had lunch, and were finally taking a break at the hotel. After about an hour taking a break, off we go again. This trip is a bit of a whirlwind, so we're getting in as much as we can reasonably do in each spot. We're going to pick up a second stroller too. The kids are heavy!
We're walking to a nearby palace, but on the way, we passed in front of Seoul City Hall. There's this awesome display that we have to get a picture of.
And it's the perfect opportunity to get a big group picture again.
On our ~1 mile walk to the palace, we came across this giant statue called Hammering Man by Jonathan Borofsky. This statue is 72 feet tall and has an arm that actually moves. There's a few different installations of this style statue from this artist around the world. From what I can see, this one is the tallest.
Here we are! Gyeonghuigung Palace. One of the 5 Grand Palaces of Seoul, it was a secondary villa for the king, constructed back in the 1600s.
These autumn colors are beautiful. But... what's that giant wall around the palace. We had checked a few travel websites but didn't see that it was under construction.
So instead we walked around the outside of the grounds as best we could.
This was about as close as we could get.
The kids had fun climbing over the display near the Hammering Man. Kids love climbing.
Does it bother anyone else when things get put back together wrong like this?
On our walk towards the palace, Ian lost a good sized handful of cheese crackers going over the bumps in the sidewalk. I was expecting an hour later the pigeons would have cleaned this spot up.
On our way back, we stopped by Seoul City Hall. The brick building in front was built in 1925 during the Japanese occupation of Korea and was used as City Hall from 1945-2012. It was then turned into a library. The giant glass building behind it started construction in 2008 and in September 2012 was turned into the new Seoul City Hall.
All the glass means there's a ton of light in here. So much that they've got a lot of greenery too. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, it's the largest vertical garden in the world! The building is 13 stories high and the garden stretched to the 7th floor.
A few modern art sculptures I think.
An elevator takes us up to the Sky Plaza on the 8th and 9th floor.
The kids also had a chance to draw some notes.
4 year old Ian is doing his best to spell out a message.
Alli (who is 2 and soon to be 3) wrote her name on a (surprise) pink post-it.
Ian wrote "We Love Sol".
I accommodate the kids most of the time when they say "Take my photo in front of this".
It's 5:15pm and I know dinner is soon, but I do love going to fast food restaurants in other countries. It's familiar food, but they always have some differences.
Like this corn soup that is advertised on the front door.
Just a few snacks to share between all of us.
Ruston and Alli are holding smoothies. Both the Plum smoothie and the Golden Kiwi smoothie were delicious.
I enjoyed the taste of the corn soup. I remember it being a little thin, and if there were corn kernels in it, there weren't many. But as something hot to drink, I would get it again.
Fried, not baked, McDonalds apple pies. Delicious. Wish they still made them this way back home.
Bulgolgi Burger - I wasn't sure how this was going to turn out. I've had the McPork in Japan and wasn't a fan (sausage patty/hamburger bun/teriyaki sauce). I wasn't paying super close attention to the meat. Bulgolgi can be either beef or pork. Doing my research now, it looks to be pork. At least it didn't taste like a sausage patty. It was the sauce on this burger that made it delicious. I would definitely have this again.
Making our way back to the hotel to drop off some things before dinner.
And using the underground malls to get around the traffic on the street.
Now that is a lot of boxes.
Per the recommendation of our hotel desk clerk, we walked a few blocks from the hotel over to Kkanbu Chicken.
The prices were expensive, though when it came out, the portions were fairly large.
Unfortunately, everyone thought the flavor was just meh. We should have had Korean food for dinner instead of fried chicken.
But, the company made up for the lack of interesting food.
After getting back to the hotel, the kids played in the shower for a little while. Both of them were really tired. Theresa dried them off and put them on the bed, and before we could even start their nighttime routine, they were both asleep. It has been a long day.
And speaking of long days, I was also exhausted. I only got a few hours of sleep the day before. At 9:30pm I couldn't stay awake anymore. If you've felt that Day 2 has been lacking in detail, that's why. I try to write down events as we experience them during the day, but the real detail comes at night. I just couldn't keep my eyes open to keep writing.
Tomorrow we're going to be doing some really fun stuff in Seoul. Stay tuned for more!