Friday, June 22, 2012

Korea Trip - Part 4

Busan Aquarium!

We had a wonderful day visiting the Busan Aquarium and Haeundae Beach. It was Sand Festival day at the beach. We were surprised and amazed by the fantastic sand sculptures on display.
The aquarium was great!
Sophie really enjoyed the penguins!
Water in the display tanks was crystal clear, and the aquatic life was active.
This enormous octopus was impressive!

An extremely toothy shark swam overhead as we walked through a tunnel. Yikes!
Keegan enjoyed the strange fish tank in a car.
The transit of Venus is next.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Korea Trip - Part 3


Sophie LOVES playgrounds! She eagerly runs to them with joyful enthusiasm so pure it brings tears to my eyes.  She tells Daddy, "SWING HIGH!"
She enters the ball pit exclaiming, "BALLS!"
Sophie fearlessly tries the kiddie zip line.
She goes down the slide shouting, "WOO HOO!"
Oh my goodness, she LOVES to jump! She jumps on the floor, she jumps in her crib, she jumps on her big blue ball, and she jumps on playground trampolines!
Sophie scoots around with amazing speed on her little tricycle, much to the delight of astonished bystanders.
She enjoys the big girl swing.
A sunny day is perfect for a game of "UP-DOWN" with a friend.
After the playground it's time to visit the foreigner's store and dream about lunch.
Sophie is the life of the party at the Geoje Folk Museum.
Kicking water with Daddy at Gujora Beach.
We'll visit the Busan Aquarium in my next post.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Korea Trip - Part 2

Visiting Deokpo and Okpo

My granddaughter and her family live in the small town of Deokpo on Geoje Island in South Korea. Deokpo has a small beach along with a mix of new buildings, old decaying houses, and numerous well kept vegetable gardens.
Looking down into Deokpo from a nearby hill.
During morning runs and afternoon strolls around town I've noticed puzzling contrasts. On the one hand, there are nice modern houses like the one below with its immaculate accompanying vegetable garden. On the other hand, a shabby hovel sits close behind.
A mere 30 meters behind the nice modern house shown above sits a dilapidated dwelling with pathetic chained dogs.
Here's another puzzling contrast: First, nice looking little vacation rentals:
Next, an amazing pile of junk directly across the street from the vacation rentals. You would think someone would clean up the trash!
Open fires and trash burning greatly diminish the charm of Deokpo for me. Small cooking fires like the one below are not really the problem.
The real problem is trash burning just after dawn in rusty oil drums. Here's one example off in the distance in the center of this picture. Notice the hazy smoke from other fires suspended over the trees.
Smoldering trash produces an acrid, choking smoke that hangs in the valleys between surrounding mountains. Each morning as I emerged outside for my morning run I inhaled an unpleasant lungful of this nasty smoke. Daily running routes were chosen to avoid as much smoke as possible. Don't people realize that open burning is the equivalent of spreading trash all over the neighborhood? Here's the beginning of my running route. Notice smoke drifting above the gray building near the center of the picture. Look down the center of the road just to the right of the light pole to see a fresh plume rising in the distance.

About a mile or so from Deokpo, just over a mountain, is the larger city of Okpo. Okpo is filled with colorful shops and restaurants densely packed on almost every street.
I was amused by some quirky store names:
Sophie will be the star attraction of my next post!

People say I'm crazy doing what I'm doing
Well they give me all kinds of warnings to save me from ruin
When I say that I'm o.k. well they look at me kind of strange
Surely you're not happy now you no longer play the game

People say I'm lazy dreaming my life away
Well they give me all kinds of advice designed to enlighten me
When I tell them that I'm doing fine watching shadows on the wall
Don't you miss the big time boy you're no longer on the ball

I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round
I really love to watch them roll
No longer riding on the merry-go-round
I just had to let it go

John Lennon