Friday, September 25, 2015

Busan, Korea

Busan is the 2nd largest city in Korea, located all the way in the South of the country on the water. We only stayed here for 1 night, but I'm glad we got to see it. Our first stop was to Gamcheon Culture Village. It's a little neighborhood on a mountainside, and people recently painted all of the homes and streets to be colorful and full of artwork. 

We spent the afternoon walking through the little village and checking out all of the fun artwork on the buildings. 

This is their "love lock" wall...

and it had some great views!

We chatted with this cute old man and asked to take his picture. Doesn't he look like he could be in Humans of Korea? He's so cute!

This restaurant was full of love post-it notes.

Near our hotel, there was a pretty walk along the ocean. We did it both days because it was so beautiful. It reminded me so much of Carmel, California.

We left Korea by ferry. It was fun because we spent the night on the ferry and woke up in the morning in Fukuoka, Japan. It's was a great way to travel because then you don't waste any time since you have to sleep anyways :) Also, I love how the bridges in Korea light up at night!

So long, Korea! Until next time :)


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Seoul Part 1

When my dad was 19 years old, he served a mission for our church in Seoul, Korea. He’s always wanted to take our family back to show us the areas where he served and meet the people he taught, and we finally were able to make the trip out this past summer.

We were so excited to go! My dad had told us so much about his mission and we couldn't wait to experience the Korean culture. My little brother Luke even started learning Korean before the trip!

When we arrived, one of my dad’s friends met us at the airport. Her name is Sojung and my dad taught her family when he served his mission there. She was only around 5 years old at the time and she is the cutest! She has an amazing singing voice and she sang on broadway in New York as Miss Saigon for many years (she was also the voice of Mulan in the Disney movie in Korean:). She even had her own talk show in Korea! Anyways, we all feel like she is our sister now.

Every single day for 8 days, Sojung met us in the morning at our AirBnb apartment and took us around Seoul. It was so nice of her, and definitely made our trip there so much easier since we didn’t have to worry about navigating ourselves around (that would have been tricky since there are almost no English signs and barely anyone speaks English). My dad still speaks Korean fluently so lucky for us we had two Korean speakers with us at all times.

Our favorite part was watching my dad speak Korean with all of the people there. He would always leave everyone he chatted with laughing. In fact, right after I snapped this picture, my dad said some funny Korean phrase and literally 20 people around us started dying laughing. He was trying so hard to make the guard laugh, and he totally cracked a smile.

We spent 8 full days in Seoul and really got to know the city. It’s HUGE and I'm obsessed with it! It is such a cool city. We were a little spoiled because Sojung took us to all of the best spots, and my dad took us to all of the spots where he served, so it was a totally different experience then we could have created on our own.

One of the touristy things we did was explore Gyeongbokgung palace. Grant and Dallin looked like they were in deep discussion as they walked up to the palace entrance.

I caught a guy that asked Jenelle to take a picture with him. I was laughing because even the random other guy on her right snapped a photo too... Americans really do stand out here!

Do you see the woman's orange mask?? Ha! Dallin posted this picture on Instagram and said: "6'4" brother-in-laws don't really stand out like I thought they would." LOL


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Seoul Part 2

Okay, it took me long enough to get this posted but we had so much fun exploring Seoul! This is part #2 (See part #1 here and part #3 will be coming soon, hopefully;). 

Seoul is amazing for many reasons. First, the subway system is so fancy & clean, they even play cute music when you arrive!...

The luxury theatres project movies on the side walls to make it feel like you are there...

the trash cans talk back and say thank you in a peaceful voice when you threw away your garbage....

the toilets are heated with tons of buttons to choose from haha...

everyone drives nice cars, we didn't see one car more than 10 years old on the road...

some restaurants grow their vegetables right there onsite...

the streets were so clean even though packed with people, their technology was just so advanced, and much more!

It’s amazing and I loved it! It's kind of underrated as a tourist spot though because we literally saw like only two other tourists there, lol. There aren't many English signs so it would probably be hard to get around if you didn't speak Korean, so that might be one factor. Sojung told us that 97% of the population is Korean.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Seoul Part 3

This is my third & last post about Seoul (see part #1 here and part #2 here). In our last few days there, we did a little bit more exploring :)

We walked the streets of an area that my dad served his mission in, called the Shindangdong district. My dad told us his mission stories as we walked, and we loved it. He said this area looked almost the exact same as is did when he was here last.

