Friday, June 28, 2013

The adventures continue

Before we went to Seoul, it was really cold here in Cape Town, and Eli was learning to bake rolls.

Not really learning- more just throwing flour everywhere.

The greatest thing about winter is marshmallows over the fire. Noah would have fires in summer if he could. Winter in Cape Town is very mild compared to Boston or Seoul, but- like many- our only source of heat is the fireplace so the temperature inside the house is about the same as outside much of the time.

Then suddenly we were in an airplane and 24 hours later, summer:

The kids are not used the noise of the city, so any time we could get away they seemed to really benefit.

We fought jetlag and Noah stayed up watching youtube videos on our ipod. It was pretty hard because the sun woke him up in the morning. I think I tend to underestimate the physical strain of such a long trip. The airplane was geared to squeeze as many passengers as possible into a small space to get us to our destination quickly- it felt like an exercise in endurance. It was jarring to suddenly be in a totally different world with the kids, and wrong to expect them to adjust (we tried to keep expectations of them to a minimum). I think the trip was right for us for my mom-in-law's sake, but Eug and I would love to explore ways to travel more gently- more gently on us and on the earth.

One of our first adventures in Seoul was to the aquarium. We navigated complicated underground tunnels to finally reach it, and it was filled with remarkable creatures.

On our trip it was clear that Eli was suddenly his own, independent person. He decided that the busy streets of Seoul were just the right place to try out his freedom. Uh. 

Eug's mom's place had this beautiful orchid. Every day that we stayed lowered that poor plant's chances of survival
People occasionally gave Noah candy randomly, which I usually just let him eat. I remember once bracing myself for some unsolicited advice (Eli was sitting in the dirt somewhere, and one gets a lot of unsolicited advice in Korea) when two women just came up and gave us chocolate. It felt like grace (because I stole the chocolate).

The kids liked the excitement of the underground train system.

This is my mom-in-law's train stop, at a quiet time of day. She lives almost at the end of the train line, and it still looks like this! After getting used to Cape Town, the consumerism and advertising was sometimes overwhelming. Then sometimes the advertising got to us and we were seduced by how much was available. 
My favourite thing about this trip was that we tried to be tourists, just a little bit of the time. On our previous trip we were just with relatives, whereas this time we tried to also introduce the kids to a couple of new experiences.
My other favourite thing was that apricot and plum trees were everywhere. I was just really sad I didn't have some jars, a big pot and time to make jam.

Some of the places we visited had really great children's exhibits

We managed to snack on some apricots at a palace.

This fountain in downtown Seoul was heaven for the kids.

For Eli, we went to museum consisting entirely of balls.

I'm so happy to be back in Cape Town, which feels more like home for having left for a little while. Hope you are all doing well, and I also hope to post something more about what we're doing with our lives, soon!


Iris V said...

Beautiful pictures JO! sending a big hug!!

Michael Saji said...

Such beautiful pictures! Thanks to both of you for shooting and sharing. Your kids look just like both of you. Love how Eli looks like a mini-Eug!

Anonymous said...

thanks for the info on how to make a reasonable worm farm..great photos of kid ,maybe adults now..greg australia