Welcome back to our tour of Korea!  If you haven’t been around for this series, no worries!  You can read the first two HERE and HERE.

My husband is considered a Hard Rock Cafe connoisseur of sorts.  It is a personal goal of his to visit every HRC in the world.  When we plan our vacations or our military moves across country, he gives me the freedom to plot destinations the boys and I would enjoy.  However, his only request is that we visit at least one new HRC along the way.  We all enjoy visiting the Hard Rock Cafes and though my husband no longer drinks alcoholic beverages, he still buys the hurricane souvenir glass.  He proudly displays his collection for all who enter our home.  My husband had previously visited the Hard Rock Cafe Seoul in 2002, but it closed since then and reopened in September of this year.  Prior to my arrival, hubby found the location of the new HRC.  While I was visiting him in Korea, we headed out to Lotte World with a mission—-Find the Hard Rock Cafe!

Korea-Hard Rock Cafe Seoul

The subway system is the cheapest and often the quickest way to travel in Korea.  I was a little nervous because I was afraid of getting lost somewhere and not being able to find our way back.  The only experience I had on the subway system was during our vacation to New York when we visited Yankee Stadium.  But here in Korea, we had to change trains at least once in order to arrive at our destination.  Not only that, have you tried pronouncing some of the city names? LOL.  To get an idea, here is a picture of the subway map my husband hung on the wall in his apartment.

Seoul Korea Train Station Map

Here is a picture of me during one of my many experiences on the train.

Korea-Train Station-4

When my husband was stationed in Korea the first time, he was stationed close to the DMZ.  During that time, he had three methods of transportation – Walk, Taxi, or Bus.  He had very little experience with the Korean subway system.  When he arrived to Korea during this tour, he was assigned to an Army base in Seoul.  One of the first things he did was get himself familiar with the subway system.  He is one to throw caution to the wind so it didn’t take him long to figure it out.  Also, because he didn’t ship his truck to Korea, and because he is too much of a penny pincher to pay for a taxi, he looked forward to riding the train.  As I mentioned before, the train is the primary mode of transportation in Korea.  Koreans also drive, but traffic is nothing less than HORRIBLE!  Imagine a country the size of the state of Indiana with a population a that is 8 times greater.  Yes! Eight times greater!  That is what the traffic is like in Korea…lol.  We also considered renting a car a few times but the traffic always deterred us.  We were left with walking, taking a cab, riding a bus, or riding the train.

The train in Korea is much different than it is back in the states.  While it is VERY crowded, people are not loud and obnoxious.  Koreans are actually pretty calm and tend to stay extremely quiet.  I guess it helps that 99% of Koreans are CONSTANTLY on their phones.  Seriously, they walk and do not look up!  They will run into you watching, reading or texting on their cell phones.  My husband says it’s worse than walking through the aisles of Walmart and I believe him..LOL!

Korea-Train Station

We finally made it Lotte World and looked around.  If you’re wondering what Lotte World is you can read more about that HERE.  There are actually numerous Lotte Worlds in Korea, but this particular one was MASSIVE!!  This particular Lotte World is part of the train station.  Like all construction projects in Korea, everything is built up.  This Lotte World was the size of a city block and and 8-stories high, not including the two lower level floors where the trains and underground walkways are located.  I thoroughly enjoyed walking around and looking in the various stores.  How many women don’t enjoy massive malls with many shops?  LOL!

Korea-Lotteworld

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Eventually we found the Hard Rock Cafe nestled in the corner on the top floor in this massive building.  The journey was well worth it as we ate lunch!  YAY!

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Korea-Hard Rock Cafe-2

Before my husband left the states for Korea, the boys gave Daddy a list of their “needs” for him to find.  After he got settled, he began researching toy stores in Korea.  Either by chance or his extensive researching capabilities, he found a list of four legitimate Toys R Us stores.  While at Lotte World, he took me to the first Toys R Us store he found.  I walked around the store, taking it all in, looking at toys and Lego sets our boys would like.  I will share pictures of this experience in a different post.  Stay tuned!

Down at the bottom of the hill from Clay’s apartment is where heaven on earth is hidden.  Seriously.

