Sunday, August 28, 2011

Seodaemun Prision

After a little work time on Sunday we were able to escape to checkout the Seodaemun Prison. This place was pretty interesting to see. The prison was opened in October 1908 and was used by the Japanese to house about 500 anti-colonial Korean activists. The really interesting thing about this place is that after 1945 (Japanese annexation) the amount of history is very slim.  The prison wasn't closed until 1987. 

I just had to document the random gas masks that you find around the city!

This is where the hangings occurred. You weren't allowed to take any pictures inside but it was really eerie to in the building.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

63 Building

The 63 building was built in 1985 and given title of the tallest building in Asia for a few months. From there it continued to drop in the the rankings and doesn't even make the Top 100 list these days  It is pretty cool experience though and one I would recommend if you are visiting Seoul. The views from the top are amazing and show the vastness of the city. 

This building is in the business district of Yeouido so there really isn't anything else to check out in the area. The building itself has an Aquarium, Imax Theater, Wax Museum, Sky Art Lounge and over 90 stores.  They had great deals for foreigners so we were able to see most of the exhibits. For W30,000/person we purchased the Big 3. We headed up to the Sky Art Lounge and checked out the view of the city and then headed over to the 3D Imax movie. Of course, this was the main reason I wanted to go because the movie was The Ultimate Wave Tahiti. I knew Rush would really enjoy seeing some waves and I think he enjoyed it as much as I did.

My list of things to see in Seoul keeps growing, but I love being able to cross one more thing off my list. We will be on our next adventure tomorrow!

Here are a few more pictures from our day.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Need Flowers?

This past week only involved one adventure, but it was a good one. The Yangjae Flower Market is amazing. They have so many flowers, I couldn't even imagine how many we would see. And the sad part is, we probably didn't even get to see everything. The market just kept going!

Welcome to Yangjae Flower City! (I'm guessing it says something like that)

I really can't even begin to explain the amount of orchids they had and the actual colors were unbelievable. I thought because I lived in Hawaii I had seen a lot of orchids, but I've been missing out. The colors were like nothing I had ever seen.  I thought this was our last greenhouse to walk through but as we made our way toward the back we found even more flowers.

Hydrangeas, roses, daisies, sun flowers and the list keeps going. Every kind of flower you can imagine was available for purchase.

On our walk back to the subway we found an advertisement we thought was too funny to not share. If you have been to South Korea you will understand that things get lost in translation. It happens a lot here and every time I can't but wonder what people are thinking. Check out the picture below. It is an advertisement for the department store, Doota. Hot Place Dooche is something I'm not familiar with though...Anyone want to explain?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fisher Vineyards

On our recent trip to California, we were able to make a little trip to see a friend of Rush's from Andover. Our trip was already packed, but this was something we really wanted to do so we moved some things around and were able to make a trip up to Santa Rosa to see Rob and to check out Fisher Vineyards!

We left San Francisco andheaded out over the Golden Gate bridge towards Santa Rosa. It was the most beautiful vineyard I have ever seen. The flowers were all in bloom and the garden was unbelievable. We started the tour with of course a little wine and a tour of the cellar. Everything about it was beautiful! We continued on a walk around the vineyard and then had an amazing lunch to catch up.

We were lucky enough to be given a bottle of Syrah (Thanks Rob!) for dinner that night. It was an amazing bottle of wine and I can't wait to try it again. We had been to Sonoma before, but this didn't even compare to this trip. We felt so welcomed by the family and can't wait to visit again.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My Jjimjilbang Experience -- Dragon Hill Spa Review

Today was a big day! Rush has started working 12+ hour days so I decided this weekend to grab the Seoul travel book and pick out new adventures for the upcoming few weeks. I decided last night I would head out to the Dragon Hill Spa in the morning.

I have been to a Korean Spa before today but only 1 time and it was in Hawaii. Some of my North Shore girls wanted to make sure I knew what to expect (which I am completely thankful for) because it is definitely a little surprising and not for everyone.

This morning I hopped on the Subway and headed out towards the Spa. It was really easy to find once exiting the Yongsan Station.  I walked in and was approached right away by a nice Korean woman. She started speaking English, but I soon found out she did not speak very much, just the basics. I decided that because I was there I would figure out how this worked.

