Seoul 2013 : Day Seven

{aka Christmas!} This was just a very, very odd day. One one hand we felt like it should be… you know… Christmas. But on the other hand, we knew there wasn't going to be anything even remotely Christmas-y about it! So we had a very odd, very untraditional holiday. And that was perfect.

We started (You ready?!) by waking up early! (Shocked you, right?!) And in what we consider a Christmas miracle, Hollys Coffee was open when Doug arrived at 6:30 am. Granted, there were still revelers in the street… but the important thing was, we had coffee. (And Spencer had a juice that he adores.) Over our traditional breakfast of bagels and coffee and juice… we discussed what to do, ultimately deciding to go to Dongdaemun Shopping area followed by some afternoon swimming. [In case you were wondering… the fact that it was Christmas was really not a big deal. It truly was "business as usual" in terms of shops and sights.]

After breakfast, we got ready, and headed out. We jumped on the subway and headed over to our destination. Doug wanted to see if he could find some sports paraphernalia and Spencer was sold once he heard "toy alley."  (Unfortunately, neither of them found what they were looking for… but it was fun to see one of the bigger shopping areas.)

{A very empty subway.}

{Dongdaemun History & Culture Park}

{In hindsight… we probably should have wandered around here some. Oh well.}

{We found the sporting good stores pretty easily…}

{Something about this spoke to me.}

{And then I saw the door. It says "BIKE Basketball from Boston USA." Ha! Irony.}

{Cheonggyecheon}

{I believe this strip is called "Fashion Town"}

{One of the many(!) Shoe Alleys…}

{And finally… Toy Alley!}

{Shopping}

{So.}

{Much.}

{Stuff.}

After the boys got their fill of browsing in their respective areas. (OK, Spencer didn't really get his fill… but after a couple of hours… I had had enough!} We decided to go get a bite to eat for late lunch. Unfortunately, we had waited to long, and were all very hungry, and the "known quantities" were out of sandwiches etc. We were hesitant to try to figure out where else to go in such a large district, so we hailed a cab back to our hotel, grabbed the standard Paris Baguette snacks, and settled in for a couple of low-key hours and swimming.

After lunch, the boys headed down the pool and I spent some time packing up the bags. (I was nervous about space, what can I say?!) It turns out that we had our second Christmas miracle that day because Spencer, the boy who has not always been a fan of the water, figured out how to swim! With no floaties! This. Is. Huge. Massive! The boys were gone for a really long time, and I was starting to get nervous. When they returned to the room, they were all giggly and then Spencer burst out with "I SWAM! By myself!! I even went underwater!!" Then he and Doug gave me a play by play about how Spencer was brave enough to ditch the floatation device and try. And I'm not really sure who was more surprised when he actually swam unassisted. But he did! And continued to for the rest of their time down there. He even jumped in! Big. Fat. Christmas. Miracle. Right there.

The boys got showered and dressed, and we headed for "Christmas Dinner." We had walked by a place called "Min Burg" several times, and it looked really good. It was billed as an Italian Restaurant and Brick Oven Pizzeria. It was very modern and appealed to all of us, and we decided "why not?!" While it was a good meal, it was not one of my favorites. (Although Doug loved it.) But the atmosphere was nice, and the service was friendly and quick. {smile} And given how tired we all were (especially Spencer) I actually think that was more important than the food!

After dinner, we headed back to the hotel to work on packing and get to bed early since we knew we had a big day to follow… COURT!