It was another hot and humid day and I think between that and just all the emotions that have been wrapped up and are still to come this week we are both beat tonight. But despite all of that we had a good day.
We started off the day after a good phone call to talk with the boys, on a long subway ride to the eastern part of Seoul. We started off on the subway with standing room only as many people were rushing to their morning work, and by the time we got to our station there was hardly anyone in our subway car. We headed way east to visit the hospital where Edric spent the first 3 weeks of his life in the NICU. I don’t know if it will matter to him someday, but I know Leighton likes to know that he was born at the University Hospital in Denver and has been to see that a few times and the hospital Caedmon was born at (Avista) is right next to his pediatrician’s office so we see that often. And so I wanted to be able to show Edric where he was in the NICU at. Along the road to the hospital we walked by a number of markets and small food stands. At one the owner was laying out fresh fish to sell, and at another the owner was yelling a lot about his fresh fruit and veggies. I told Clint “If I was shopping I would go to the person who was quietly selling and not the yelling guy, he’d scare me”.
After getting our photos we headed back into the heart of Seoul. I had found online the Isadong Tourist Information Center and online it had said that one could go there and try on traditional Hanboks and take photos. When we found it (after walking in circles a bit and then discovering we had already walked by it at least once), we learned that it was actually a small fee to try on the hanboks but we still jumped in and tried them on. Clint’s came up to his mid shins and there were traditional boots for him to wear with it but they were too small for his big feet. Afterwards we ate our lunch in the shade.
After lunch and refilling our water bottles we headed to the Bukchon Hanok Village which is a collection of close to 900 traditional Korean homes. They are built into a hillside between the two palaces we had visited on Saturday. We wandered for quite a bit just up and down the alleys. Many of the hanoks have been turned into cafes or galleries.
After getting very hot and sweaty we wandered back to Insadong and got some refreshing drinks. We saw a guy painting fans in the street and watched him for a bit and decided to buy one of his beautiful hand painted fan. We had walked the markets so much that we knew that today was going to be our shopping day and so we started going down the list of what we had decided to buy for our home and for gifts for others. Initially we had thought about buying hanboks for all the boys, but when thinking and considering costs and that likely they would end up just hanging in the closet the majority of the time. And so instead we found some wooden swords which the boys are going to love and have way more fun with (after some rules are laid down). The shop keepers were all very sweet.
When we were done shopping in Insadong I thought that one of the palaces close had a changing of the guard so we headed there. And either I was in the wrong part of the palace or there was no such thing, we couldn’t find anything. And so weighing our options we decided to start walking towards Namdaemon market.
It was quite the walk especially in the heat and humidity. I was carrying the swords in the bag that I had and Clint said from behind I looked like a warrior ready to draw my sword at any moment. As we walked we found Deoksugung, the palace we visited on Sunday and they seemed to be having some sort of ceremony going on. We watched for quite awhile. We also found more pineapple on a stick on our way and that was so good and refreshing to eat.
In Namdaemon we found the last gifts we needed and decided to head towards home. It was a long day, but a good one. Tomorrow we meet Edric again and will also have to say goodbye to him until we are back to take custody, its going to be a rough day. Praying that that time goes very fast and that there are no delays. Looking forward to laughing and playing with him though!