I paid my W10,000 and was given my wrist key. I put my shoes in the locker right away and headed to the 3rd floor. Wondering how many floors they have? I think it was 7! The 2nd and 3rd are only for women so once you take the elevator to the 3rd floor you are surrounded by women, and yes most people are naked.  No one has any problem with nudity here. You are given 2 small hand towels so you really can't even try to cover up. After figuring out where my next locker was located, I undressed and followed the signs downstairs to the pool and sauna area. You have to shower before doing anything and of course this is all in the open as well. They had too many hot tub areas to count and they all range from really hot to medium to cold temperatures. I relaxed in the hot water for awhile and then when to the body scrub area. For only W25,000 I was given about 25 minutes of the most in-depth scrub. The amount of dead skin they get rid of is incredible! I probably should mention that the lady that gives you the scrub only wear a black bra and black panties. I've been told that it's because they get wet and black isn't see thru. With exfoliating gloves the all over scrub began and once finished with my body, she washed my face and my hair. It really makes you feel great once it is complete. After finishing the scrub I headed back out where they scanned my wrist bracelet and I made my payment.

Most people that go to these places stay for hours. They have floors for both men and women and even kids are running around. They have places and eat, sleep and play games. It really is a great experience and I'm so happy I got the nerve to go. I was the only American but once you realize everyone is there to have a good time, you become more relaxed. I'm already looking forward to my next trip!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Zipline Time!

This past weekend we had a blast! Are you thinking it's because we ran 18 miles? Nope! (Well, we did run 18 miles, but it wasn't the highlight of our weekend!) The best part was our trip to Mungyeong to check out the Zipline Course. They had 9 course for us to do and it took just over an hour to complete everything. It was about a 3 hour drive but completely worth the time. The views were incredible! I would definitely do this again.

                            If you can read Korean, checkout their website --

Friday, August 5, 2011

Mileage Update

From 11 Jul - 3 Aug we have added 70 miles to our mileage! Yippee!

3 Weeks

How is it already August? I have no idea where the time has gone! I keep updating our marathon training schedule and can't believe we are already on week 14. Our runs have been going really well and for the last couple long runs I was by myself in Hawaii while Rush was in Korea. I definitely missed having my motivational partner so I'm happy to be back in Korea for our upcoming 18 mile this weekend!

I do have to say though I will miss my cheering squadron/water station back in Hawaii (Thanks Sandy for the water!).  The city of Seoul is okay for running, but we are having a hard time finding water fountains around our normal path. And of course the rolling hills don't help me out!

Last week, we decided to meet up in California because Rush was there for work. We took an extra week and took a little vacation. It was pretty last minute so finding reservations made it a little hard, but we took what we could find.

We started the journey in San Francisco by leaving at 430am en route to Yosemite. We added this on to the trip last minute and I'm so happy we did. It was absolutely one of the most amazing places I have ever been. It was beautiful and the weather was great. We ended up staying in a Yurt which was a little interesting but we made the best of it! It was something I can mark off my list :)

On Sunday morning we started the day with The 4 mile hike to Glacier Point. It actually ended up being about 5 miles...I'm guessing they haven't checked their mileage in awhile. From there we felt really good and decided to continue down on the Panorama Trail which was about 8 miles. We were able to see Nevada Falls, Vernal Falls and the continue on Mist Trail. After over 13 miles of hiking we called it a day and crashed hard for the night. We got up early the next day and headed to do The Upper Yosemite Falls hike. It was a total of 9 miles and we were able to get so close to the Falls. It was a steep walk down and a bit scary but something we had to do.

After saying good bye to Yosemite, we started driving towards Big Sur. Of course, camping would have been great but we just didn't have the time to get gear from friends so we found a rustic cabin. Rush's brother came down to meet us and we had a great time. Driving the PCH was beautiful and I'm really happy we had the chance to do the trip.

I took over 400 pictures from our trip but don't want to bore everyone with too many. It's almost the weekend here in Korea so that means one's almost time for our 18 mile run! Wish us luck because we will definitely need it!