Friday, March 27, 2015

Pottery Shopping in Yeoju

Last Saturday I tagged along with a group of ladies intent on doing some serious pottery shopping. We boarded a bus at 8 am and headed off to the town of Yeoju, which I had previously visited for a festival.

After about 1 1/12 hours, we stopped at our first pottery shop and it was time to pick out some kimchi pots. There were TONS of them, in all shapes and sizes. I brought home a good sized one that we plan to use either for outdoor decor or as a side table in the living room. Lamp stand!

There were shelves upon shelves of pots and vases - so much pottery!!

We hopped back on the bus and headed to a section of town that had a row of shops all along one side of the street. There was, again, so much pottery!!

Need any plates?

How about some painted kimchi pots?

Or how about something just a little bit naughty? Yup, you're seeing correctly...

After filling up a good portion of the bus's storage area, we headed to stop #3:

I loved this wall of vases:

And these just made me laugh...what on Earth? Why??

Our last stop for the day was at the "blue and white store" for, you guessed it, blue and white pottery:

The cool thing about this site was around back. While on the hunt for a public restroom, I stumbled upon their factory area - those are pallets full of pottery waiting to be glazed and painted.

The other cool thing was the machine they used to seal our boxes and attach the plastic straps:

It was so cool, I had to catch a quick video - watch how fast this thing works:


As pretty much everyone wanted to make a purchase at the blue and white, and they were woefully understaffed that day, we had lots of time to wander through the store next door - which ended up being my favorite place of the day. Great deals and such a variety. I snagged a set of the blue samulnori musicians seen in this picture:

We're still not sure what the art piece with three brown balls in the next picture was supposed to be...any guesses?

After a full day, we decided to head for home. I think I managed to have a successful trip...

Here are a few of my treasurers from the day:

One more thing checked off the Korea bucket I just need to find a drum...

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

My 100th Post!!

100 BLOG POSTS!!! How is that possible? Holy cow, that's a lot of Korean adventure!

And now for another BIG announcement: we're moving back to the US early - as in months early!! We will be heading back to the East Coast sometime this summer.

This, of course, comes with some pretty mixed feelings.

Yay! We'll be closer to family and stateside friends, we'll be starting on a new adventure, and we will have an easier time getting access to some things we've missed. Oh, and we won't have to move the week before Christmas again (major YAY to that one!).

Boo! because we lose six months of time for exploring Korea and other Asian countries, we'll be leaving some awesome friends and activities behind, and we'll have to deal with moving prep in a shortened amount of time.

So, watch for some new adventures and posts as we frantically try to cram in as many things from our bucket list as possible - it's going to be a crazy few months!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Trip to Lotte World

South Korea has a little of everything, and that includes amusement parks. They do not have “little” amusement parks, however - they go for broke! Lotte World is a multi-level, indoor/outdoor extravaganza of entertainment. Instead of Mickey and Minnie, they have Lotte and Lorry (above). We found a nice, quiet Tuesday in the off season to visit (because who likes fighting through crowds of people and waiting in line? Not this family!).

I toyed with the idea of driving there and then we just opted for the ease of the subway. It took about 45 minutes, but we hopped off at Jamsil Station and exited directly into the adjoining shopping mall (and a European sculpture garden, it seemed). 

This entire complex has two ginormous malls, the park, an outdoor lake, an aquarium, and more. We were on a mission, so straight to Lotte World we went.

As you enter, you get a sense of the “multiple levels” part and can gaze down at the full sized ice rink (it’s open year round). We headed up to the top floor, and after consulting with the map for a few seconds, decided to just wing-it.

We had fun on some of the kiddie rides, and Michael especially liked the train.

Then we headed into the Insect Zone...mwah ha ha haaaaa...

It was actually pretty large and had more than just insects.

It did have this pretty cool station that turned real cricket sounds into classical music:



Look, Mommy! I'm a chipmunk!

As with all things Korea, there were plenty of cute photo op stops:

The space ended with this awesome climbing structure:

Then it was time for more rides - action shot!

We headed into the Mirror maze, after being given plastic gloves to wear - 
can't leave pesky finger prints on all of those mirrors!

We tested our ninja/spy skills...we may or may not have failed miserably amongst a lot of giggling.

We paused to watch some ice skaters spinning and speed skating:

And found a place on a lower level for lunch - here's my tasty pork cutlet with udon:

Then...more rides!

And a live, musical Korean...but it was fun to watch.

You guessed it - more rides!

Then we headed up to another level, for the Lotte Folk Museum (yes, there is a museum!)

The museum went through the different periods of Korean history, from prehistoric to the Three Kingdoms (Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla) to the Joseon Dynasty.

There were some great displays, relics, and models throughout:

They also had some traditional activities to try:

The next room housed a giant miniature village:

And we exited through a performance hall, where I snapped some pics of the musical instruments:

When we re-entered the amusement park, it was just in time to see the afternoon parade - the theme was a masquerade fantasy:

And then, as we had promised, we headed into the Pororo Penguin play area for the little guy to bounce and run:

He declared this full day trip a success!