Posts Tagged ‘flying’

Korea Trip Part I

Posted by Greg on March 29th, 2010 with tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

This past Thursday we embarked on an almost three week trip to Korea to visit with Yenari’s family.  We were worrying about the flight since its a long one – around 12 hours plus a few more in airport waiting, customs, waiting for bags, and driving both ways – but Hazel did great on the flight.  She didn’t sleep much, but she was in mostly good spirits.  We lucked out with a seat in the first row of our section so Hazel had her own little bassinet to hang out in:

Overjoyed with the airplane's bassinet

We had to keep a close watch on her since her idea of fun was to attempt leaping out of the bassinet to play with us. Most of the time she spent on our laps while we tried to entertain her while watching movies. Yenari plopped Hazel in front of the TV and put the headset on her to see how she would react and she was transfixed – we’d never seen her act that way in front of the TV. It was a Korean cartoon and Hazel shrieked out in excitement whenever the shark came on the screen.

Transfixed by Pororo (Korean cartoon)

Once we made our way to Seoul and then through immigration, baggage claim, and customs we were greeted by Yenari’s very excited parents. Yenari’s mom was with us in California for the first four weeks of Hazel’s life, but hadn’t seen her since…and Yenari’s father had met her yet. Yenari’s father was a little worried because Hazel is very fearful of strangers (and particularly men), but she only gave him a healthy level of caution and didn’t freak out too much. Here’s their first meeting in the airport:

First meeting of grandpa, reunion with grandma

Since it was about dinner time, we went straight to a restaurant and met up for dinner with Yenari’s brother who was also meeting Hazel for the first time. Yenari’s dad continued his courtship of Hazel – trying to feed her and carry her around the restaurant…this courtship was successful at times and cry-inducing at others, but it was a start. Yenari’s father is a very energetic guy and this energy scared Hazel off for the first day or so, but Yenari gave him some advice to start slow and build up to his full energy level over time as she begins to trust him. Now, after a couple days, Hazel seems to be quite comfortable with him and sits happily on his lap and lets him carry her around. Here’s her father feeding Hazel at that first dinner:

Grandpa feeding

After dinner we headed back to Yenari’s parents house and Yenari’s brother picked up Yenari’s grandmother to meet Hazel. Here she was kind of assaulted by love and affection…something that was a bit overwhelming for Hazel and resulting in a bit of a meltdown. We went to bed soon after and slept well, though Hazel woke up at an early 5am and turned the scenario around for Yenari’s parents by showing them what it feels like to try to play when you’re tired!

A little later in the morning we went with Yenari’s mom to bring Yenari to the salon – Yenari likes getting her hair cut a lot more in Korea than the US because they understand Korean hair better here. Yenari had recently trimmed Hazel’s bangs very unsuccessfully and Yenari’s hair dresser saw it and couldn’t resist giving Hazel a bit more of a trim to straighten things out. Here she is with Yenari’s friend Eulji who joined us at the salon:

with Eulji

While this was happening Yenari was busy being attacked by a ceiling-dwelling-robotic-octopus…or at least that’s what it appeared to be:

Attack of the alien octopus robot

Attack of the alien octopus robot

Later that afternoon we went over to Yenari’s Doyoung house – Doyoung is Yenari’s friend from middle school and high school and she and her husband have an almost 2 year old boy who we were meeting for the first time:

Meeting Doyoung and Daehyun

By this time I was somewhat zonked from the jet lag, but everyone happily chatted while I passed out on the couch. I’m pretty much caught up now, but the first two days were a bit rough.

Yenari’s mom and brother picked us up from Doyoung’s house and we went to pick up her father who had been on a day trip for business to Sunchun. While in Sunchun, Yenari’s father called to a restaurant called to a restaurant to get the famous Gwanyang Bulgogi – he didn’t have enough time to go to the restaurant, so he asked the owner to bring a cooler full of bulgogi (an order for 15 people!) to the bus station. Yenari’s dad didn’t want to cook it at home, so he called a BBQ restaurant where you cook at the table and asked if we could bring our own beef to cook – kind of bizarre, but they were okay with it. The bulgogi was incredible, nothing like the bulgogi we get in Santa Clara, LA, or anywhere else in the US. We also order some beef sashimi – raw beef marinated in pear, garlic, onions, sesame oil, and green onions. Here’s the family:

Bulgogi BBQ

and here’s Hazel passed out – I wasn’t alone is suffering from jet lag:

Passed out at dinner

Eventually we made it through almost all of the food…so the 5 of us ate about 13 servings of the bulgogi plus 2 orders of the beef sashimi. This was definitely some serious eating…the rest of the evening is a blur due to the beef intoxication!

