I've been meaning to update everyone on the Vaughn Family's big Korean adventure, but I have been too busy the last couple weeks! My parents left about ten days ago, and although it was nice to get back to my routine, I looked forward to their visit for months and it was hard to see them go. As Mom and Dad can probably tell you, I am a great tour guide so if you want to see Seoul you've got 8 more weeks to get over here for your free city tour. It was exciting to have them here after I have already had a chance to thoroughly get to know Seoul. I was able to set up a great itinerary for them, as well as choose to revisit some of my favorite places in Seoul (on someone else's dime!) I kept them busy (as Dad says, "I would have been popular in the French Foreign Legion - March or Die."), but hopefully they left feeling like they hadn't missed out on anything the city has to offer.
While they were here, I took them to a palace and a couple shopping areas while introducing them to my favorite Korean dishes. Unfortunately, the food was the least favorite part of their adventure. After only two days, my Dad told me three times how great his Dunkin' Donuts breakfast sandwich was the first day and how lucky I was to have a Dunkin' Donuts. I tried not to take the hint, and kept hoping to find something that they liked. Alas, I still fed them all sorts of Korean cuisine- from bibimbab to bulgogi to octopus to rice cake in hopes of finding something they enjoyed. No luck.
The first weekend they were here, we left early Saturday for Sokcho- the gateway town to Seoraksan National Park. I spent a weekend here in April, and the trip was amazing so I was hoping to recreate it with P&D. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate, and it was cloudy and hazy for most of the hike. I think they enjoyed it though, and even through the clouds some of the views were stunning.
Another highlight of their trip - for me - was bringing my parents to school. The kids got really excited to see them and surrounded them before class. They would point at them and say "MOM??" "Dad??" and when I nodded yes they would loudly exclaim, "Wooooowwwww!" as if they were aliens from outer space. The kids asked them how old they were repeatedly as they circled my parents. It was fun to watch.
During the week, we also took in several temples and palaces, all the main shopping districts (including the subways), and got to attend the World Cup game against Argentina. We decked ourselves out in Red and cheered at City Hall Plaza for the Korean team (which lost that night). My parents couldn't take the crowd so they left early, but I had a great time there with my friends. Korea finally got knocked out of the Cup by Uruguay on Saturday night. The mood in Seoul had been so festive, and everything from advertisements, to songs, to my students were yelling, "Fighting!," singing songs, and wearing red from head to toe.
The past two weeks I have also been very busy getting my summer camp plans together. I will teach three weeks of camp between the end of July and the end of my contract in late August. I'm making a "science English camp" for my kids, and I have a lot of work to do! I've also been to a Korean play, watched an obscene amount of Korean dramas with English subtitles online, and been planning my next steps after I finish my Korea contract.