Zoe and I just got back from a fun overnight up in Seoul. Bryan and I are making a point to have some quality solo time with each kid every other month. I miss hanging out with Zoe, so I was really looking forward to our weekend together!
We took the bus up to the East Seoul terminal and went to The Seoul Children’s Grand Park. Zoe had a blast riding the camel, seeing the zoo, watching the animal show, and getting a special Dolphin balloon. From there we took the subway over to Myeongdong – a fancy shopping district – to go to a special surprise place. I didn’t tell her we were going to a Cat Cafe until we got there, and she was super excited!! In fact it was her favorite thing we did. We got some drinks, a muffin, and played with all the kitties. She especially loved the siamese because it’s in a book we are currently reading. There were some super cute cats, and they swarmed around when we bought the kitty food to give them.
By the time we had our fill of animals it was dark out. We walked to our hotel – Elm Tree Guesthouse – a tiny bunk room in a cute little budget guesthouse super close to both Myeongdong and Namdaemun (a market area). After some chill time we hit Namdaemun market for some shopping, snacks, and crazy fun. It was nice to not be carrying that dolphin balloon around! We continued up the hill from there to the NSeoul tower cable car, which had a hugemongeous line…. like, a serious 3 hour wait! I tried to take a cab but was told the taxi cannot go up the mountain anymore, I must take the shuttle bus. No one could tell me where to get it. Zoe wanted so much to see the tower because it is so pretty and lit up. So, we hiked up….it was her idea! for real! We actually had so much fun hiking up since it was more like a Chinese trail – paved with marble staircases or decking. We counted the steps, bought snacks at the halfway point, stopped to see the view, and enjoyed the beautiful fall leaves lit up by the walkway lighting. By the time we reached the top, though, it was 9:30 and the restaurants were booked for the night. No dinner, but a hotdog and some of that ice cream that is made of tiny balls seems to be enough for Zoe. She was tired and wanted to go up the tower and then we found out the wait was an hour!! ugh. She loved the video on the elevator that seems like we are blasting into space (it makes me sick), and then almost fell asleep looking at the view out the tower. I carried her down and out, found out about the shuttle bus and took it back down the hill (It stopped, BTW, 25m from the idiot taxi drivers). It also stopped across the street from our hotel, thank goodness. Tucked into bed around midnight and slept pretty well.
This morning we woke and had some jelly bread and tea at the guesthouse before walking in the rain to the subway. Three stops later we were at the Dragon Hill Spa – it’s a pretty well known and recommended jjimjillbang. Zoe was looking forward to this soooooo much!!! We spent all day! Took a long time in the sauna scrubbing up, taking time in the different tubs, and getting warm. After that we explored the theme relaxation rooms – one with salt crystals to lay on, two pyramid rooms, an ice room, lots of ovens, and an oxygen room. We got lunch at the cafeteria, watching the crazy people swimming in the blustery rain outside, and then took a long nap in the sauna sleeping area. When we woke up we wandered down to the play area and video game land before packing up to go! After that it was a long train ride home.