We woke up bright and early and ready to shop the next morning. I planned to take the girls to Myeongdong which is a trendy and popular shopping district near one of the universities. I knew that it would take us awhile to get there, not because the subway is inefficient, but because of the seductive subway shopping that we could do en route. As predicted, it took us at least an hour to make it from the bus stop to the subway station (a distance of about 75m) since we were distracted by all the interesting people, things and stores.
I really have to give Matt credit for his degree of patience because I was almost out shopped throughout the course of the day. Matt spent a lot of time studying Korean from a pocket manual so I guess the day wasn't entirely fruitless for him.
As expected, the girls were mesmerized by the variety and volume of items available to them at bargain prices (e.g. about $1 for a cute pair of earrings). I'd thought they would like shopping in Korea but I'd worried slightly that I was talking things up too much and they'd be disappointed once they got here. I don't think they were disappointed though. You should have seen how much Stephanie alone bought. For awhile we were concerned that she'd spent all of her spending money the first day (luckily this turned out to be incorrect).
Finally we arrived in Myeongdong and at this point the girls were in awe. The crowds were pretty thick and slightly foreboding but we managed to triumph. We shopped and shopped and then we shopped a little bit more. We shopped so much that I began looking for places where I could shop for new feet. We shopped so much that Matt became fluent in Korean. Well, okay, we didn't get to shop that much. But it was a lot. Was it worth it? Find my sister and see how adorable she is in her awesome new clothes and you'll know the answer.
Even the most dedicated and seasoned shoppers need to stop for sustenance at some point so we eventually made our way to the restaurant that is traditionally loved, lauded and favored by all Koreans; Outback Steakhouse. The servers were incredibly friendly (Try our juices and milkshakes- very delicious!) and the food was delicious.
We looked around some more, enjoyed collecting free samples and watching some live music before making our way back to Songjeong to try a little norae bang. How do you know that Stephanie and I are truly related? It's the love of the norae, plain and simple.
We sang until we thought we could sing no more and then we took a cab and went home to bed.
The next day was a bit more lowkey. We did go to Seoul but this time we went to Insadong and while we were there we went to a teahouse to have traditional tea.
The girls really liked it and I managed to find some of the delicious cinnamon punch that I had sampled awhile ago when we escorted Kelly to her friend's wedding. Yum! Poor Matt got the raw end of the stick though since his tea smell and tasted of grass.
Insadong wasn't as big of a hit as I hoped but we all were a little tired from the day before. In retrospect I wish I had taken them to Dongdaemun or Namdaemun instead, but hey, we did get to have traditional tea.
On the way back you'll notice that Alison had already began to adapt to the ways of the people. Sleeping on the subway. (You'll notice I'm also snoozing a bit myself- but I'd never miss my stop!)