Travel Vicariously through the Fitzgerald's

We are happy to provide our experiences as a stay-cation for you! If you have any questions feel free to ask. We have a lot to learn and lots to see!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

A little more on Lotte World

Ah Lotte World....This was both a magical place and a scary place - for an adult. First off, it's like a bad dream. The characters and decorations are so happy they are scary. I can't imagine what it would be like if Toy Story had never come out. That movie made moving toys friendly.

There was lots to do there of course and lots of attendants managing the rides. Their uniforms were okay made it to their heads. These giant bows fixed to headbands were the rage here. They reminded me of Mini Mouse's bow. Even the guy attendants wore the bows except their clipped into their hair. It was quite a sight actually. I was very happy Ethan didn't ask for any of the headbands. Some had animal ears.

There was food everywhere as you can imagine. There was the familiar smell of hot dogs (& naked dogs) but no funnel cakes. Pizza, crepes, "Mexican" food (still don't know what was Mexican about it), Korean Chinese food, and CHURROS! They were really tasty too. The other big fad here is dessert waffles. It's a huge belgian waffle with ice cream spread on the inside, drizzled with chocolate syrup and folded in half. Quite tasty but, I still like mine with maple syrup. They also had the usual Korean food on a stick. I couldn't tell you what it was even if I wanted. Sorry :(

The entry fee was a combo price of 37,000 won for Ethan and I which was very reasonable. Did I mention it was a beautiful day to go??? Ethan had the perfect companion too. Elka and Ethan are the same size so if one couldn't ride, neither could the other.  English speaking Koreans were everywhere which makes the trip all the more enjoyable. Ethan and Elka had a funtastic time.

2 weekends summed up :)

Wow friends! It's been a while. I've been so tired lately with all that we have going on but here's the update. :)

So the last time I blogged, I told you what was coming up in our schedules. I will categorize the events for you.

Proctoring SATs
Let me begin by saying any day that you have to be at school by 7am on a Saturday is never a good day. Neither Stacy nor I had ever proctored the SATs before but luckily Texas prepared us through giving standardized tests routinely.  It wasn't much different EXCEPT that it was life or death for these students. 8am to 1pm went by v-e-r-y slowly. We did bring laundry to do afterward and we had the kickball/bbq to look forward to also. Ethan stayed home with Zea, our new babysitter, that morning. We spent $50 to make $200. Worth it I would say... 

So every year, KIS social committee organizes this event that is normally in the spring. It has been such a hit that they decided to add one to the fall. For those of you unfamiliar to Kickball, it is  baseball using a round, super bouncy ball and the "pitcher" rolls it out and the "batter" kicks it. You still have to run the bases. There were two games going on at one time; one competitive game and a non-competitive game. Ethan and I were in the latter. :) Guess where Stacy played.

I helped setup the food on the wonderful patio area of the school building. Burgers, hot dogs, and grilled veggies for the vegetarians. There was this fabulous spinach dip that was homemade. I'm craving it as I'm writing. YUM. There were also pies, HUGE pies...and oreos for the kids, now that I think about it we had lots of "BIG" kids eating them. LOL! It was a successful community building event and the weather was perfect the whole afternoon and evening. I think Stacy and I left the school at was a long day!

Myeong-dong shopping district
Sunday was the perfect shopping day. We have been blessed with good outdoor weather lately. It was a girls shopping trip including the Taylor women, the Page-Botelho women and me. We hit up the street vendors, Forever 21, Zara, and others. It was fabulous not having boys complaining about trying on everything. Time flies when you're having fun! I took some fantastic pictures of the area and some store pics to remember what is in the area. We found the infamous ice cream in the area. It's not a store. It's a street vendor that has these crazy long lines. Luckily it's a short wait and cheap price. The area is buzzing with energy, lots to buy and of course lots of women! Spent a whopping $160 and got a nice bag of clothes. Definitely got my money's worth.


Saturday Soccer
Saturdays now consist of morning soccer. Kindergarten through grade 2 soccer activities sponsored by the Elementary PTO and run by KIS ES teachers. It was fabulous, nicely coordinated and a great place to "get to know" the other mothers. Ethan loved it and was very easy to find because he wore his neon yellow Challenger soccer uniform. We found some very nice shin guards but can't for the life of us find soccer socks in his size. Ugh! It's really rather frustrating.

Harnish Wedding Reception
One of the grade 5 teachers at KIS wed his Korean fiance in what I am assuming was an unforgettable wedding. Stacy and I didn't go to the wedding but did attend the reception at Gecko's Bar and Terrace in Jukjeon. Ben and his wife Baek Kyoung are the sweetest couple! She is model material too. It was a great time celebrating the beginning of their lives together, as well as, new friendships.

Lotte World
This was a really fun place. You can liken it to Disney World just a bit smaller. According to Guinness Book of World Records, it is the largest indoor theme park in the world. The park had many recognizable cartoons, like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs but, she had blonde hair and a bad make-up. The dwarfs didn't look right either. Maybe they can get away with using the characters because they have changed them so much. They also have all these scary happy animal characters instead of Disney Characters. The rides were kid friendly and Ethan loved most of them. I'll let him tell you about the ones he loved. Definitely have to go back because we didn't even touch half of what was there. We will take Stacy back with us since he spent his Sunday working o school stuff. We took the subway to Lotte World and it was super easy transportation. We planned on catching the 80-1 to get home but we had to wait 30 minutes. The kids wanted McDonald's (it's always so convenient) so we made the kids happy. We knew what time the bus left our neighborhood and estimated a 30 minute wait. This didn't happen until AFTER we had booked it to the bus stop. There was this Vietnamese restaurant right next to the bus stop that we chose to sit at so the kids could eat their food. Kris ordered a soup so I thought "perfect opportunity to try a new food!" I loved it! Can't wait to go back.

