Thursday, September 15, 2011

Everland...the happiest place in Korea!

We've been in Korea nearly two months now, and we've already taken our kids to an amusement park. In the States, we said we wouldn't do that until they were much older. There was no point. They're too short for the rides. All they would do is whine about the heat and the lines. We wouldn't even get to go on any fun rides. These are the things we've been telling ourselves for the past 7 or 8 years. Since the last time we went to Disneyland.
Granted, there are no big amusement parks in Washington, and the most of the ones in the States are outrageously expensive. But, it still floors me that we've already taken our kids to a Korean "Disneyland"! I guess that's what happens when you move across the world. Things that you never would have expected! We got to take advantage of the "Foreigners Discount" (pretty generous) and the lack of lines as all of Korea spent time with their family. An awesome bonus for being an expatriate!
Our day did not start of too spectacularly, though. I tried to be relaxed and get up just an hour before we had to leave. I tried not to stress about leaving too early and whether or not we would be able to catch a cab in time, especially on a holiday. I don't think I was too successful, though. It turned out I had reason to be stressed.
Cade's favorite ride!
We walked down our hill, where on a normal day, there are many taxis either parked waiting for a patron or driving down the hill in the direction we needed to go. That morning, there was one taxi sitting at the bottom of the hill, so we kind of jogged down the hill toward it (the best a four and two year old can jog down a hill!). Just as we were nearing the bottom of the hill, a woman got in it and it drove away. Strike one. 
So, we walked the rest of the way down our street keeping an eye out for a taxi. No such luck. We took the tunnel to the other side of the highway we needed to get down to try to catch one going in the right direction. Still no luck. The ones that were there, flew right by us like we were invisible. At this point, it was the time we were supposed to be meeting our group. I was more than a little stressed now.
We finally managed to walk into Itaewon, get on the correct side of the street, and find an open taxi. We arrived about 15 minutes late. Not too bad for a Butler, I guess, but pretty stressful for this Carlson. Thankfully, the family that we were riding with had waited for us and we arrived just 15 minutes after the park opened.
Kennedy and Nora
We spent the day with two other families who have a total of 8 kids between them. A total of 10 kids ranging in age between 5 months and 12 years. Needless to say, we had a busy day of parents taking turns on different rides. Cade had a hard time with the fact that he couldn't go on all of the rides that Kennedy could, but he really enjoyed the rides that he got to go on. He went on roller coasters, water rides, spinning teacups, and he drove the cars a lot! Kennedy did the same and more! She loved running around with the other girls (ages 3, 4, and 5) and feeling like she had some independence! In the afternoon, the other parents offered to take the kids for us so that we could go on the huge wooden roller coaster. It turned out to be more than a 2 hour wait and I can't believe they were willing to do that for us. It was an awesome roller coaster, though!
7 of 10 kids riding the train
We had a great time, but I'm glad that we won't be back for another year! It was a little stressful that Kennedy wouldn't eat all day and that Cade ate everything we'd brought for her and everything we bought for her. I guess that's what happens when you get left behind on a lot of the rides! They were pooped by the end of the day, and I was glad I'd brought pajamas when they both fell asleep shortly into our 45 minute drive home.

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