Family weekend found Zoe and I on the base-bus up to Yongsan….it’s the army base in Seoul. We had a beautiful day to explore! After lunch in the BX food court we walked off base to the subway and rode over to Myeongdong. This is the trendy shopping part of Seoul. This is not where I belong with my jeans and tee shirt. But, this is where the nearest dog cafe was.
On a previous mommy-Zoe weekend we visited the nearby cat cafe. This time Zoe wanted to see the doggies. Well, yuck! The dog cafe was so stinky with urine and chemical smell. We stayed a while, though, and petted all the dogs. They didn’t have an “away space” like the cat cafe, so the dogs just peed or pooped on the floor. An attendant would clean it quickly, but they weren’t super thorough. It lingered. We also couldn’t really play or feed them as at the cat cafe…. I guess they don’t want to get them worked up. Zoe still loved it. She petted the lab, and loved the little terrier and wiener dog that snuggled up. There was a big bulldog who liked pats and a pretty Dalmatian that was standoffish.
From there we visited the gyeongbukgong palace. It was huge and beautiful! There are so many palace buildings it’s more like a palatial village with gardens and ponds. At the subway I inquired at a table offering free English tours from the Cultural Exchange Corps. These were high schoolers learning English and giving private tours. So a young girl named Rebecca was assigned to us and walked the two of us around. It was awesome as we got to ask questions about things like the creatures in paintings and stuff not on the paid tour… and of interest to a six year old. We passed those folks – 30 people deep – happy to avoid the big tour. After Rebccah was done we stayed for another hour or so to wander around and explore until the place closed at dusk.
As night came we boarded the subway again bound for Dong (east) Seoul. Zoe loves the jjimjilbang and requested to go to another big one for our mommy-Zoe weekend. It was nice to soak in the tubs, scrub down, and hang out in the massage chairs. We also got dinner and relaxed in all the different jjimjil rooms. Zoe’s favorite was the salt crystal room where the floor was covered in a ton of loose salt crystals. It was warm but not too hot and she played and played. She also liked hanging out in one of the tiny caves coloring and reading Caddie Woodlawn. We spent the night… Found some mats and claimed a spot in the sleeping room. It wasn’t super restful but not bad.
In the morning we got up and visited the sauna again. She had a blast swimming around in the big pool and pushing the button to restart the massage jets for me when it shutoff. She also kept going in the deep cold pool to practice swimming. It was nearly empty this time of day and quite nice.
It was Dunkin donuts down the road for breakfast and then we hopped an inter-city bus back to Songtan. It’s market day back home so we wandered through looking for persimmons. Zoe lives persimmons and has been waiting all year for them to come back in season again!! No luck … Just the soft ones, she likes the crunchy variety.
I love my one on one time with Zoe. She is amazing and intelligent and simply a fun kid to be around!
Zoe’s peach iced tea and a golden
the dalmation wanted a drink from the bar
this guy was pretty nervous of Zoe. We were told not to let her touch it.
A cute mutt that kept wanting to sit on her
The afghan, whom we were told to avoid as it bites kids, came directly over to Zoe at one point. It just stared at her for a while then walked off. Do you see why? look on the floor.
Gyeongbukgong palace outer courtyard
the inner courtyard and Zoe!
the palace gardens
the giant feast hall
Rebecca, our tour guide
Zoe and one of the numerous willow trees.
all dressed for the Jimjjillbang