Saturday, March 29, 2014

Busan for Spring Break

Did you know there's a city by the beach in South Korea? It's called Busan and, according to wikipedia, it's home to the 5th busiest seaport IN THE WORLD. But we didn't go there for that-we went to relax by the beach for our spring break. From Seoul, Busan is easy and cheap to get to. We took the speedy KTX train and got there in just under 3 hours. Train travel is so classy. 

We have an odd number in our family, so August got to sit next to a stranger
Outside of Seoul, Korea is mostly very hilly farmland with towns and cities sprinkled here and there.

Soon we were in Busan, which apparently is in the future-just look at these buildings.

For this trip, went out on a limb and decided to stay at a hostel. Our children keep getting bigger and it's becoming harder to squeeze everyone into one room.
look way up, our room was on the top floor!
This hostel had a room big enough for our family though. 2 bunk beds, a queen bed and our own bathroom.
High five for almost everyone getting a top bunk!
Here's the view from the room (see the ocean back there?!)
Here's the view at night
Our first afternoon, we walked to the beach. It was a little chilly, but still fun for playing in the sand.

The following day we met up with the Cabalunas, who were also in Busan for a few days, to go to the aquarium. First we let the kids play together and get their pictures taken by strangers on the beach for a while.
Jesse and August talking about the recent events in Crimea
On to the aquarium. I have to say, I've never been too impressed with aquariums, but this one was great. There were so many sharks. I realize now that sharks are what make an aquarium awesome.

The shark tank (see what I mean?):

There were other fun things too...

We got to see a talking and singing show (this is not interesting for someone who doesn't speak Korean). Then we saw the shark feeding show. Everyone can understand the shark feeding show.

For dinner, we went to the world's largest department store, the Sinsegae in Busan. Sinsegae is a chain of department stores and all department stores have a grocery and a food court. I know from experience that Sinsegae's has a good variety. We got burgers and got the kids this "Mexican" pizza. It had tortilla chips on it!

We walked around Sinsegae and Lotte a little and found this for sale:
I tried to get Jim to get on it and test it out but he refused.
I don't know if we really saw enough of Busan. We were only there for 2 full days and one of those days it was very rainy. It's such an easy trip though, we can go back whenever we want!
The rest of the break was spent doing some spring cleaning and playing outside. Spring is finally here. It's been beautiful in Seoul this week.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

August turns 4

Can you believe it? August is so proud to be 4. We are also proud that he's 4, of course. He was very excited to have a birthday party and I decided things would be easier if we just had the party at school. August has been planning this party for some time, and primarily he really wanted a piñata for his birthday. He really wanted a monster truck piñata, but I stealthy talked him into a Sponge Bob piñata. Pinatas are not easily available here in Korea. This is the closest I could find, but it's $66 and it doesn't even come with candy!  I knew I'd be making it and figured that Sponge Bob is the easiest shape to create. Look, I'm sure that making a piñata is very simple, but I was not interested in learning any thing new. Paper mache? Finding a balloon? Finding something adorable on Pinterest then wrecking it? Please. Here's how I constructed a piñata:

This is a bulk size cereal box (like you might find at Costco. I got this one at HomePlus)
cover most of the box in yellow paper (using a glue stick worked well)
cut fringe in strips of paper

layer the fringy strips
Draw the face parts and glue it to the box.
Now for the party. I can't believe he fell asleep before his party, but we woke him up so he could participate.
 I also made cake pops!

AAaaaand, here's August with the Sponge Bob piñata:

Here's how the pinata worked:

Some of his friends brought him gifts and they all had a great time helping him open them. 
Saturday morning, we had a small party with a few presents and some Schneeballen!

In the evening, the kids and I went to Paris Baguette and August chose his cake. He picked out this very fun Pororo cake:

Here they are, all blowing out the candles together.