Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tuesday's Travels

First and foremost, James was able to go to work today and feel like he accomplished something. He stayed up almost all night waiting for word from home to let him know whether or not the topper for the frog would work. Gratefully, it did. So that is much better.

My day started out early! I got up, ready and had breakfast before 7 am. I hurried along with my breakfast to get my shuttle ride to my DMZ tour. I stepped on the bus and seriously thought I was in the wrong country! The bus looked like it was right out of India!

Sadly by the time we got to the next hotel pickup, I was super nauseous. I don't know what happened. I was feeling great, then got on the bus and wanted to hurl. The bus was basically brand new, but the way the driver drove was just uggghh. Stop and go and so very jerky. It was also super warm. I thought I was going to break out in a sweat and loose what breakfast I had. Mind over matter. I made it through. It got better when we got onto the highway. I was still a little queezy, but feeling much better.

Our first stop was the Freedom Bridge. It's a super cool place. From my understanding, a few years ago the North Korean's released their prisoners. They ran across this bridge yelling, "FREEDOM!!!" It used to have a different name, but after this experience has been known as Freedom Bridge.

The next stop was the Dora Observatory. At this point one can view the actual DMZ and see into North Korea. The unfortunate part is that you could not take pictures past a certain point. I was too short to get a very good picture. But it was still amazing to view.

I met a really nice family on my adventure. Bill, Sherry, and Erika. Erika had been in Korea for the last 5 months doing an internship with her church. Her parents came out to do a bit of touring with her and then they'll all go home together. They were so very nice and included me in their family for this trip. THANK YOU SO MUCH! I REALLY DO APPRECIATE YOU! We also ran into a few busloads of school children. They were so excited to see Americans. They took every opportunity they could to say hello. They were even taking pictures of us. (I kinda felt like an exhibit at the zoo) So after a bit, we started taking pictures of them taking pictures of us :)

The kids


We next traveled to the 3rd infiltration tunnel. North Korea has built at least 4 tunnels to try to get into South Korea, and mainly Seoul. The tunnel was super awesome. We had to put on goofy helmets in order to go down. We were able to walk quite a way into the tunnel. But were not permitted to take pictures inside. There were yellow markings on the tunnel walls that represented the direction they were digging. (from North to South Korea.) The North Koreans had tried to tell the South Koreans that the tunnel was simply a coal mining tunnel. However, they had only painted it black to try to make them believe that. Quite dishonest me thinks.

Helmet Time! Susi and Erika

Our final DMZ stop was at Dorasan Station. This is a train station intended to bridge the gap between North and South Korea for the Trans Eurasian Railway Network. This will connect all of Europe, Asia and Russia. While that is fantastic, it is currently a brand new, empty station. It was slightly erie. The railway is only open at this time to transport cargo. I hope things get better here soon so that the station doesn't rust away before it can be used for the public.

We got to see many rice paddies on our way. Also, an interesting point. The Han River flows through the middle of Seoul. It also flows through North Korea. So from the DMZ all the way into Seoul, the river is lined on both sides with barbed wire fence. It also has watch/guard stations. Just in case any North Koreans try to come in through the river.

I was dropped off near City Hall and the Deoksugung Palace. Very amazing. I gave myself a guided tour. Which means absolutely nothing. But I got some nice pictures!
I also go to see the man made inner city stream. It's called Cheonggyeehon Stream.

I then got myself back onto the subway. I did so awesome! It's such a smooth ride. I was able to just kick back and relax to my iPod the whole way back to my hotel.

James and I got out and did a little bit of exploring for the evening. But it did wait until after a nice nap. I was EXHAUSTED! We found ourselves a Pizza Hut for dinner and quite enjoyed ourselves. What a nice pizza joint!

On our way back to the hotel we happened upon a little noodle shop. Didn't try it. Don't think James will. But they were making the noodles. It was so amazing. We stopped to watch for a while.

We walked for a bit on the walkway that surrounds the "Magic Kingdom" part of Lotte World. It's set up as an exercise walk/runway around this two part lake. It was quite relaxing and energizing at the same time.

We got back to the hotel and took a few cool pictures of the building. Then went and CRASHED!!!

Much Love!
James n Sus

Monday, October 27, 2008

Subway Life

Well, I think we weathered the subway quite well. Considering that we went down the wrong way from the very first moment. We adjusted our route and did the best we could with the slightly out of date map we were given at the information booth. The people here are so nice and very kind. Each time that we looked at the map and were confused there was someone right behind us asking if they could help. Turns out we were headed the right direction each time. They just confirmed it for us. We went up to a little place called Itaewon. We tried a little bit of bartering. I'm not very good at it yet. We will have to see if I can get better. We were pleased to find a Burger King. Talk about simple pleasures! After the plane food and funny tasting scrambled eggs this morning, the Whopper Jr. minus onions + cheese was divine!! I think James enjoyed his chicken sandwich too.

