Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Around Town

We had a very enjoyable first day of exploring the Gangnam area of Seoul, largely a business district.  We picked Gangnam because the hotel is within walking distance of the adoption agency - we can't wait to visit the agency tomorrow to meet Kiana for the first time!  For those keeping track, we worked with a different agency when we adopted Zander - that had us located in more of the downtown area of Seoul.

Our first stop was to have coffee with Lisa.  Lisa works at Medtronic and is currently on a global assignment based in Seoul.  When we learned that the Medtronic office was just across the street from the mall we were going to visit on Tuesday, everything fell into place for a quick reunion.  Here are Lisa and Amy - standing in front of the Medtronic building in the distance - can you see it?  It is the brown building on the left:
Yes, it is really hard to see the building/logo due to the distance and the rain, but I tried to zoom in here to satisfy the curiosity of any Medtronic blog-readers out there - you can almost see the rising person logo!
It was great to hear about all of Lisa's experiences living in Seoul - what it's like to work in the office, eating local cuisine, sight-seeing, participating in social activities, all the differences, and yet many similarities.  It has definitely been an adventure for her and she continues to enjoy the different experiences she's having.

Given the gloomy weather, we spent the majority of the day exploring the Coex mall - reportedly the largest indoor mall in Asia.  Here is Jim asking the 'Future Robot' for some help finding a store:
Similar to our last visit, we loved exploring the grocery store!  We picked up a few snacks (I highly recommend "Snack Bean Party Mix #2") as well as some items to bring home that we hope will help Kiana with the culinary transition.  Here's Jim exploring:
 Of course with Jim working in the Big G division of General Mills, we had to visit the cereal aisle:
Checking out:
Then it was time for a snack - our family knows how much we enjoy 'steamed buns,' - Amy's parents have made many delicious Vietnamese steamed buns over the years.  We were delighted to find the Korean version of buns - boy were they huge, and delicious!
 Jim also managed to get a free sample of a tasty noodle dish:
We walked back to our hotel in some light rain and took a quick break (i.e. nap for Jim, workout for Amy) and then enjoyed a wonderful bibimbap meal at a Korean restaurant.  You may recall that bibimbap ('mixed rice') is somewhat the national food of Korea - lots of vegetables, rice, and chili paste, yum!!  Amy in front of a statue in our hotel lobby on the way back from dinner:
Today (Wednesday) is a holiday in Korea in support of the general election - we'll let you know how it goes!

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