Warning - this is not nearly as interesting or cute as video of Miles.
We started out the morning going to Itaewon - an area of Seoul where a lot of expats (I just found out what these were) live and own businesses. There we found a lot of the American standard restaurants like McDonalds, Outback, Hard Rock Cafe, you name it. We ended up eating at a place that the guidebook recommended named Thai Orchid. It was very good. Afterwards we went to a scroll painter that we've heard a lot about and had a sign made for Miles that had his Korean name, Yo Seb, painted on it. It was so interesting to watch this man work with the interesting brushes he used. Also, in case any of my portfolio kids are reading this, he didn't draw it out first in pencil!
After we bought the scroll, Dustin convinced me to go to one of the palaces for a tour. I ended up being really glad that he did because it was very cool. Completely different and opposite of other palaces I've been to, which is pretty much just Versailles. :) We went to Gyeonbokgung Palace which the guidebook says is the grandest of the two main palaces and contains two museums. Anyone who knows anything about Dustin knows how excited he gets at just the mention of "museum" - whether he thinks he'll understand anything they have in there or not. What was so cool about the palace was the combination of ornate and simplicity. The structures themselves are being completely rebuilt because they were burned down by the Japanese some years back. I was surprised to learn this until I realized that their structures, minus the foundation, are completely made out of pine. The buildings are so ornate, but the furnishings inside are completely simple and fit with the asian style that is considered so contemporary now. We arrived just in time for the changing of the guards.
The strangest part, and perhaps the funniest was that for the first time in my life I felt like a spectacle. It was some sort of crazy school day at the palace and so there were school-age children galore. Since we've been here adults on the subway and such have just ignored us for the most part - unless we look lost then they are always coming up and asking you if you need help - which is great! At the museum the children all wanted to talk to us in English. We would walk by a group that would say "hello" to us in unison and we would say it back and they would all either start giggling or say "ooooooooo" really loud. We had about 5 boys at different times come up to us, say "hello", ask us where we're from, and then run away to tell their friends. I never realized I was so funny. :)
After leaving the palace we went to Insadong for some more shopping. It is a very artsy part of Seoul, and my favorite thing so far. Well, I've written enough. In about twelve hours we get to see Miles again so I'm sure you'll hear from us soon! Until then, here are some more photos for your viewing pleasure. :) (I'm sorry, but they will just have to do until we can get some more of Miles.)