Amazingly, this whole day of Lotte World, McDonald's, and the last restaurant we used ENGLISH and had no problems. I think the only time we actually used Korean was when we got the taxi home from Sunae because we missed the bus when it finally came around. We really want to learn the language but it makes it really hard when you don't need it.

Social Committee Halloween Party
I'm currently helping plan the Halloween Party and for those of you who know me, I love this! It will entail activities, costumes, photo booth, and trick-or-treating in the dong (neighborhood).  The hardest part of this will be finding decorations and costumes...better get creative!

Our Richwood House
BIG NEWS HERE! We sell our house October 19 which is Tuesday! We are so relieved! Our first home has come and gone with many memories. 

JAPAN...My 3rd Country
So Wednesday I leave for Japan on the 8th grade class trip. Mr. Jay Londgren and I will accompany a group of 14 students to Inchon Airport at 5am or 6am (need to check that). I know I have to be at school by 4am! We will be the first group to arrive in Japan and everyone else will arrive a couple hours later. We will be staying in a new place each night. The trip is 4 days & 3 nights of constant movement. Oh, BTW, my group is the last group to return at midnight. The pluses of the trip are: food, accommodations and airfare are all paid for by the school. My money is for snacks and souvenirs!   (and extra batteries if I run out for the camera)

I don't think I'll actually see Stacy until Sunday evening when he returns from his professional development workshop. Also, we have hired a babysitter/house cleaner named Priscilla from the Philippines who is going to care for Ethan while Stacy and I are both away on Saturday. She came well recommended from all the other families.

Note: It has taken me 3 separate sessions to complete this blog. I think it's kind of long. Sorry :(

Monday, October 11, 2010

Ethan's classroom caterpillar

My mom comes to my classroom always to check me. Sometimes my mom is right next door to my classroom. Sometimes she's not. One time I was in first grade. My teacher's name was Mrs. Nam. I was in that class once but my mom and dad moved me to Kindergarten. My teacher's name now is Mrs. Carscadden. Sometimes Mrs. Carscadden gives us a little much work but, don't worry. We have a big caterpillar.  The caterpillar is something that has all the books that we read. We have to read lots of books everyday. My teacher gives us a piece of paper with a blank caterpillar. It's not a real caterpillar. We had a crazy hat day. I wore a Mickey hat with stars. It was a magic hat! It wasn't really a magic hat. It was just a fake hat and I pretended it was a magic hat. My mom wore a pretend witch hat. It had green hair. It was good. I liked it very much. My mom looked good in that.

**To clarify the caterpillar story, for every book he reads he has to fill out a caterpillar segment with what he liked about the story. Then he colors it and turns it in. He has done at least 15 since it started 3 weeks ago. He loves reading! He also likes seeing how long the classroom caterpillar is getting from the outside window of his classroom.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ethan's introduction to blogging

The wall is great for hitting. My soccer ball, I can use my drying rack for a goal. It is awesome! I like it. It is really awesome! I like it very much.

My school is good. My mom and dad, well, my mom is a substitute. She teaches almost every class. One time my mom teached my class. It was fun! I said "my mom" a lot but I was supposed to call her "Mrs. Fitz". I liked it very much was a little bit hard to do it. Well, I kind of liked it but it was really hard. I got a sad face but it was okay.

Sad face- is a, well, sad face is not good because when you do something bad and you get all three sad faces it is not good because the next day you don't get any recess for the whole day! It's not a bad thing but you get better when you go to school and learn.

I have chapter books. I read my first chapter book. It was fun. First I read to the first chapter. I read to the third. I'm on my third chapter book now. I just finished the first. Then I'm going to read the second one. (There is a trilogy) It was fun. I got to read with my friends and my mom and dad.

International Food Day - I got to try all new kinds of food, Japanese food. My mom cooked burritos from Mexico. Everybody got to try it. They said it was great! They said they liked it. I liked it too! My mom makes the best tacos of Mexico.

My new friends, do you know their names? Their names are Alina, Elka and Mac, Gabrielle, Lorenzo, Lia, Alec. It was good to meet them when I saw them. I met my friends when my mom and dad met them.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Busy Little Bees.

Well looking at our schedules, we are going to be very busy from now until the end of October.  Tuesday Ethan has school pictures and swimming lessons. Friday, we get to eat out with one of our favorite families, the Fellers. Saturday (9th) Stacy and I both will be proctoring SAT's at the high school in the morning for some extra $$$! In the afternoon, the social committee (myself included) will be hosting a kickball/bbq gathering. Sunday could include some shopping. The following weekend we have a wedding reception to go to followed by a trip to Lotte World (largest indoor theme park in the world) on Sunday. The weekend of the 23 I will be on my way home from Japan and Stacy will be going to professional development at Seoul International School nearby. The last weekend of October is Halloween which I'm sure all the families will gather to celebrate.  In the middle of all of this we will be signing our house over to new owners (kind of sad but it is a huge relief!).

We could not be in a happier place. We are living the dream, living in another country experiencing life, making new friends, and not looking back. We have already started planning vacations for next year. It is super exciting! I will try to update as often as possible as we will be going places and doing things that you have to see. Thank you for checking up on us! :)