As we walked along, we saw some fun things. This owner dyed their dog's legs pink! We thought it was hilarious (and this wasn't the only pet dog we saw like this either!).

We saw lot's of locals on the street selling food and other items. This man was selling garlic.

We made it to the old church in my dad's mission area. This of course has been renovated since my dad was there.

Later, we went downtown to explore more of Seoul and we ate at a Korean Buffet that we all actually loved!


Monday, September 21, 2015

Suwon Korean Folk Village

After we finished exploring Seoul, we traveled south. We wanted to see more cities that my dad served his mission in and other areas of the country in general. One of these included a day trip to a Korean Folk Village, which took us back in time to what it used to be like in Korea hundreds of years ago.

It was a fun place to soak in traditional Korean culture & history :) 


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Korea: Yangdong Folk Village

When we left Seoul, we ventured a few hours south to a new city called Gyeongju. While there, we went to Yangong Village which is another Traditional Korean folk village.


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Be Grateful! Someone is happy with less than you have

When we were on our trip in Asia, we met a lot of people who come from humble means. I remember one man in Cambodia in particular. We were driving down the road with him and chatting, and he pointed at a house that would be considered very small in America. He pointed at it with the biggest smile on his face and exclaimed: "Of all the homes in the world, that is my dream house!". He was so happy looking at it and told us how gorgeous it was. He explained that it was so expensive, there was no way that he could ever afford such a house. We asked him how much it was, and he told us a number that was so little, you couldn't even find a house in America for that cheap. It really put things in to perspective for us.

It really made me realize that it's easy to live in our own little "bubble" if you will. We get so caught up in our own lives, that we forget there are billions of people out there. And when we feel sad, or down about something, we should try to put things into perspective. There are people out there who are more grateful and happier with their lives that have less.

And that's the thought I kept having come to my mind. That someone with less is more grateful than me. And someone with less is happier than me. It made me realize that I need to be more grateful for all of the little things in my life that I often take for granted.

The sweet thing about this Cambodian man was that he saved all of his money working so that he could go back to his home village where he grew up and build a well for the community so they could have clean water. Here was a man that didn't have much, and yet he gave all that he had to help others have clean water. And he was happy. It was so inspiring to hear. 

"Do you have clean running water? Do you have a roof over your head? Do you have food to eat? Do you have access to books, or information online? If so, consider yourself lucky. Because more than a billion people on this planet do not have those things. Being genuinely grateful opens your heart and mind to new possibilities. Look at what you can do with what you have now." -Marie Forleo

The best thing to have in life is a grateful heart. Life is a gift! And everything around you and all that you have is a beautiful gift from God. Remember to be grateful and appreciate what you have. The more grateful you are, the happier you will be.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Cambodia Part 1: Small Tour

I honestly didn't know much about Cambodia or Angkor Wat until we starting planning this trip, and it turned out to be one of our favorite places. I can't believe it's not talked about or visited more! The food was so delicious, the people were humble & kind, and the temples were incredible. I definitely have to go back in the future and encourage everyone to see this place sometime in their life :)

We spent two full days there walking around the temples. The first day we saw the temples on the "Small Tour" and the second day we saw most of the temples on the "Grand Tour" (this post includes everything on the small tour, you can see the Grand Tour here). Through our hotel, we arranged to have a private tuk tuk driver and english speaking guide take us around all day. It was worth it because we were able to learn lots and see things on our own time (not like a big tour group where you can't be flexible).

First up, our driver and guide took us to see Angkor Wat, which is the largest temple of them all. And boy, it is HUGE. We spent several hours there exploring around.

I love how the temple walls have faded over the years into so many different shades and colors. It's really pretty.


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Lake Winni Weekend Video

We had a lot of fun with our friends at Lake Winnipesaukee this weekend! It was my first time in New Hampshire and I loved it. We were there to hang out with Scott and Shawna before they get married this week. Dallin made this little video from the weekend, enjoy :)


Cambodia Part 2: Grand Tour

On our second day in Cambodia, we explored most of the temples on the "Grand Tour" ("Small Tour temples are here). But before doing so, we went back first thing in the morning to the Bayon Temple to cross off a bucket list item of mine: to ride an elephant!

We rode the elephant around the Bayon, the temple with the faces everywhere. Even though it was a quick short ride, we had a lot of fun!

I thought the elephants looked so cool up close...they are just such big animals!

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