wound up at one of the most random places ever -- the Memorial Hall for Ethiopian Veterans in the Korean War.



We checked out some things in the hall, then we went across the street to a sculpture garden. We had a GREAT time checking things out there.



We also saw a very cool water clock in the sculpture garden.


After that, we went to McDonald's.


Then, we went home.


All in all, a pretty amazing way to celebrate our anniversary. I'm so blessed to be married to such an amazing guy!! :-)