Saturday, April 5, 2014

Busan's National Maritime Museum

This weekend has been more like spring break than any of our spring break was. The weather hasn't been great--it's cooled down by about 15 degrees since last week, but it is supposed to warm up again this week.

This weekend neither Eric nor I had any school work to do. Grades were due Tuesday, so I've been able to relax a bit since then. My soccer game on Saturday was cancelled; the team had to forfeit. Our only obligation was Cade's soccer practice. What a relief it is to finally be able to relax! And I'm finally delivering a decent blog post--picture heavy, I warn you--in an effort to catch up a bit.

Our flights back home for the summer are booked--we'll be back in WA on June 17th--and it's finally starting to feel like the school year is winding down. I guess the start of the 4th quarter will do that! We now have just under two months left of school. Woohoo!

I can't say that I'm feeling great, but certainly better than I was two weeks ago. I even cooked today. It may have been in the middle of the day, for no meal in particular, but I knew what I wanted, I made it, and I was able to eat it. It's the first time in a long time that I've been able to do that!

This is the busiest quarter for me of the school year, in terms of grading. It's a bit hard to believe, since I don't really have a quarter that's easy, but I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for the craziness that is to come. My first big assignment is due in a little over a week, and then there is a new one about every two weeks until the end of the year. That means I really need to be on my game!

I only have three weeks of soccer left, though, so that should help. We've been having an amazing season--the first winning season for girls' soccer in a long time. We've lost one, tied one, and won all of the rest of our games--including beating our arch rival for the first time in school history. It's been a good year to fill in!

These pictures are from our second day in Busan...remember how I was trying to post pictures of my brother's trip? Remember how I said I hoped I'd get through it in two months? Whoops! Needless to say, I no longer remember many of the details that I would have had I gotten through this in a reasonable amount of time, but I did at least write down what we did on a daily basis, so I have something to go off of, aside from just pictures.

On day two, we got up and headed to Starbucks for breakfast. We'd decided the night before that we were going to do the Busan City bus tour. The one in Seoul is pretty good, and they're pretty reasonable, so it's an easy way to get around to the big sights. During breakfast, we changed our mind. We decided there was really only one thing we wanted to see on the tour, so we might as well just go there by ourselves.

Of course, that's always easier said than done in a foreign country, but we managed pretty well. We started by actually walking through the fish market and then ended up re-tracing our steps to head to the subway, thinking we knew what step to get off and that we could map it from there. After exiting the subway, we realized that we were still very far away from our destination, so we found a taxi.

We were able to get out there without too much trouble, but you should know that it is also pretty far out of town, and once we were there, I had no idea how we were going to get back into town!

The museum itself is pretty incredible, though. We spend several hours going through it--and that was just reading the English. There are boats, several interactive kids' exhibits, and a lot of information. Best of all, it's free, of course! And we finally took advantage of the 10 cent lockers that many Korean places have to store our coats, gloves, hats, scarves, and backpacks. Why don't we use those more often?! I would definitely recommend a stop at this museum, if you're ever in Busan.

Our next stop was lunch. Another really nice thing about Korean museums, is that they tend to have cheap food courts inside or nearby. It's the standard fare: bibimbap, donkgas, kimbap, and kimchi jigae at every one, but it works.

Even our pickiest eater can always get by with just rice, if she refuses to eat anything else! Those little fish, complete with heads? They're served as part of the banchan at many places--salty and usually spicy, too.

After lunch, we finally had to figure out how to leave the museum. We'd seen a sign for a taxi stop when we'd arrived, but it was near a ferry terminal, and evidently the taxis only come when they know there's a boat coming. No such luck. We also knew that the tour bus went out there, so we figured we would wait at the bus stop and hop on--so much for not doing the tour.

As it turned out, an empty taxi happened to come by the bus stop while we were waiting. Our afternoon plan was to head to the Busan Aquarium. As it turned out, Busan is a big city, and the two were very far apart. I mean far apart. It was not a cheap taxi ride. The aquarium wasn't cheap, either. The only reason we went because many people had told me how great it was, but we weren't impressed. I wouldn't bother, if I were you! 

We took the subway back to the hotel, but we still hadn't had dinner, so Trav and I trekked out to find something to bring back. It was New Year's Eve, but the kids were tired and ready for bed, so we were laying low.

We brought back fried chicken, and after a second trek out to get dessert, we put the kids to bed in one room, and we played cards in the other room. As much as I tried to convince Trav to go out by himself and experience New Year's in Busan, he wasn't confident he was going to find the kind of fun he was looking for, so we kept playing cribbage until midnight, at which point I headed to bed. And apparently Eric felt the need to document it.

In just a few weeks Lindy will be here to visit, and it will be May. Soccer will be over. The school year will be wrapping up. Before you know it, we'll be packing suitcases and headed to the States for the summer. Eric and I have been dreaming about it lately, so I guess we're excited! There's a lot going on right now!

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