Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Saturday, May 6, 2017 -Back in Korea

Mary got to my room at Hotel June at 7:15 or so.  She brought her stuff to transfer photos from my camera to her USB and from her devices to my USB. 
Hotel June
It was a relaxing morning, but the water from the shower travels under the shower door, across the floor, to drain in a drain about five feet away.  Yes, there is a drain in the shower, but it only gets a little bit of the water.  It soaked my improvised bath mat and my nightgown.  So my night gown is hanging up to dry before I can pack it so I can depart from S. Korea.  Last night, on the way back from the Quickee Mart, I scouted out the neighborhood and discovered a couple Korean BBQ joints.   After we checked out from the hotel, we went and ate bbq one last time before heading for Inchon Airport. 

After we got to the airport, we killed time by watching people go by with their different kinds of rolly luggage.  It was so hard to say good-bye.  It was all over so fast.  Now I am on my way back to the USA.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Friday, May 5, 2017 We Fly Back To South Korea

Friday, May 5 (Cinco de Mayo) Got up at 6:45 to shower, wash hair, get ready to depart from Tokyo.  It turned out to be a relaxing, unhurried, day.  We checked out of Akihabara Washington Hotel. We went to the Family Mart, where Mary got me two strawberry yogurts. She got a banana and a cold frapiccino coffee thing.  We sat outside the shopping area and ate our goodies. We went to our subway station around the corner from the bookstore, right by the river.  We got our luggage down all 48 steps and got on to Ueno Station, only two stops away.  Mary found an elevator to take us back up to the train that goes express to the airport.  The TV over the door indicated which terminal has which airlines, so we were able to disembark at terminal 1 with no trouble.  Also, we arrived plenty early so no hurrying.  We asked an airport person where “Asiana” was, and he said, “Counter H.”  Perfect!  We waited in line to check our baggage and get our boarding passes; not too long. Then we walked right passed security, because there was no line!  How can you recognize security if there is no line?  We made it through security and customs smoothly.  We strolled to our gate where there was no hurry going on around us. 
shops in the Tokyo airport -we were chillin'
     We watched them service and unload the plane. Next thing you know we were boarding; relaxing flight.  We deplaned and Mary put her Korean chip into her cell phone and we went through customs.  The guy who stamped my passport did not stamp it on the same page as my previous Korea visit stamp; irritating. Oh, well.  We looked at the board and found our flight number, so we could pick up our luggage.  We walked clear to the far end of the terminal to the USO counter.  They found a reasonably priced hotel with shuttle service from and to the airport. Hotel June.  It is about 15 minutes from the airport.  We got a room with two beds, and Mary is letting me have the softer one.  It has a sitting area with couch, computer desk, and a dvd/vhs player.
     Mary made a phone call and checked her phone for the nearest train station; it was, apparently, right nearby.  She said to relax, take a walk, get something to eat, as she would be back in about three hours.  She is going to her base to get my other suitcase, I left at her place last Sunday morning and bringing back a bit of overnight stuff for herself.  I fly out tomorrow evening, departing Inchon at 8:30 pm.  The last hotel shuttle departing for Inchon tomorrow is at 12:30, which is also check out time.  I guess we will be spending the afternoon at the airport!

     I wrote some more in my journal, then put on my shoes and got the won Mary left me and walked to the Quickee Mart.  I got some garlic butter popcorn, M&Ms, and bottled water, then came back to the room and tried the popcorn.  It was a little odd tasting, but I prefer my popcorn unflavored/seasoned anyway.  So, I have been writing in my journal, but am almost out of pages, so I got some paper from the lobby and brought it down to the Hotel June Restaurant, in the basement. I left a note in the room door, letting Mary know where I went.  The restaurant opens at 6:30, so I went down at 7:00 pm.  The waiter showed me which items on the dinner menu were not actually available.  Everything is breaded except steak, so I had the steak, rice, orange juice, and tea.  He was very helpful. The steak and rice were top notch.  Mary has not arrived, so I guess I will head back upstairs.  It is 8:00 pm.  I flossed my teeth and was in the middle of brushing, with that awful Colgate toothpaste, when the phone rang.  It was Mary.  She only arrived back at Suwon 30 minutes ago, so she is going to do some laundry and go to bed.  She will try to be here around 8:00 in the morning.    I told her no worries, as we were both tired.  I got in my jammies and figured out how operate the A/C.  I discovered there is bottled water in the small refrigerator in this large room. Good night.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Thursday, May 4, 2017 -Another Japanese Holiday

This is the day after the “Mt. Fuji traveling incident,” which Mary said, “We will never speak of again.”  She said it was “worse than Boston” and  “we didn’t even get lost!”  We slept in, then got breakfast at Family Mart. I had a strawberry yogurt (after that apple yesterday I thought it best to change my breakfast).  Mary had a crepe, of course.  Then we hiked off to see the shrine that was in the guide.  It was a lovely morning for a walk.  We got there just as it opened.  We got Cokes out of the machine and sat and sipped a while. 
Up the steps to the shrine

Wisteria covered parking. I like it!