I am scheduled to go on a tour of the DMZ (De Militarized Zone) tomorrow. I hope to get a small education of the situation there and also gain a respect for the history of this country.

Until next time. . . 작별

Flight, Hotel & Day 1

So, Korean Air is absolutely amazing! I loved it. The flight attendants were so kind and really adorable. It was pretty neat. The plane was huge! I've never seen such an amazing plane. One thing is for sure, They know how to make even economy class feel worth something.

How spacious

They had all this waiting on our seats. Pillow, blanket, headset and complimentary packet with toothbrush and socks and other neat things!

The entertainment on the plane was great too. Each seat had a personal monitor. We could watch movies, play games, listen to music, track the flight etc. . . There was so much fun stuff to be had that I didn't even need the book or movies we brought.

We were served two meals. Lunch and dinner. It was interesting. For lunch the attendant asked if we wanted beef or rice. We both said beef, then James changed his mind to the rice. Our plates were given to us and the look on his face was absolutely priceless! He actually looked scared. So I traded him. The rice plate was a special one that's called Bibimbap. It was quite interesting. I couldn't even eat much of it. It didn't agree with my taste buds. it also came with a side of "seeweed soup." I was gutsy and tried it. Very fishy and weird. I couldn't put my mind over the matter. So, James enjoyed the beef and I took one for the team. It was worth it though. We enjoyed a chicken and rice plate for dinner. It was much better than lunch.

Bibimbap before

Bibimbap after

After the flight was over we were very excited to get to our hotel. We took a bus. It wasn't too bad at all. We were only afraid for our lives a few times. The hotel is really beautiful too. We are staying on the 27th floor. As you could see from the previous post, it does have quite the view. It's just nice. The best thing is that the toilet has a bidet and a heated seat! I've never tried a bidet before. Quite interesting.

So today has been quite interesting. Being is a foreign country is intimidating. We don't speak the language, don't know where we are and don't know anyone! That's enough so strike some fear in me. We met up with Austin from Lotte World and went to James' work site. There we found the ride has basically been installed. There are just a few technicalities to be worked out. He's really feeling out of place and worthless because he usually does the ride instillation and training. It's kinda difficult to feel worthwhile when everything has already been done. His main concern is that the park has paid so much money to have him come to do the instillation as set forth in the contract and he's not doing anything to help them. Hopefully tomorrow will go better. I think we are going to head out tonight and try to find a shopping place. Subway, here we come!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


We have safely arrived in Seoul, South Korea. What a long flight! There was much entertainment there! I will try to blog about that later. We are off to bed. We've been up for almost 24 hours straight. Here is a little of what we are viewing from our room! Sorry the pictures aren't so great. I'm exhausted and shaky.

Korea by night

Lotte World's own "Disney Castle"

Saturday, October 25, 2008

On our way. . .

We are currently sitting in the Seattle Tacoma Airport. Pretty nice place! We began our trip last night. I went down to Salt Lake to pick up James and we met up with our friends, Tatiana and Matt Southam. They moved to Tooele a few months ago. It was quite a sad event. But we had such a wonderful time with them last night. We went to the Cracker Barrel for dinner. YUM, YUM!

(I must say, this is a fun pic. Matt looks like he's posing for GQ :) )

We then hunkered into our hotel by the airport. James got to make an exciting emergency run to Wal-mart for a few items I forgot. Thanks babe! We finally got to bed around 12:30 am. The bed was comfy, but the pillows were lacking. Needless to say, I think I received the worst nights sleep in my history of being.

No worries though. The flight in to Seattle was wonderful. We were on a fairly new smaller jet. It was quite a smooth ride.

I can't remember much of it. I guess I zonked out almost as soon as we got on the plane. As we were preparing to land, I opened up the window (James was watching a movie.) and this is what we saw:

Isn't Mt. Rainier just beautiful? I sure thought that it was a beautiful site to wake up to. So now we sit and are waiting for boarding to start for our Korean Air flight. I snuk in a picture of the plane. It's pretty bit and I look forward to it? Hmmmm. . . 10+ hours on a plane. Have I lost my mind? Probably. But that doesn't really matter. James still loves me. He may think I'm nuts, but still loves me. Stay posted!!! Much Love!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I'm a Esme! I found out through TwilightersAnonymous.com. Which Twilight Female Are You? Take the quiz and find out!
Take the Quiz and Share Your Results!

