Monday, August 24, 2015

Week 2! Showing off Seoul!

Our week 2 was slightly less busy, but still packed! We spent a lot of time organizing Ronnie's things, getting her treats to take back to Kyrgyzstan, and downloading some dramas for her to watch when she's back home.

Here's the rundown:

On Monday, we went to Jongmyo Shrine, where the royal spirits' spirit boxes are held. It's an important place only accessible by tour, and one of the only big tourist places I haven't been. We went to the traditional area, Insadong, after, for souvenir shopping and looking. 

Tuesday, Cesca and I had to bore Ronnie with our dance practice (we have a show coming up Saturday!!!) and then we went to Itaewon to go to the foreign food market to stock up. Then we got pasta. 

Wednesday was a relax, rest up, download and reorganize day. And then we saw the Mr. Show, which was awesome as usual. MORE ON THAT LATER. 

Thursday was another cultural day, as we explored Changdeokgung and the Secret Garden. Then we went to a dog cafe haha. Ces and Ronnie saw the new Fantastic 4 movie while I was in Korean class. I'm glad I missed it. 

Friday was a wrap up day, and Cesca and I had another dance practice (sorry Ronnie!) We went shopping for last minute additions to Ronnie's luggage, got delicious burgers, and then spent the evening watching music videos and tv shows on Veronica's new projector, which took its sweet time getting to my house, arriving the day before Veronica had to leave. 

Monday: Visit to Jongmyo Shrine. 

our guide explaining the rituals

The king chilled here the night before a ceremony. He would bathe
every day for 7 days to purify himself. 6 days at the palace and the last
night here

The king is always on the West side, because unlike
in life, in death, the west is the most important side

The one on the left is the creator of the Joseon
dynasty, King Taejo. I think Sejong is the third one
from the left- the first rectangle is not included

19 kings are in the first building. They made great
contributions to the country 

Ronnie's pics

our lunch was naeng myeon, cold noodles. Ronnie didn't love these

fried pork cutlet kimbap

The king stood on that platform before the ceremony 

The building is so long you have to stand far away to get the
whole thing in the picture

they had to burn cloth as an offering, but since the boxes
are wooden, they do it outside in this tiny chimney.
They only do the ceremonies 2x a year, but in Joseon times,
there were more than 30 a year

there are 16 kings or kings fathers/important people here. They're
less important. This building expanded from the middle,
the other one from left to right.

You can't walk on the middle path, just cross over. It's for the spirits

"Korean" Starbucks. In Insadong, the signs have to be in Korean
because it's a historical 

we stocked up on some souvenirs for Ronnie!

We obviously had to take Veronica to Gusto Taco

we got her a margarita

she also got that rad Chingu (friend) hat in insadong

excited for guacamole 

On Tuesday, after rehearsal and snack shopping, we stopped for pasta at Primo Bacio Baci

Then I went to Korean class whoooooo. 

We chilled Wednesday and then headed out to the Mr. Show. It was the highlight of the week haha. Probably the trip for Ronnie, who fell for Korean style while she was here haha. 

Sorry not sorry this is like my 4th time going. I'm sacrificing for a friend ok?

We had front row seats (something my introverted self was nervous about) which made us easy targets for the audience participation portion. My blonde hair actually got me picked, but I explained to the dude that I wanted my travelling friend to have the experience. 

She loved it. When the dude asked how it was after, Veronica just made incoherent noise and said "great!" and then "Yes. I would like that" when asked if she wanted to date Ty, her dude. It was hilarious. She was like "I totally forgot how to peak English."

We even met some of the dudes afterwards, much to (probably only) my embarrassment. 

Veronica with the dude who danced up on her, Ty

His English was actually really awesome. 

Cesca really wanted to meet this dude

After studying Korean men Wednesday, we went back to culture Thursday at Changdeokgung. We toured the Secret Garden, which I've been to 3 other times, with Sarah, Sarah and her dad, and my school. So, since it was my 4th time, I took the pictures haha. I've probably gone over the significance of this stuff a few times, so I might skip that for now. Just enjoy the beauty! 

Changdeokgung became the main palace after Gyeongbokgung, and was well loved because of the space and gardens. I find it prettier and more interesting than the more famous and visited Gyeongbokgung.

The prince's less elaborate quarters, cause he wanted to focus on studying

Rushing through the door of longevity 

Lotus blossom!

That building looks like a fan from above

Ces got a bug in her eye and I got this gem of a pic

ready to party cause that's what this was sometimes used for

After the tour, we checked out the rest of the palace, like the concubines quarters.

the chillest concubine

That probably wasn't supposed to open haha

being important officials

Dog cafe. We were popular and we didn't even need treats!


brb dying

that one works hard

We called this one princess

Then we split off cause I had Korean class. We spent the night organizing again and downloading more things for Veronica. 

On Friday we went to rehearsal and shopped a bit, got burgers and then went back to hang out and just spend lots of time together. We stayed up too late talking about how awesome vacation had been and how fast it went...

Saturday, we woke up bright and early and headed to the airport, only to discover that Ronnie's flight, which we were already way early for, was delayed 3 hours. 

Apparently nobody was informed of this, because there was a long line of very angry passengers ahead of us. Maybe they weren't angry. I dunno. Russian sometimes sounds aggressive. 
waaaah vacation is over faces

scratch that, our waiting in the airport forever faces. We should
have been more careful when we said we wanted more time

we passed the time with starbucks and kdramas

Enjoying one last starbucks

It was hard to send Veronica away, because we had such a good time. She's the first person I had to send back from Korea, so it was difficult. We will both probably be in the states next year, and we all vowed that we would take vacations together later. Still. I miss her already. I'm happy to have room in my apartment, but it feel empty without Ronnie and Cesca hanging out, laughing about kpop or the pics we took...

Cesca and I got home waaaaay later than we expected (like 5pm) and were too tired to do anything so we just hung out and finished our dramas that we were not caught up on. On Sunday, we had a rehearsal for our dance show (we are, of course, the only foreigners in it)

On Sunday, we got together for a "good luck on your new adventures" dinner, because Lauren is changing schools, Janell got a new job and Sarah is going to Germany this week. What a whirlwind. I didn't want to say goodbye to Sarah, who essentially brought me to Korea, but that's life, I guess... too many goodbyes...

we celebrated with a special "8 flavors of
samgyeopsal" dinner

It's hard to be sad when I was and am so busy. I feel like I didn't have a break because we did so much this vacation, but it was so worth it! Though it is nice to have a clear path to my closet and bathroom again... haha

School starts again this week, and my next few weekend are already full of plans (including me possibly getting my stupid laptop fixed...), so I don't have time to be sad!

To whatever you're starting this week, I hope it's a good one! The weather isn't so unbearable here anymore, which is a huuuuge relief. I can't wait for a little bit of fall to start creeping in! 

Peace and love!


Obsessed with the new Bigbang song "Let's Not Fall in Love" cause the video and song are both gorgeous. Have a listen

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