It’s been a few years since we’ve spent the 4th of July in the good old USA but we have always made an effort to celebrate our great nation. This year was no exception. With a four day weekend, we decided to pack up the car and hit the road to Busan, down on the southern coast of the peninsula and spend a few days on the beach.
I was really impressed with how well the kids did. It was our first big road trip as a family of four and our first time in a hotel with two kids. The trip there had its usual hiccups (diaper changes, feedings, etc.) and of course traffic. The rest stops along the highways are small pull-offs right by the road. It was loud and not really all that pleasant but Owen loved waving at all the trucks whizzing by.
The trip took a lot longer than it should have mostly due to traffic in the city of Busan, but both kids napped in the car and we arrived at the hotel early in the afternoon and everyone was ready to relax. The best part of the trip was Owen’s reaction to the surprise in the hotel room. We found a hotel that had kid suites (can all hotels make this a thing, puh-leeez?!) and we booked Owen the firetruck suite. His reaction was everything.
It just so happens that the 4th of July fell right in the middle of rainy season here. We knew it was going to rain all weekend, but we needed to get away from the apartment for a few days. After stretching our legs and getting unpacked, we went across the street to grab some dinner. We ate at a place owned by an ex-pat called Sharky’s and had the most delicious chimichanga and burrito we’ve had since we lived in Texas.
Our friends joined us for a bit but once it became apparent that it was bedtime, we had to split. And honestly, I have never seen Owen so excited about sleeping. He had a fairly decent night (only woke up once) and the next morning I woke up to him standing over me saying, “mom, wanna see my firetwuck bed??” I didn’t even mind that it was 6 am, it was so cute. He ended up waking everyone up so we decided to get an early start to our day and make the best of it. That required coffee. Conveniently, OUR coffee shop was right across the street. Heh, heh…
I mean, how could we not? When I told the Korean barista the coincidence, he was so excited he gave me a coffee mug as a gift. It turns out Smith isn’t as common of a family name in Korea as it is in our country. Can you believe that?! We drank our coffee while strolling along the beach enjoying a moment without rain.
Never in a million years did I ever imagine (I start sentences with this all the time – life never ceases to amaze me) I’d be spending the 4th of July with my toes in the East China Sea.
He bolted out of the water as fast as he could but he really handled it pretty well considering he’s the kid who hates getting messy. However, he wanted nothing to do with the water again.
It was Della’s first time at the beach and she was mesmerized by the sound of the crashing waves and the crisp sea air. It wasn’t long before she was zonked out.
The rain was quickly moving in so we made our way to the Sea Life Aquarium for some indoor entertainment. At the very first fish tank, a turtle came up behind Owen and when I excitedly told him to turn around to look at it, it scared the living daylights out of him. It was all we could do not to laugh at him – he was petrified. The poor kid. It took him a while before we was comfortable going up to the glass again.
And as usual, the Koreans loved her. This happens to us all the time and it usually includes a picture. It’s like we haul around two little celebrities with us. They love blonde hair and white skin. I don’t really mind, because they mean well and I just make sure I always have hand sanitizer on me at all times.