Monday, July 29, 2013

Making progress in our prep to leave

 Sunset at Tap Dong Harbor

Last time I said I was working on a massive to-do list before we leave.  That's still true but we're making good progress on it.  Most of the major tasks from it are finished (find a place to honeymoon, pick and reserve our 22 hostels/hotels, figure out exactly how to get from one city to another, get visa extensions, choose what color elephant we want to ride at our wedding, etc).

Sunrise seen from our roof

We're now working more on the things we have to do to leave.  Ie)  Shipping home suitcases, getting our pension refund, planning how to smuggle our new Korean children off the island (we only took the smart, cute ones), putting things up for sale online, etc.  Fortunately, none of that is too hard.

Down by the ocean in Tap Dong

More of Tap Dong at sunset

The random funny story of the week comes to us courtesy of the local taxi drivers.  Five of us were splitting a taxi headed for the beach when we realized the meter wasn't running.  Our friend Ron decided to make up a song about it.  He began singing, "Hate being in a taxi, when the meter ain't running.  Being overcharged sucks and I know the drivers lying."  It was at this exact moment that the driver chimed in, "Good song!".  We all completely lost it then.  The one Korean girl in the car told the driver he made a funny comment.  He beamed with pride.  We laughed harder.

Vicky's dream come true

This week the goals are 1) go to the pension office to get our refund  2) find out more information about the attractions in the cities we're going to visit.  Specifically, when are they open, how much do they cost and is there a way to skip the lines  3) figure out how to release the kids we've held captive to keep them from causing trouble in our classes  4) figure out if we can ship our suitcases home without being charged an arm, a leg and possibly our firstborn child.

Jeju City Park, behind the Culture and Art Center

And on the happiest note yet, only 2 weeks until we begin our crazy "Returning to America" tour with stops in Seoul + 20 European cities before returning to good ole Texas for the remainder of the year.  The phrase "I can't wait" is nowhere near strong enough to express how we both feel about this.  See you soon, I hope.

The Tap Dong oceanfront seafood restaurants framed by the fading light above Halla Mountain

Friday, July 12, 2013

Who knew not working would be so much work

A peaceful evening out hiking

Ok so it's been a bit since my last update which seems inexcusable since I stopped working two weeks ago.  On the contrary I say, the last two weeks have been extremely busy.  The first week was spent entirely researching potential honeymoon destinations (I carefully looked at over 150+ hotels all over the Caribbean).  We haven't booked our place yet but we're pretty sure we know where we want to go.  It's on a small island off the coast of Cancun, Mexico.  It has all the beauty of the Mexican Riviera and none of the supersized hotels, drunken idiots and danger.  It's quiet, on the beach, small and it has an awesome two-person jacuzzi on the balcony facing the Caribbean Sea.  They even provide transportation from the airport to the island and back for free.  In short, it's our kind of place!

Out for a hike with our closest friends on the island, Matt and Yun Jung.  And fyi, he's 5 years younger than me.  I know, I didn't believe it either when he first told me.

It was a lovely twilight

This last week has been devoted to wrapping up loose ends.  I got both Vicky and I visa extensions so we can stay until our lease expires and our flight leaves.  Today I got 4 moles removed from my back because it's incredibly cheap to do it here ($80 for all 4) and because we wanted to make sure they were harmless and not a sign of skin cancer (an unlikely possibility but it never hurts to be safe).  We've also started reserving our hotels in Europe so we don't show up and get stuck trying to decide between the smelly room, the room with no AC or the 3am party room.

Vicky was very excited to finally be taller than me

And so ends another lovely Jeju summer day (where was this sky all winter??)

Oh and the last couple days of school were fine.  Most of the kids were sad to see me go (one of the little boys was extra cute.  His name is Phillip.  He's an extremely smart 2nd grader.  For my last two days he followed me around between classes and kept saying "I'm sad.  You go.  I'm sad.").

This is him

On my last day I got paid everything I was owed (always a bit of a concern when dealing with private schools).  So now I'm working my way down a HUGE to-do list before we go.  Fortunately, I'm making good progress.  By the end of next week, I might have it down to 20 things left to do.

For now, enjoy another pretty picture of Jeju and I promise the next update will come sooner.

From time to time I'm awake at sunrise and this is what I see