Friday, December 18, 2009

August 8- Leaving on jet plane

So this is it. The last time I'll ever lay eyes on the Camp Long main gate.

Or the Wonju exit toll booth.

Or the stupid toll ticket we're always in a scramble to find when we get to our destination.

Over 2 years later and Korea looks and feels for the most part just as it did when we arrived in June of '07. It's still miserably hot and monsooning. But so much has changed in these last two years. Those tiny little 3-month-old babies are so big! They walk and talk and become more like little people and less like babies every day. And this country, oh what a place it has claimed in my heart! The people, the history, the culture, the smells and sights, the food. I have been forever changed and for that I am eternally grateful.

As the plane took off, headed to the next leg of our journey through life, the children had no idea they were seeing the place they've called home for the majority of their lives for what is probably the last time. I'd like to think that we'll return for a visit some day, but Korea is a long ways from home, and I don't really know if we ever will. As the plane lifted off, a few tears rolled down my cheek. I'm pretty heart broken to say goodbye to you, Korea.

I need to add that this was one of the easiest flights I've ever made with these two. We were traveling just the three of us (Michael will join us in October), plus the two cats in their carrier. It goes without saying, I was dreading this being a bad experience. Our flight took off around dinner time, and as soon as we were airborne, Sterling was out like a light. Something about take off always puts him to sleep! Ella stayed awake for the dinner service and then went to sleep. Sterling continued to sleep for about 8 hours, then woke up for a breakfast service. He stayed awake for about 2 hours, then went back to sleep and I had to wake him when we landed. Ella woke up about 2 hours before we landed. Seriously? How did I get so lucky? They SLEPT for 90% of the flight! When we landed in Atlanta we were deboarding the plane and 3 businessmen who were seated behind us on the flight saw how many children/animals I was traveling with and said the couldn't BELIEVE it! They hadn't heard a peep the whole flight! Talk about the biggest compliment ever!

August 7- A baby shower for Jojo

Today we blew up balloons...

A cake...

Some more balloons...

All the cute party plates we could find...

Oh yes, and some bottles filled with coke...

For a surprise baby show for our dear friends, Jack and Irina Delanoise! Irina is pregnant with their first baby, a little girl due next month.

Irina is one of the sweetest girls ever and virtually crying she was so overwhelmed and appreciative. What a doll!

Yes, we made them play bad baby shower games, like guessing what candy bar was melted in a diaper...

Before showering them with all sorts of wonderful gifts.

Then we all ate ice cream and cake...538th really knows how to pull off a nice shower!

I hate so much that we won't be here when little baby girl arrives. Irina has been such a sweet friend to me and the kids love her. They call her "Jojo", and we're terribly sad we won't be here to meet baby Jojo.

As we were leaving Ella got a handful of the balloons to take home. I'm surprised she didn't take flight! Up, up, and away!

August 4- Parting gifts

Today our neighbors, Heather and Luter brought over goodbye gifts they had picked up for the kids last weekend in Seoul.

Beautiful traditional Korean hanboks!

They're a little big just yet, but they'll grow into them, and what a special memory of living in Korea!

Sterling had to be greatly bribed to try on his hanbok. When he opened it, he saw it was pink and proclaimed it to be "Ella dress". Hence to lollipop clutched in his hands.
her wearing Tonight, we went over to Heather's house so we could see her wearing her hanbok. Isn't it gorgeous? She looks like a little Korean princess!

I will miss the kindness of these people so much. It truly is so hard to say goodbye.

August 2- Splishing and splashing

Today we had to run up to Camp Humphrey to tie up some more paperwork. Who knew it could be so hard to leave this beautiful country? While there we stumbled upon a water breathing dragon...

The Camp Humphrey water park! I've wanted to take the kids here every summer we've lived here, and never found the time. Today we took that time, and am I ever glad we did!

Both kids LOVED splashing the day away. They're such little water bugs! I am just sad we didn't do this sooner.

Playing footsie under the table with your best friend...

And devouring some pizza after burning all those calories in the water.

Well, that's one way to eat your pizza. This tidy girl didn't want to get her hands dirty, so she let the table hold the pizza for her. I guess that works!

August 1- Making arrangements and saying goodbye

In our quest to get ready to move back to the states, I'm taking time to photograph a few of my favorite things here in Korea. Like this little girl...

But first we had to make a quick trip to Yongsan to pick up medical records and other necessary documents to leave the country. Had to say goodbye to our favorite playground in all of Asia.

Then it was back home to Wonju. I love this part of downtown Wonju.

The street menus simply can't be beat here! Yum!

Look at that...are you sure we're not already back in America? Outback, Subway, Dunkin Donuts. Ah, yes, all of America's finest.