On Sunday we got up early, got packed and headed to Seoul. Sadly we didn't really plan ahead for this trip because things at school had gotten crazy and we didn't know how I would be feeling. So when we got there we figured the best thing to do first would be to head out to find a hotel. We had been tossing it back and forth between staying somewhere nice and just slumming it and finally landed on somewhere nice and making a cute 2 days out of it for our anniversary.
So we headed up the hill from Seoul Station to find the Hilton, sadly you can see it from Seoul Station however finding it is another story. We had seen on Expedia that they were running deals so we thought maybe we could just check in and see if they were running any at the actual hotel. Well we were not so lucky and we both kind of just laughed at each other and told the lady no thanks. We then headed out to find a PC Room where we could hop on a computer and book a room though Expedia.
Now PC Rooms are strange things however they are just as they sound. It is just a room full of tons of PCs and you go in and for 1,000 Won so about .85 cents you can use a computer for an hour. People watch TV shows, chat, play games, do whatever in these room that are computer related and some are on the computers for hours, I was ready to leave after 5 minutes. Well we paid our 1,000 Won and jumped on to see what we could find and sure enough Expeida had a better deal than the Hilton had just offered us. We looked at a few other places but decided it was too hot, I was still not feeling good and it was just a short walk back to the Hilton so we went ahead and booked it.
Once the confirmation number was emailed to us we found out it takes about 2 hours to clear with the hotel however it was about 2 and check in is a 2 so we thought we would head back and try our luck if not at least hang around in the lobby and enjoy the air conditioning. Sadly I think Ryan may of made the people mad because about every 15 minutes or so I would send him up to see if our reservation had showed up so that we could check in, and every time he would come back with this big grin and say I think they hate us. So we spent some time doing the touristy thing looking through a tour book at things to do. It feels so funny to live here now and be looking through a tour book in public, its kind of like once you live here you should be able to take a magic pill and know everything so that you no longer can be labeled the tourist.
After about an hour and a half they finally let us check in. We headed up to our room to drop off our bags and get ready to head out to find Ryan's friends Mike's house. Our room was nice, we had a great view of N. Seoul Tower and could of just crashed out and enjoyed the comfy bed; however Ryan had been waiting weeks to see Mike and his new son. So we headed out about 4:30 to try to find Mike's and on the way out we decided to stop by the concierge desk and ask for help with making dinner reservations at N. Seoul Tower. We got 9:00 reservations and were told it takes 2 hours, I was giddy with joy for the rest of the after noon now.
With the last few minutes on our dying cell phone Ryan was able to find out what bus we needed to get on and what way we needed to be headed to find Mike. Buses in Seoul are cooler than those in our town because they have their own lanes and seem to go at a much faster pace, somehow they also seemed to be less packed out than ours have been lately. Anyways we were told to ride the bus to the end, in other words till everyone gets off and the driver looks at you like you are crazy. So we got off to Ryan's phone ringing the sight of a big black man (AKA Mike) running towards us across the street through traffic.
Once Ryan and Mike had exchanged their hugs we headed off to buy some beer and wine, then hiked a massive hill or maybe even mountain to Mike's apartment. Once wore out and thinking about joining the gym we where there being greeted by Mike's wife Onion and their overly happy 2 month old son. Honestly he has to be one of the happiest babies I have ever seen. We spent a few minutes inside catching up. Ryan gave Mike his early Birthday gift (10 cigars) and then we headed out for a walk.
So we headed out to go see the Han River. Once back down at the bottom of the "mountain" Onion and Ryan went in to order some bulgogi kimbap (grilled beef in a rice roll) to take with us for a snack down to the river. After a short walk we were there and it was beautiful, the sun was slowly setting, there were boats on the river, and you could see the whole town starting to light up. It was a nice relaxing time till it was time to head back up the mountain, say our good byes, catch a cab and do a quick shower and dressing at the Hilton before dinner.
Sadly we thought that by leaving Mike's by 8 it would give us enough time but we may of been a little wrong, we also thought that it would only take a few minutes to get to N. Seoul Tower because being a foreigner you can take a cab to the top rather than the cable car, which was good because the line for the cable car was at least 2 hours long. After a crazy taxi ride that seemed to take us back the way we came and then around the world and back we were there, and only 30 minutes late.
Once at dinner we were shocked to see that the reviews on this restaurant didn't even come close to doing it any justice. It was a romantically lit room, with big leather love seats that face a window, with a candle lit table, on a platform that slowly rotates as you look out at Seoul trough huge glass windows. To top it off the four course meal they served was amazing, they had a great balance between Korean taste with American taste. I even used this opportunity to try some of the squid they brought out for the first course, and if you know me you know that I don't eat anything that comes out of the water. As we waited for the other interesting yet amazing food to come out we decided to order a bottle of wine and enjoy the view.
Sadly I took tons of pictures however none seem to do the view any justice.
Now sadly I am sure most of you know what Crain Lake is back in the states, however here apparently it is a big deal (I am guessing it is because it is American) as we found out when we ordered a bottle and they brought it to our table, showed us the labeled, it was a vintage from 2008, then uncorked it, smelled it, offered it to us to smell, and then had us do a whole wine tasting as we were about to pee ourselves laughing. The second portion of the meal was what I thought was some amazing chicken salad with shrimp which Ryan later informed me otherwise, followed by some big shrimp looking thing and a scallop on my side and Ryan had a scallop and something else on his side. Both were very good once I got past the sea food part.
Next came our salads and our entrees, I got the Korean tenderloin and Ryan opted for the lobster and American tenderloin. We made a joke that the Korean tenderloin was shorter than the American, however we both agreed that the Korean tenderloin tasted better. And last but not least was dessert, Ryan went with the cheese plate which was amazing, and I went with the chocolate moose plate because I am a chocolate freak and it couldn't of been better! Sadly however it was now time to pay and leave our cute little romantic table and head back out into the real world.
|Lobster and "American" tenderloin|
We stopped down at the bottom where everyone has locked different kinds of master locks, bike locks, and combination locks on the fence with their family or loved one. It was amazing they were everywhere, some of them in places we are not even sure how they reached. I wanted to read a few of them however most were in Korean and they were locks and locks deep on the fence. Some of them were cool because they were so old, others because they were so different, and some because they were just so hute! The people at the tower don't say anything about not doing it but I have read different things on the internet about how they don't really like people doing this because it takes away from the view for shorter people they say. They also claim that many coupls like to toss the key over the fence as a sign of their love being lock together for ever without being able to be "unlocked" and they claim keys have hit people below before. Over all I still think it is a very cute idea. After enjoying the view we decided we better catch the cable car down before it stopped running for the night. As always I loved the cable car ride, the view was great and my only complaint was that it was a little short.
|I feel a little bit like we look like we are in the movie Men In Black, well without the black suits and all.|
|The cable cars coming down.|
|View from our hotel room.|
|N. Seoul Tower from our room.|
I may of gone photo crazy as I waited for dinner, here are a few pictures of Ryan and I.