Any thoughts on this? I wouldn't have guessed this one, but after thinking about it for a while, I think it suits me.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

As Promised, Pictures

The cabinets are not done yet. They won't be finished until we get back from Korea. Oh well. I guess it's a small price to pay. But here are a few of the beginning pictures. They're all sanded and painted. We are in the process of staining right now. My friend who is doing the staining has left town for the rest of the week at a clerks conference. We work together and she is off learning all the new fun court blah, blah, blah. I think it's more fun here at home. Oh well. She's nice enough to come in and finish while we are Korea. Then we will be able to hang them when we get home. But here's a few pics. . .

The before pic:

There was a whole lot of sandin' goin' on:

Why park your car in a garage?? Oh yeah, the doors are in there:

The boxes will get the new look too:

Props to my super awesome friend Jenn! She's big help. Couldn't do it without her! I'm so super excited to have this portion of my kitchen finished. The next step will hopefully be the countertops. The pink has got to go! I just hope James can handle my craziness!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Anxiety attack!

I've wanted to re-do my kitchen cabinets since, I dunno, we bought our home. Well, this weekend it came. James graciously removed all the cupboard doors and drawer faces on Friday. Then we along with my friend, Jenn Al-Imari, started the job. Friday night we got all the sanding done.

I started Saturday with dusting all the cabinet pieces and preparing them for paint. Then I taped off the still-attached-to-the-kitchen-pieces. Jenn started painting the doors in the garage while I worked on the kitchen. My parents even came over and helped me out in the kitchen. Jenn headed out to take her kids to "Boo at the Zoo." We finished up in the kitchen. Then James and I turned the doors over and started on the back sides. We have to let the paint sit for a bit and then Jenn will come over to glaze the cabinets.

I'm so excited to finally have this done. I'll be honest, I'm not one for clutter. I'm sure my house isn't too bad, but I feel like it's a small wreck. Photos to come later.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My feet say. . .

What Your Feet Say About You:

You are pretty average in your expressiveness. You can express yourself well, but you don't always want to.

You are a very passionate person. You are highly charged and easily inspired.

You are an assertive person at times. You'll pull out all the stops to get what you want, if it's worth it.

You take a while to fall in love, but once you do, you stay pretty attached to your partner.

You are not easily frightened, but you have a few strong phobias.

You are intellectual and philosophical. You are more concerned with thoughts than action.

You are a fairly hard worker, but you are also a little spoiled. You like indulge yourself every now and then.

You are not easily influenced by other people. You hold your ground and are true to your beliefs.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tomato Soup & Korea

Once upon a time, I have a great friend named Kanaboke. She gave me a bottle of tomato soup she made a year ago. It was so yummy and fantastic!! We planted a tomato plant on purpose for the makings of soup on my own. Luckily, sweet Kanaboke invited me to make soup with her and her sister in law and a great friend of ours. We sure had an amazing time!

This is the load of tomato's we began with

The fixin's in the pot ready to be boiled

Kanaboke & Susi

Super sweet, surprised Cindy & Susi (Kanaboke & I didn't tell her I was coming!)

Kanaboke & Bob working the goods through the victorian strainer

Susi with the glorious goods!

Kanaboke & Cindy with their yummy garbage (the original veggies that come out of the strainer)

Completed soup! We ended up making 7 batches and each took home a grand total of 21 quarts. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

I had my first serving of this delightful soup last night. It goes so well with grilled cheese sandwiches. My grilled cheese was made on multigrain bread. Oh it was divine! I just am so excited to get my own copy of this recipe and my own victorian strainer. It's so worth it to learn something new!

. . . and now. . . . for an update on why this week is so cool. . . I GET TO GO TO KOREA!!!! James called me Tuesday morning while I was getting ready to do to work. He told me that he would be going to Reno for a set up the 23rd & 24th of the month. Then he said that Korea wanted him to come the very next week. I told him that would be fine. He was very sweet and said, " I just hate to be away from you for so long." I told him again that I would be ok and that I needed to discuss the issue later, as I was trying to get to work on time. After I had gotten to work, I was feeling a little spunky. I sent him a text saying, " so how about I go to Korea with you?" He called me right away and from there it was history. He had his people check on everything and we've finagled a way to make everything possible. We will be flying out on the 25th and arriving home just in time for Halloween! WAHOOOOOO!!!!! James is going to be setting up a frog in Lotte World. It's an amazing indoor amusement park. (I guess. I haven't been there yet.) Anyway, the park has it's own hotel and a mall and all kinds of cool stuff. So hopefully, that will be fun. I think the part of the trip that I'm the most excited about is this. . . . The Seoul, Korea temple is going to be closed for cleaning the 13th through the 27th. It re-opens on the 28th and WE WILL BE THERE!!!! We will figure things out and James and I will go to a session! I am so super excited about that! Well, I think that's about it for now. I feel like I've run on and on. Much love to all my readers!