Saturday, July 23, 2011

Bubby Goes to the Beach

Yesterday, Grandma and Grandpa took Bubby and I to Grand Bend. Bubby had lots of fun playing on the sand and in the water (didn't even cry when I dunked him for the first time). We're going to go again next week when Auntie Kristen is here.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Air Canada

I chose Air Canada because it's the cheapest way to get from Seoul to Toronto. In the future, I may just have to suck it up and splurge on a non-stop flight with another airline because I'm not sure I can tolerate another trip like this (I say this, yet I still have the return flight to contend with...)

We arrived at Incheon Airport 3 1/2 hours early because Clark needed to get to work. I had already done the on-line check in and confirmed my seat, so getting the boarding passes was simple enough. Passing through security was likewise without difficulty, and no one batted an eye at my giant carry-on's filled with water, formula, food, etc. Incheon truly is a lovely airport, and after a very brief run through a couple of Duty-Free shops, Logan and I settled down in a kid's play/nursing area to wait for our boarding call (2 carry-on's and a baby was just too heavy for any extended shopping to occur).

We boarded with the First-Class passengers,but were then forced to sit on the runway for about 90 minutes. Blaming the wind, the pilot announced the ground crew needed to unload some extra cargo because we were too heavy for take-off. This would've been ok with me except for the Nazi cabin crew who demanded I stay seated and hold onto Logan even though we were parked; we hadn't even taxied down the runway. They refused to let me sit him on the floor in front of me (we were in the bulkhead seats) or even let him stand. Eating was just about the only way to keep him calm ~ so he munched and munched and munched some more...

Once we were in the air and the seatbelt sign was finally turned off they presented me with two options: hold him or hold him. At no time was I allowed to have any part of him touching the ground (I tried it once and got reemed out huge). He slept on and off for a total of about 3 hours, but the poor little guy was so uncomfortable (never mind the pain and sweat his mommy was in) that he was constantly crying out and writhing around. Once, when he was fast asleep, I asked for a bassinet but was refused on the grounds that he was too old and had the ability to sit up; my assurances that I would pick up him immediately if he woke fell on deaf ears. Each time the meal cart came by they'd tease me and ask if I'd like something ~ "Uh, sure, are you gonna hold my baby or let me put him on the floor while I eat? Yeah, didn't think so." I was, however, able to drink water.

He didn't show any interest in the tv screen or any of the toys I'd brought along, but the elderly Korean couple behind us provided some comic relief from time to time, as did the magazines and emergency safety card instruction booklet. The man sitting next to us was of absolutely no help, preferring to stare straight ahead engrossed in movies, hogging the armrest, and spilling his scalding hot ramen noodle water onto my leg. Once, Logan did manage to rip his glasses from his face, which was worth a good giggle from mommy.

I found the change table in the bathroom pretty convenient, but a little to my surprise no one ever offered to let us go ahead of them, so we often waited in line 10-15 minutes. When I had to go, the flight attendants held on to him for me; but poor Bubby REALLY didn't like that idea.

The second leg, from Vancouver to Toronto, was smoother than the first. In Vancouver we easily passed through customs thanks to the notarized consent letter Clark and I had prepared for solo travel with Logan, and the baggage claim was a breeze because my suitcase was tagged priority. This flight was only about half full, so they moved us to an almost empty row, where Logan got his own seat next to one of the sweetest women in the world who helped me entertain him the rest of the way.

The lesson in all of this? If you can afford it, do not fly Air Canada buy your baby their own seat!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Waygookin Wonderland

This week, my friend Jill and I found the happiest place on earth in Gyeonggi province ~ Songtan (송탄). I've heard about it quite a few times before and knew it was nearby (only a 35-40minute drive from our home in Suwon), but for whatever reason never bothered to check it out until now.

Just outside the Osan Air Base is Sinjang shopping 'town' (신장쇼핑타운) and Jungang Market (중앙시장); a mecca of foreign restaurants & bars, black market supermarkets, a traditional Korean market, and plenty of shopping ~ my cupboards are now stocked with Blue Diamond Wasabi & Soy Sauce Almonds and Voortman cookies (they even have Canadian brands!^^).

Jill and I first went there on Tuesday and dined on the most delectable Mexican food this side of the Pacific (seriously) and truly amazing virgin juice cocktails at this place (Blue Opera), which is not nearly as frightening as it initially appears, I assure you :D

We were so enraptured with Songtan that we went again on Friday, this time for a double lunch date with the hubbies, and ate at Sawatee Thai restaurant:

I was so excited for the tom yum soup and chicken satay that I forgot to take a picture until after I'd eaten half of it ~ oops. Honestly, I've eaten at my fair share of foreign restaurants in Korea (generally in Gangnam and Itaewon), but Songtan takes the cake! The taste, portion size, and price beat anything Seoul has to offer hands down.

Mark my words, I shall never make the 1 1/2 hour public transit nightmare trek to Itaewon ever again. Instead, I shall be making a beeline for Songtan again just as soon as I can!