We made it to the Land of the Morning Calm a few days ago. I apologize for the extended absence - to say that life has been interesting for the past few months would be an understatement! MacGyver left for his job in Korea, leaving us behind to wrap things up before the holidays. Before he left we had been looking for a house to buy in the area and, just after he left, we found one that met our needs and most of our wants. So, armed with pre-approval from the bank and a power of attorney, I bought a house...on my own. It was insane. But it's ours and I cannot wait to start tackling all of the plans I have for it!
Christmas was it's normal insanity with preparations for an international move thrown in for good measure. The post office now knows me by name and I feel like Norm in 'Cheers' every time I walk in there. After doing my best to downsize, we put most of our stuff in storage and shipped off the little that remained - clothes, school stuff, Legos (must.have.Legos.), a few kitchen supplies, the important files and paperwork. And then there was the insanity that comes with moving - all of the last-minute minutiae that I absolutely DESPISE: runs to Goodwill, the dump, ditching things with friends, panicking that we weren't going to get it all done in time to head to the airport.
Oh, and the goodbyes.
We all know I suck at goodbyes. I did my best to avoid them but I wasn't able to do so entirely so there was that. But we made it out alive. Our flight took us through Denver and had an overnight layover involved so we were able to eat at one of our favorite restaurants, The Flagstaff House. MacGyver and I have been there five times (including this last trip) and this time we were able to take the kids with us so they could experience it. What a joy it was to share it with them! They tried everything that was placed before them - including pate, petit fours, and eggnog pannacotta.
The next morning we were off on the incredibly long flight to Seoul. They've been retrofitting 747s with in-seat video screens and auxillary power for your tablet/computer/etc. as well as in-flight wi-fi so we were looking forward to that. Sadly, we managed to get THE oldest 747 in the airline's fleet - it had NONE of those items. Thankfully, we had melatonin and neck pillows! The flight attendants were fantastic and seemed to be fascinated by the fact that we all travel with our own water bottles. They brought my children chocolates and topped off our water bottles constantly. I think that staying hydrated like we did helped us rebound from the flight more easily. We had heard there was Jamba Juice at Incheon and were looking forward to finding it but, by the time we landed and made it through immigration and customs, all we wanted to do was go home. Sadly, that meant another 2.5 hours on the bus.
But we're here now and settling in. Korea is - on first impression - like living in an alternate universe. There are MANY things that are very reminiscent of living in the states. And then, when you look a little closer, you realize you're not in Kansas anymore, Toto. I'll write more about that later. And pictures...I'll post pictures. But first I have to get a new phone and cell service. And a car. But I've been to Starbucks so all is well!
Pau. (I suppose I should learn to say 'done' in Korean instead of Hawaiian...)