The big event for Sunday was Yenari’s cousin Youngjoon’s wedding. We lucked out in having a family wedding while we were here – it gave us a chance to see lots of extended family without having to drive all of Seoul and the surrounding area to meet people. The wedding was also a new experience for most of us because it was a Korean traditional wedding – something that is very rare – both Yenari and her mother had never been to one in person. Yenari’s grandmother came over before the wedding and played with Hazel – she was in a much better mood this time and had a blast with her great grandmother:

with her great grandmother and a Louis Vuitton bag

The wedding was at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul and was held outdoors. Here are some photos of the ceremony:

Yenari's cousin Youngjoon's traditional wedding

Yenari's cousin Youngjoon's traditional wedding

Yenari's cousin Youngjoon's traditional wedding

Yenari's cousin Youngjoon's traditional wedding

Yenari's cousin Youngjoon's traditional wedding

Yenari's cousin Youngjoon's traditional wedding

Hazel was well behaved during the ceremony and didn’t scream out or anything like that. After the wedding she was mobbed by extended family members who wanted to meet her, hold her, and snap pictures of her. We saw Yenari’s grandfather (who we had seen recently in California) and I met Yenari’s aunt Jihae and her uncle Sungtae – both of whom I hadn’t met – now I’ve met all of Yenari’s mother’s siblings. The reception was very different from that of an American wedding – it was a no nonsense eat your food and get out of there situation – no dancing, music, or anything like that. We enjoyed our meal and then headed home.

We finished off the eating for the day by treating Yenari’s parents, brother, and grandmother to a dinner at a Chinese restaurant. I lost count after a while, but Yenari just counted out at least 7 courses. So, this was definitely a continuation of the massive food quantities we seen at just about every meal. I bet I’ll gain around 10 pounds if this eating style continues. Aside from the food, my favorite thing about this restaurant was that the brick wall was painted with a series of greater that life size paintings of Bruce Lee! No Bruce Lee photo here, but one of Yenari and her mom kissing Hazel instead:

Kisses from mom and grandmother

When we got home to Yenari’s parents house they brought out Hazel’s early first birthday present, a beautiful wooden block house from Soopsori, a Korean company that makes toys entirely out of wood…and entirely out of wood it is – even the screws and screw driver used to assemble the house are made of wood. Everyone was busy playing with the the little animals, appliances, and the house:

Wooden toy house - early b-day present

A great present that we can’t wait to get home with us!

We’ve had a great time so far in Korea and are really looking forward to the rest of our time here. This post is way too long already so I’ll hold off on covering today’s events, but will do my best to keep this up to date….

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8 months + New York trip

Posted by Greg on February 8th, 2010 with tags: , , , , , ,

On January 31st Hazel bumped up the month mark to 8 months…and to celebrate that we woke her up at 5 in the morning in order to hop on a 7am flight to New York.  I had a conference to attend in NYC and Yenari was able to rearrange her schedule so that she and Hazel could come too.  Because the flight was so early Hazel slept most of the time and made the flying experience a lot easier than it had been when she was 3 months old.  We only had two and a half days in the city, but it was an action packed couple of days.

My mom, Duncan, and my grandmother came down from Connecticut to spend about a day and a half with us.  I was at work during the day, so everyone hung out at the hotel, played with Hazel, and ate food.  My mom saw Hazel just a few weeks ago, but Nana hadn’t seen Hazel since she was about 3 months old, so the 8 month old Hazel was definitely a much different baby.  Hazel was in excellent behavior the whole trip and kept everyone laughing.  Here’s Hazel with her Meemaw and Nana:

with Meemaw and Nana

The New York trip was also the first time Hazel got to meet her great aunt Janet, great uncle Bill, and their daughter Sarah.  Here are a couple photos of Hazel meeting them:

Meeting Janet, Bill, and Sarah

Meeting Janet, Bill, and Sarah

This trip was also Hazel’s first time meeting my good friend Michael Ross – we met him for a BBQ dinner.  The last time we’d seen him was when Yenari was pregnant and Michael was still living in Chicago – it was great to have the chance to see him now that he’s in NYC.

with Michael Ross

On the way back from dinner with Michael it started snowing – Hazel’s first snow! So we headed the block from our hotel to Times Square to take a couple late night snow photos:

First snow

First snow

First snow

First snow

The trip was definitely too short and we didn’t get to see all of the people we would have liked to have seen.  It was an exhausting couple of days and only got more tiring when we got back since our 6am flight back home brought both of us into full work days resulting in 24 hours of awake time!