The Temple had lots of shrines.  It was pretty extensive. We took lots of photos. They had a gift shop, where I bought Aunt Daisy (Shige) a zippered coin purse shaped like a fish, and a turtle pull, for the zipper. 

This is like a carriage house, with three stalls for storage of
ceremonial rigs

This one has wheels, so I think it is more modern

close up so you can see some of the details

this is the main entrance, but we exited this way
more prayers on the right

this is outside of the main entrance
by the time we left, it was getting quite busy

This is the decoration outside of a storefront on the street.
 We exited through the main entrance and headed south toward the green area we had seen on the map, thinking it was a park.  It was another temple:  Yushima Seido, Shrine of Confucius, Shrine of Shinno, and the site of Shoheizaka College.  We figured out, later, that this was the green area on the map.  It was lovely and relaxing.  We daudled.   

We left there and stood on the Hijiri Bridge and watched the world go by.  We both took train videos of multiple trains coming and going and tugs with barges on the river, and finally some people on jet skiis.  All this activity was right next to a busy street below us.  We walked through another part of the Yushima Seido and saw the statue of Confucius.

On the right are shops in the old train station
they had a model rail road, post cards, awesome clothing
much out of our price range
 We continued on to the site of the old train station, Maach at Kanda Manseibashi, where Mary took photos of the ‘n’ scale train set-up there.  We bought some post cards, and exited on the river-side of the complex.  We crossed the street and went into the beef building and found a restaurant that served steak.  It was wonderful, but they would not give Mary a go-box for the rest of her salad, which I had hoped to eat later. 

This was at the restaurant in the Beef Building
Great food (a tad pricey) and no go box allowed.
We went back across the river into Electric Town, where we went into a home electronics store and found USB sticks on the 3rd floor.  We found really awesome refrigerators.  You touch the button on the front and the door opens. They had lots of drawers and were not as thick as the ones in the U.S.  The first one was a Panasonic.  None of them had ice and water features.  We went back to the hotel, so Mary could write her post cards.
We cut through this building on the way to the Don Quiote Market
It had lovely art work, mosaics on the floors and walls.

We walked across the blue bridge and discovered the Post Office was closed for the holiday. What another holiday? The folks in our hotel lobby told us we could get stamps at the Family Mart. The gal at the Family Mart told us where the Post box was around the corner.  Then Mary looked for the regular grocery market on-line, and she found two.  It turns out, as she browsed, she found a GF pasta place, northeast of our location.  She thought we should have dinner there.  More on that later.  We walked about and finally found the Don Quiote Market, which was six stories of madness.  It turns out the top floor was slots, gambling, and pachinko.  On the way back down, we were on the other side of the escalators, and we found the food on floor 2.  I got some cashews, Snickers Bars, and M&Ms.  I was looking for breakfast cereal. No dice!  Mary found lots of Kit Kat stuff for her cooking friend.  We made it down a side street to get away from the crowd and got back to the hotel, where we left our groceries.
She drug me all over N Tokoyo for GF pasta on a holiday
when the restaurant was closed, so after she drug me back
she got a nice yummy crepe, while I was pooped and starving.
That's my girl!
 Then off to the subway to get to the GF pasta dinner.  We were only going two stops, but had to do a transfer in the middle. We tried to figure out which way to go from the subway exit when we got to the area.  We went the wrong direction. We stopped at a Quickie Mart, and they directed us back the other way. We went passed the subway exit down a block or so and got a signal in front of the 7Eleven. Then we walked south, then east, got directions at a Family Mart, back out to the right, make a right, then a left.  We knew we were close because Mary had a signal on her cell phone.  She went into a court yard, I said I would wait. She hollered and I joined her. A man took us through a breeze way, back onto the street we had just come down.  Turns out we had walked right passed it.  The little sign had tiny words that actually said “Gluten Free” on it.  It was closed for the holiday! 

Who knew they were closed for Greenery Day???

We went back into the subway and Mary drug my sorry ass back to Akihabara.  She asks, “Is it okay to stop at the crepe place, so I can stuff my face with yummy deliciousness?”  She got the chocolate, brownie, ice cream, banana crepe, and we sat in front of the shopping center, so I could rest my feet while she stuffed her face.  After that, we went to the Denny’s in our hotel where I had meat and rice and hot tea.  Mary ordered pink lemonade, that we had to ask for three times, before she finally got it.  After dinner, I was so glad to be going to bed!  We are flying back to S Korea in the morning.

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Tuesday, May 25 -going to Dongdaemun textile & craft market!

I made myself stay in bed this morning until 5:50 a.m..  Got up showered, washed hair, brushed teeth, etc. Got things organized and put the ...