Gyeongbokdong Palace and DMZ in South Korea

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While we were in Korea we had the most awesome day with a tour guide and a personal car.  It was the sweetest treat from our Samsung hosts!  our family + one coworker decided to go to the Gyeongbokdong Palace and the DMZ.  Both places that would have been really difficult to get to without a tour guide.

The palace was ABSOLUTELY gorgeous.  I mean i’ve been here before as a child/teen but man…seeing it again makes you kinda wish there were more palaces still around!  The new trend now is to wear traditional hanboks and take pictures around the palace (or Seoul) with friends.  We saw TONS of selfie sticks and groups of people in their hanboks.  If it weren’t so hot i would have seriously wanted to do that too!!

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The coolest detail for me was seeing the traditional palace set against all of the modern city high rise buildings.  The juxtaposition really took my breath away.

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Every single pocket and detail of the palace was gorgeous.  There were rooms and houses and sections for every person in the royal family.  Huge houses just for parties and entertainment… SO SO stunning.  I think as a child I never appreciated it, but seeing it as adult~~ man oh man~~ breathtaking.  If your’e ever in Korea there are a few palaces that you can go and visit.  This wasn’t the main one, but it was just as amazing as the others (I’m sure).

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In Korea, being happa (half Asian) or being non-Asian altogether is a sight for people to see.  People crowded around C wherever we went.  If I left Mike and C alone even for a second, crowds like this one below formed.  Crazy right?  C was a total celeb at every restaurant, hotel, tourist place.download-5

We ended the long day with the fanciest sushi meal I had ever eaten on the top floor of Shinsaegae Mall.  I’m drooling just THINKING about the bomb food!!

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Everywhere in Korea there are sweets or places to eat sweets.  Store owners and hotel workers gave C chocolate whenever they saw her.  And our relatives often gave her ice cream.  Hilarious huh?  LOL  C ate more sugar in Korea in that one week than in her entire life.  LOL

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Hawaii (Part V)

On our last full day of the trip~ my brother, his wife, Markel and I all dedicated it to a day of fun with Mama Chang.  It was her 60th birthday (which is HUGE in Korean Culture) and well…it was the first time in a long time we had been together.

we went paddle boarding in the morning, ate at waiola’s, had a huge lunch, and then went to a dinner cruise to top off the night <3

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My mom is the best cook EVERRRRRRRR.  Below is a spicy udon dish.

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I LOVE WAIOLA SHAVED ICE

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My Mama <3

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Happy Birthday Mama Chang!! xoxo

For her birthday, we all dressed up in Hawaiian gear, flowers, lei’s, and then spent the day with her.  Papa Chang was stuck in Korea on business so she got all the attention and love from 4 kids <3

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Free Mai Tai‘s and a dinner buffet

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matching!

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my brother… nuff said.  He likes to take these kinds of pictures ALL THE TIME.  Even my professional wedding photos came back with one of these… *sigh *

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“Son in law” soup.  Although it’s not really called that…Korean mom’s give a hearty soup to their son in laws.  My mama always makes this one for Markel when he comes over.  SO DELIC.

(if you’ve never had it, takes like chicken noodle soup, but with just Cornish hen + you add rice)

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And that’s how we ended our 10-day trip to Hawaii… Writing these posts makes me want to go back ASAP.  Especially to Maui.  That was hands down the best trip Markel and I have ever been on!

 

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