Busan Part VI

Thu 7/7, day 22

We headed down to Busan’s Igidae park to hike along the ocean. It was a mirror to our Land’s End hike in San Francisco just over a week ago. It was hot and muggy, but the trails are really well maintained. It was a bit different hiking with 4 kids. But they were used to it and trooped along with the adults. A few daring moments left Asher with a nice booboo after jumping off a rock staircase. You live, you learn. It felt as if we should be silent, moving through the forest. But that really might just be my adult brain, because the four kids felt differently. If you’re outside, you should run and be free and whoop and be wild. I’m not sure why I was feeling more contemplative, but there was little talking except as we passed many older Koreans, we said, “Anyong-haseyo (hello).”

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Is there an age at which we lose that wild, childlike desire to play and be free? I remember being a kid and adults seemed so quiet and when they did things like going into nature or a conservatory or an art gallery or JoAnn Fabrics, or I don’t know a zoo, I was always being sushed. Sometimes I thought to myself, “If you wanted quiet, why did you invite a kid?” But being like an adult seemed really boring. But as an adult, I don’t feel boring. But I do wonder what my 10-year-old self would say about enjoying the peace and quiet of Muir Woods.

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We hiked up and then down, down, down to some incredible climbing rocks. I am not a rock climber. In fact, I’ve only been to a climbing gym twice in my life. But as I tried to scramble up a small boulder, I sort of got it, why people go to the middle of nowhere with a whole bunch of gear to climb stuff. This rock was radiating heat. The natural handholds made it remarkable easy, if awkward looking. It felt powerful to pull myself up and further explore rock upon rock. I was more daring than I normally am. There was a deep crevice with rushing water under it and a giant rock making a nice landbridge to more climbable rocks. It was about 4 feet wide and 10 feet long, the drop off with no rock was about 4 feet too. Dan and I both crossed it, the four kids wanted to come over, but their wise parents deemed it a bit too risky.

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The kids were rockstars on the climb back up. Ice cream had been promised as a reward to anyone who completed the trek back up. All four kids avoided mud and tumbles (mostly) and complaining. Right near the top turn back to the car, poor Phoebe took a tumble, but had a pretty awesome warwound to take away.

When we got home we had to hustle to get cleaned up because the kids were getting dropped off at the babysitters and the four adults were going on a double date to a traditional Korean restaurant. The restaurant was near Dan’s University, where he also teaches English. Even though we had been having a blast staying up late playing cards, there’s also something really fun about going out on a date and getting dressed up. It was in a really nice area of Busan and we had to take our shoes off and thankfully, they had a cutout for our feet to rest in under the table. We were in a private room and each course was an incredible array of Korean delicacies. We’ll have more on Korean cuisine in a later post. It was Annie’s first time to this style of restaurant as well, so it was nice not being the only newbie. Another Korean tradition we tried was their most popular alcoholic beverage: Soju. It was pretty intense. Like a shot of mild vodka with nothing in it. I liked it about as much. But it’s always good to try new things.

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We finished up our date night at an incredible bakery with excellent pastries and pies and cappuccino.

I’d like to say that we all went to bed early because the guys were getting up at the crack of dawn to go on a hike, but of course, there were more cards and jokes.

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