Dad flew in on Wednesday, the night after Graduation. I was very excited to have him visit and did my best to make sure it went smoothly. Unfortunately, my bus took longer than expected, so I showed up to our meeting point almost 40 minutes late, but Dad was very understanding, like always.
On Thursday morning, Dad came to visit school. Despite some jet lag, I think he had a lot of fun. Thursday was a ¨make up¨day and my last day with my old kindergarten. It was great because we didn´t have much to do, so there was a lot of playtime and fun activities.
I was so thrilled to see my kids so loving with Dad. Chloe, one of my more strong-willed kids, who will some days hug me and others scowl, grabbed his hand as we walked to class. They were literally jumping up and down with excitement, saying, ¨Grace Teacher, father?¨. They could not believe he was so tall! They loved playing with him and climbing on him. I was worried they might think he was scary because he was foreign and tall, but no! 🙂
Thursday night, we celebrated the start to a long weekend with Shabu Shabu and beer with soju.
Friday, we adventured into Seoul. We first went to Insadong, which is a cute, traditional area of Seoul. We had lunch (bibimbap, mandu, noodles) and then strolled around the area.
Later, we meandered over to Myeongdong and sat at a coffee shop for a while. We had a really hard time getting to Seoul Tower because Lonely Planet lead us astray. But, we finally mananged to get there, only to be greeted by a two hour line for the cable car. Cold and tired, the tower was not perfect but a pretty breathtaking view nonetheless.
Saturday we went to the Noryangjin Fish market which was awesome. Rows and rows of seafood, and some of which I couldn´t identify. It´s not very touristy which made it even more fun. We wandered around for a bit, then finally asked someone if we could have one the red snappers on ice. After a little haggling, he pulled the fish out of the tank, thrashing around, and bludgeoned it´s head in front of us with a hammer. Bye bye fishy. He then cut half for sashimi, and half for grilling, and we following a small Korean woman upstairs to a restaurant were they served the fish.
We ate the sashimi to start. It was served with homemade horseradish and soy sauce. It tasted so fresh! Next, they brought out the grilled half-fish and we ate that with gochujang and lettuce, like fish galbi. Just as we were leaving, they brought out fish head soup! The fish heads were a little scary for me, but the broth was fantastic.
We took a cab to Itaewon and spent a few hours walking around and sitting in coffee shops.
Around 7 we had dinner at JohnnyDumpling, and had spicy mussel and mandu soup and fried mandu. Nom.
Sunday we had a slow morning and then took the bus to Suwon to go see the Fortress. We ended up walking the whole three-mile wall which was really fun. The sun was shining and the views were great. I´d never seen the fortress so it was a new experience for me too.
Sunday night we got spicy chicken galbi which Dad really enjoyed and then ice cream. 🙂
Monday was a CRAZY day at work. Actually insane. All new classes, new kindergarten, new schedules, pure chaos. Dad spent the day wandering around Gangnam and I tried not to faint at work. The good news is, I really love my new kindergarten. I have a new, 7-1 class, 4 boys and 1 girl. They are sweet and cute. Some of theme know a few words, but we are really starting from scratch. Dad watched class on Tuesday. The boys LOVED my Dad and had fun when he visited.
Wednesday night Dad took the airport bus to Incheon and I said goodbye at lunch. It was great having him here. It helped me to remember I have people that love and care about me. Makes stress at work seem less important. It was such a cool experience and I´m glad he took the long trip out to see me!