Sunday, July 12, 2009

Korea trip – Day 13 and going home

As I write this we are over the East Sea, about 6,700 miles from Chicago. Happily we took off right on time today and we should land in Chicago in a bit under 11 hours, around 10 AM Chicago time on Friday the 10th. Considering that we left at Noon on Friday the 10th Seoul time, we our internal clocks should be well and truly screwed up by the time we get there.

Yesterday we had our last full day in Seoul. We had a free day, with no Korean Ties events until the farewell dinner at 5:30. Unfortunately, the weather was totally uncooperative. Another monsoon hit Seoul and it poured most of the day. We did go back to Itaewon to do some shopping and have a little lunch. Lunch was at a Subway. I never had a Subway Club that tasted so good in my life!

A. and the kids went off to do a little additional shopping while I went back to the hotel and something happened that seemed to be a regular occurrence on the trip with many of the other families. They were in a store and the shopkeeper, seeing that A. doesn’t speak Korean, started talking to the kids! It’s a natural assumption to make, and it seemed to happen to a lot of folks.

The weather kept us in the hotel a good portion of the day, something I was a bit thankful for, actually. We have really been kept on the go on this trip, and a few hours of hanging around the room, reading, relaxing and watching TV were a bit rejuvenating, especially in advance of the long plane ride home today.

I did get to do something I hadn’t gotten to do in two weeks: watch a couple of innings of a live Major League Baseball game! A Japanese station on the hotel’s cable was running Seattle and Baltimore (of course, because of Ichiro). The announcers spoke in Japanese, but I didn’t really care. I was able to watch the 8th and 9th innings. Baltimore came back from a 3-0 deficit in the top of the 9th, as old friend David Aardsma and the Mariners defense imploded. The O’s scored 5 in the top of the 9th and George Sherrill closed out the Mariners, getting Junior Griffey to ground to second for the last out.

Maybe the #1 thing I’m looking forward to when we get home tonight is plopping down on the couch and watching Don and Eck (or Roberts or, heck, Remy may be back for all I know). Some Red Sox baseball is going to be really good to see.

At 5:30 we headed for the farewell dinner in the hotel’s restaurant. This was yet another Korean buffet. The food was quite good, although the kim-chi was no match for the homemade we had at the host family dinner the night before. It was great to have the group all together for one last meal before going home. The kids collected email addresses from their friends and a fun time was had by all.

After dinner we all went to a show at a Korean theater. The show was called Nanta. Think Blue Man Group in the kitchen. The very basic plot revolves around the kitchen staff at a restaurant and their efforts to get ready for a wedding dinner. There was lots of dancing, percussion with kitchen utensils and comedy. There was almost no dialog, which was good since it seemed like a pretty diverse audience.

The show was excellent and we all really enjoyed it. The cast signed autographs after the show, so the kids were able to get a really nice souvenir of an autographed program. They have toured it around the world, so if it ever comes to your town I highly recommend you go see it. We’ll be going again if it makes it’s way to Boston.

We returned to the hotel, packed and got a few hours sleep before getting ready to be on the bus at 7:15 this morning. On our way to the airport, we stopped off at Holt, where some of the families in our group are escorting babies back to their new families in the U.S.! Two of the babies are flying all the way back to Boston with us, although we’re not actually taking care of either of them. It seems like a great way to end this journey, starting some other families on the road we have been traveling down for over 11 years now. I hope these kids bring their new families as much joy as ours have to us!


At 10:42 PM, Anonymous Jacey said...

Nanta was actually in Boston on September 11, 2001 - yes THE 9-11. They were here for a couple of weeks and there were many adoptive families that were able to experience it but unfortunately it was not a good time in our history and there were other issues more pressing than a good time at the theater. I do not know of any future plans for this to return.


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