Monday, August 27, 2012

Parents' Visit Week – Day 5

I'm going to try to finish up these last few posts as quickly as I can edit them, cause it's almost been a month since the trip!  I've been pretty busy this month, so they've taken a back burner, but I'll do my best to wrap it up quickly.  Here's Day 5... 

Day 5 – Wednesday

Wednesday was interesting... it was the most frustrating day of the trip because things just didn't go as I planned at all.  Delusions of grandeur, I guess!  I’ll post the jist of it and try to move quickly to Thursday.  

We took our time getting ready, thinking it’d be easy to find something quick to eat.  You’d think we’d have learned.  Nothing is ever open when we’re looking for breakfast/lunch.  Plus, we were told that there was a Bennigan’s in Busan, which was apparently a lie.  We walked around for over half an hour looking for it before finally settling on TGI Fridays right on the beach.  We only ate some appetizers, cause we figured we’d get to the Expo and gorge ourselves on delicious things there... yeah...

After lunch, we headed to the bus terminal.  Turns out that Busan has one of the lamest bus terminals I’ve been to in Korea.  My frame of reference is Gwangju, of course, which is only the 6th largest city in Korea, but it’s got a rockin’ bus terminal: there are cafes, restaurants, an Imax movie theater, a department store that rivals Nordstrom, etc.  So along those lines, you’d think that the 2nd largest city in South Korea would have a stellar bus terminal, but you’d be wrong.  (To be fair, there are 2 bus terminals in Busan, but both times I’ve been, I’ve been at this particular station, so I don’t have experience with the other.  It may be lovely.  I don’t know.)  Anyway, we had to wait an hour for the bus to Yeosu to get to the Expo, but we didn’t realize that there was a Paris Baguette café and a Lotteria fast food joint upstairs that we could have waited in (which I found out when I went to the beach a week ago), so we sat for an hour in a grungy hallway on one grungy stool.  How lame.  

Anyway, the bus ride itself was WAY longer than I anticipated for us.  I figured two hours max... and then I was wrong.  When we finally arrived in Yeosu, the bus drove around the city for another half hour after passing the bus station just to get to the rear of the terminal.  Why?  Just, why?

So by the time we got to the hotel, we were pretty grumpy, then we got to our room (which was BEAUTIFUL) and only had 2 single beds (but oh my gosh, the view!).  I ran down to inquire... and it turns out they were all full, blah blah blah, so I’d be sleeping on the floor (no bigs) but I was all “well if I sleep on the floor, what are yall gonna do for me?” and scored us free breakfast the next morning!  15,000 won buffet?  Heck yes!!!  (shout out to the Dave Ramsey class for teaching me to bargain)

We FINALLY got to the Expo at around 8 pm (holy smokes, where did the day go?) and saw the Pavilions for Korea, Lithuania, and Belgium.  Lithuania was one of my favorites last time I was there, and it didn’t disappoint!  The Lithuanian guy that we chatted with was really nice (and cute) and we talked Olympic basketball with him, cause Antonas Kavalauskas is a Lithuanian basketball player who played for my university (Gig’em Aggies) and he was playing for the Lithuanian Olympic team (who ended up losing to Team USA (whoop) but they up in a valiant effort).  
We finally ate some food (sausage, fries, and beer) in Belgium, and then headed over to watch the Big O Multimedia Night Show!  We were packed in like sardines and some of the Koreans around us kept mumbling about the megooken (Americans) in the way, but pretty much everyone was in the way of someone else.  It was CRAZY how packed it was!  The show was cool, though, and the fireworks afterwards were SPECTACULAR!!!  I’d be willing to bet you’ve never seen fireworks that awesome.  They just don’t sell them like that in the States, let alone choreograph a production that intense!  They were going off in an astonishing display, all over the sky.  Dad kept toting Mom and me toward the shuttle bus line while we stared and stared at the gorgeous sky.  

Then we waited in line for the shuttle bus for an hour and fifteen minutes.  Holy smokes.

It was mostly a day of waiting for a bus or riding on a bus, with very little awesome thrown in; however, the awesome that did happen was pretty legit. 

Busan - Haeundae Beach

Prosperity piggy that we thought was cute while we wandered around Busan in search of lunch
Our beautiful room in Yeosu!
Just check that view.  Mmm
"Guys, make a face that says we've been on a bus all day and we're really grumpy"
Korea Pavilion
Lithuania Pavilion

Waiting in an absurd line for the shuttle.

Thursday was better.  Stay tuned :)

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