Korea-Churo's

At any given moment throughout the day, there is a line wrapped all the way around the side walk.  However, this did not deter my desire for these cinnamon covered, tastebud tantalizing, addictive snacks.  Don’t tell my husband, but I visited this wonderful little stand once or twice while he was at work, too.  Shhhhh!  One particular night the wind was blowing so hard we could hear it shake the windows.  Of course I happened to be craving a churro.  My hubby ran (literally) all the way down to the bottom of the hill and back with a churro in a cup of ice cream!  They were so good!

Korea-Coco-Nilla Swirl

My husband loves this place.  It’s located fairly close to the churro stand.  They offer a wide variety of ice cream but this is his favorite!  It is a Choco-Vanilla Swirl.  He calls this “Equal Opportunity Ice Cream.”  LOL!  Koreans take pleasure in food presentation and ice cream is no different.  I thought his ice cream cone was pretty cute!  We posted this picture on Facebook and my mom showed the boys.  They were not happy looking at Daddy’s cute treat!  LOL!

Vatos.  Enough said.  The food was amazing!  This is a little Mexican restaurant hidden on a small hill not very far from Clay’s apartment.  Are you noticing a trend here?  All the great restaurants and snack bars are close to his apartment?  You can read more about this restaurant HERE.  I had the pleasure of eating here twice.  The first time we went alone and the second time we went with friends.  I got the same thing each time.  What can I say?  I am a creature of habit!  Actually, I just get hooked on certain foods I really enjoy.  My husband says I need to add more variety to my life.  LOL!  It was SOOOOOO good though! I kinda wish I could have that again soon!

Korea-Votas- Itaewon

I love attending church.  I love attending church with Clay even more!  There is something so blessed about heading out to Sunday services together as a family.  I had been craving going to church with Clay so bad!  I missed everything about it.  Clay found a church, an International Southern Baptist Church when he arrived in Korea.  Because of his hectic work schedule and mission responsibilities, he’s not able to attend every Sunday, but goes every chance he gets.  He was scheduled to work that day but planned ahead for another Soldier to cover his for him.  Thankfully he works with some pretty awesome people who covered down for him a lot while I was there.  Several times they gave him time off so that we could do things together without him taking leave. Clay met me at the gate and we walked to church together.  My heart was just so happy to finally be able to attend church services together again!

Korea-Seoul International Baptist Church

Korea-Seoul International Baptist Church-2

Korea-Seoul International Baptist Church-3

One of our other excursions was a trip to Osan Air Force Base.  We took a bus that runs from one military installation to the next and took in quite a bit of shopping.  Osan AFB has a larger Military Exchange (like a Walmart minus the groceries), but right off the base is a ton of shopping!  This is where a lot of military go to get amazing deals!  Honestly, this was a great experience for me and I’m glad my husband planned this trip.  When I would walk in somewhere they would quote Clay one price and then quote me a lower one.  It was pretty funny!  We got a lot of amazing deals that I will reveal in a later post. 🙂

Here are some pictures of our time there AND what I wore.

Korea-Osan Air Base-Chili's

Korea-Osan-McDonalds-2

Korea-Osan-McDonalds

Korea-Osan-Skirts-12

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Korea-Osan-Skirts-11

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So what did I wear?

Headband: Lilla Rose! Hey, Lilla Rose goes to Korea! 🙂

Blue and White Checked Blouse: Christopher & Banks

Polka-Dot-Sweater: Christopher & Banks

Skirt: Had MacKenzie Apparel

I had on blue tights and boot socks

Boots: Bear Claw from the Exchange. I had a limited amount of suitcase space SO I had to take minimal shoes and make them work with multiple outfits.

Thank you so much for continuing to join me on my journey through Korea!  If you want to make sure you don’t miss a post, go to the top and subscribe.  Remember to verify the subscription in your email.

In Christ,

Laura

Laura Prater is a long time Army wife, her husband just retired after 20 years Active Duty this past July. She, her husband, and family are still very active in the military community. Laura is an area volunteer for National Military Family Association and also contributes occasionally to MilitaryOneClick as part of their Blogger Brigade. In addition to all this Laura is a homeschool mom to their three boys. You can find Laura sharing her favorite recipes and chatting about faith, family, all things homemaking, and homeschool over at her other website www.awefilledhomemaker.com