October 9- 15 we spent time in Seoul,  South Korea!  Caleb had a work conference there so we decided to to take advantage of our time in Asia and see the sights of Seoul!  We even pulled the kids out of school!  You only live once!  We are so happy to be able to see this part of the world and learn about old rich cultures.  We contacted the kids’ teachers and asked how we could keep up with their studies and learning while traveling.  They worked on math practice and reading daily in addition to other tasks.  Annabelle’s teacher requested that she keep a daily diary to tell of our adventures…… minimum 3 sentences per day. She loved this task and did such a good job (writing much more than 3 sentences per day). I thought you would benefit from her tremendous record keeping and research from online sites and pamphlets so this 10 year old will be featured as a guest blogger in our Korea posts!   I hope you enjoy!

In other recent news I have begun to take photography classes. It has been a long term goal of mine to figure out how to use our DSLR camera.  So I have joined a group of 6 other women and we are taking workshop type classes with a professional photographer here in Tokyo!  Our first class met just before our trip to Korea so I used this a time good time to practice!  I shot so many photos and haven’t even begun to edit them but wanted to share our cool experiences with you!

So here you go……. a 10 year old guest blogger and lots of pictures.

We definitely learned something form our last trip to the airport.  We realized we do not know how to get to the airport from our house via subway in an easy stress-free manner! So this time we booked our tickets ahead of time on an Airport Limousine Bus and took a taxi to the hotel pick up spot in the morning.  It was a wonderful  experience.  We made it to the airport with enough time to eat ice cream before our flight!


Our 2.5 hour flight to Korea went well.  The kids played games on their phones while us adults read books, napped and enjoyed the peace.    When we arrived in Seoul and stepped outside the first thing we noticed was the cool beautiful weather.  Such a nice reprieve from the humidity and rain we had been experiencing in Tokyo!

We were ready to say goodbye to rainy Tokyo and hello to sunny Seoul!

Seoul            Seoul

We had an hour drive in a Limo Bus from the airport and we we redirected to the partner hotel because they had switched our reservation for some reason.  It was a short taxi ride around the block. The two hotels were connected by a mall underground.  Then needed to switch rooms once we got to the hotel to get better sleeping arrangements for everyone.  We ended up getting a king suite room.  It worked wonderfully as the kids had their own sleeping space with a roll out bed and chase lounge and we could have time alone and a king bed after they went to bed.  Caleb and I chuckled remembering the days sleeping in the same room as our small children in hotels.  IIMG_1673 remember putting Anna to sleep in a pack and play and  then Caleb and I both diving on to the other side of the bed to hide on the floor until she fell asleep.  We weren’t very successful because we kept laughing!  We were all exhausted from travel and grabbed  food from the food court in the mall below our hotel.  We had some amazing spring rolls, chicken stir fry and spicy beef stir fry.  Zeke surprised us and LOVED the spicy beef.  He just kept eating it and said “Oh yeah my lips are burning” If you know anything about this child’s past relationship with food you would remember he was a very cautious eater as a small child.  We would reward the child with stickers and prizes for trying foods.  It was so hard to get him to eat anything besides peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  He is growing up and actually enjoying flavors of foods!  Way to go Zeke! After eating we headed to our room for sleep!

ANNABELLE: I really enjoyed my first day it South Korea!!!!!!! We went to three different places. The first one was Gyeongbokgung Palace. It is a place where we got toured around the palace grounds. I learned that the Kings and Queens were separated in different areas of the palace. The architecture looked like something out of a movie. When we walked through the front gate, I could imagine Korean warriors charging from either side of me!!!

J:  Check out this site to read about the huge palace grounds http://www.royalpalace.go.kr/html/eng/main/main.jsp

ANNABELLE: The second thing we did on our first day was going to the street market. This is a place where there are little shops in tents that sell all kinds of things. We saw things like, clothes, keychains, food, Halloween costumes, Halloween props, and other things. I bought a choker and sunglasses!!!

The last and most cool thing we did on our first day, we went up into Seoul Tower!!!!!!!!! First we had to walk up 649 stairs in this HUGE park! We didn’t know that there was a cable car! When we got up the 649 stairs we first saw the tower then walked in a little more and saw these locks locked to each other. So my dad looked it up on google and he read an article that said they were “Love Locks”. Caleb explained, couples that are really in love  would prove it and climb the 649 stairs for their love. Then when (or if) they got to the top they would “lock up” their love for them by putting a lock on another lock❤. My highlight today was going to Seoul Tower because I liked how much things to see and do.

J: Here is a slideshow of Day 1 Sightseeing in Seoul: (click the arrows on the left and right to scroll through the pictures!)

http://Palace, Market, Seoul Tower



Today we went to Seolleung’s Royal Tomb. It is a place where two Korean Kings and one of their Queen were buried over 600 years ago. They are still in their original spots surrounded by statues that “guard” them. There are other sites to see. An example is the “Spirit Road” which is a road that leads to the tombs of the two Kings and one Queen. The Queen’s name was Jeonghyeon. One of the King’s name was Seolleung, he was the ninth ruler of Korea. The other ruler that was buried in that area was Jeongneung the eleventh ruler of Korea.

Today we also visited a temple called  Bongeunsa Temple. This is a temple that Korean people come to visit worship and meditate. There are multiple buildings. Some are for singing, and some are for being quiet and meditating. I could hear them singing this little song. It was in Korean of course, but it was still interesting. My highlight today was going to Bongeunsa Temple. I enjoyed all of the things we did today.

J: Here is a slideshow of our 2nd day sightseeing  in Seoul

http://Temple, Tomb, Food


Stay tuned there is more to come.