Switching gears to the 8 month update…teeth are still coming in and she’s doing a lot of chewing, whether she’s eating or not.  She’s been a more adventurous eater, with a particular love of beef related food such as the beef broth from Korean gom tang soup and Gerber beef baby food.  Other things that she seems to like are yogurt, tomato, avocado, and chicken.  This newfound interest in ‘real food’ has made going out to dinner a lot trickier as she is no longer content to sit in her car seat and watch us eat – now she wants to be an active participant in the meal and also does her best to knock over drinks, pull table cloths, and reach for hot and sharp things.

Hazel is sitting like a champ – she started sitting on her own about a month ago, but now she can really do it without us spotting her.  She’s a big hand waver now – not actually waving goodbye to anyone, but just generally waving her hands and opening and closing her hand like she’s petting something.  She has much better hand eye coordination – she’s got the pincer grip down and she also is able to use both hands together to play around with things.

Here’s to the next month of new adventures and changes!

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Boston and Connecticut Trip

Posted by Greg on September 7th, 2009 with tags: , , , , , , , , ,

A week late on the post, but here nonetheless.  Last week we made our first trip out of the state with Hazel, heading to the Boston area for my business trip and then down to Connecticut to my mom’s place for the weekend.  In the last post I mentioned that Hazel did great on the flight out to Boston – she mostly slept, bounced around on our laps, ate, and eyed the tv on the backs of our seats.  We survived too – traveling with a baby is definitely a whole lot different than the traveling I’m used to…so many more things to carry, much more time needed, worries about feeding, crying, and accidentally leaving some critical piece of baby gear behind!

Yenari and Hazel stayed locked down in our hotel the whole time I was at work both days – they didn’t leave at all without me!  Last post I had some photos of Hazel swimming in the pool, so I’ll skip ahead to the end of the second day.  Yenari checked out of the hotel around 4pm (thanks to their kindness in letting us have a super late checkout) and I made it back to the hotel after work to pick them up around 4:45.  Then it was off to the Southborough train station to pick up Liza and then drive down to Connecticut.  Again, Hazel was a travel champ, passing out and sleeping the 2 hours down to my mom’s house in Durham, CT.  After some dinner, chatting, and baby playing we went to bed.

The first thing on the lazy day agenda for Saturday was the arrival of grandmother and Hazel’s great grandmother.  Even though she’s a great grandmother she’s still ‘Nana’ to Hazel.  This was her second time meeting Hazel – she first met her when she was only about 3 weeks old, so Hazel was a lot bigger and more responsive this time around.  Here are a couple pictures of Hazel sitting and smiling with Nana:

with Nana

with Nana

Next up was a visit from my college friends Joe and Sophia.  They’re expecting a baby anytime now – Sophia’s about ready to burst!  We had a great brunch with them filled with baby talk, baby play, and catching up.  Here’s a couple photos of them playing with Hazel:

with Joe, Sophia, and a baby in the belly

enchanted by the duckie

It was great to see them.  Best of luck to Sophia and Joe in the coming weeks!

That night my mom planned a dinner party to show off Hazel to many of her friends.  Some of these friends I’ve known my whole life, so it was great to see everyone and the excitement everyone had for Hazel and for us.  Here are a couple of (out of focus – guilty me) photos of the girls and the boys of the party:

party time crowd

party time crowd

After the evening of great company and excellent food Hazel was a bit cranky from the over-stimulation but eventually got to bed and slept well.  In general she wasn’t really phased by the 3 hour timezone switch on either end of the trip, so we lucked out in that regard!

The next morning Hazel’s aunt Kathleen came over and we had a great time playing with Hazel on the couch, with high spirits all around…photos of Hazel with my mom (meeeeeeeemaw), Liza, and Kathleen:

with meemaw

with meemaw and Liza

chillin on the couch with Liza, meemaw, and Kathleen

The whole Connecticut trip was great – we got to pack in a lot of time with a lot of great people without having to even leave the house!

The trip back wasn’t so fun though.  I’ll skip the full story and just mention: long drive back with tons of traffic on the Mass Pike, lots of traffic near Liza’s place with students returning to college, GPS suddenly not working leading to aimless driving through Boston, boarding pass that didn’t mention Hazel requiring second trip through security, Yenari and me being in different rows of the plane with others only agreeing to switch so we could be together halfway through, crying toddler keeping Hazel awake and crying, more crying, and finally back home.  It was about a 14 hour trip door to door and definitely not too fun, but we survived, and had a great time on the trip, so it was worth it…

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