Busan Part IV

Tue 7/5, day 20

We were so excited to be here for Calvin’s 4th birthday. In the Collins family you get to be “king for a day”. So Calvin determined the activities and the meals. We were working on a Superman cake that wouldn’t be ready until after lunch, so Calvin started with some presents: yay for LEGOs. Cake building is a serious business in the Collins’ house. From scratch and with super sweet frosting. We’re not sure if food coloring really has adverse effects on kids, but there was a lot of food coloring and some extreme emotions later in the day.

For lunch we had PBJs and presented the cake to Calvin, who absolutely loved his Superman cake. We decided to go to Peter’s Pet Cafe for his next activity. It did not disappoint. I love animals that are cute and the pet cafe had really cute animals that you want to adopt. There was Chris the Alaskan husky/wolfhound. A really nice dog. There were so many cute and a few ugly dogs. Many types of terrier/bull dogs and poodles. There was a section with smaller, “bitty” dogs that held Pomeranians and some other dogs and a really ugly small dog without hair. There was one dog that was super old and ugly and just wanted love. It was like your awkward friend and it sought Nathan out right away. I was allowed to hold one of the Pomeranians named Sunshine. We were both beaming. So much love in the room. The birthday boy was a bit shy of the dogs and so was Asher, but the dogs kept trying to snuggle. A chocolate brown poodle became Calvin’s friend, until the other dogs wanted to sit on his lap too. A danger about the pet cafe is that it started a whole new round of, “Can we get a dog?”



The really ugly dog that needed love is hanging out under Annie's chair.
The really ugly old dog that needed love is hanging out under Annie’s chair. It sensed Nate’s and Annie’s compassion 🙂



The girls needed some books and so we went to the library, which is next to an incredible rose garden and the river. Annie headed inside with the kids and Nate and I wandered and smelled the roses (for real, you know you can picture it). It was like a giant labyrinth of roses and some of the varieties are from plants that go back to the 1960s. Roses always remind me of my grandpa’s house outside of Portland. Whenever we would visit, my mom would have us help out with the garden: weeding, mulching, and a lot of complaining. Grandpa had had a bigger rose garden in the past, but he started slowing down in his 80s.


On top of the library is an awesome lookout and ampitheater. They do a great job of using space in Korea. The roof overlooks the river which was pretty high because it’s been raining a lot and flooding is a problem. We observe 4 boys, probably around 8-10, trying to ford the river over some giant stones. Normally, I think it would be a pretty easy crossing, but rushing water made them really consider the possibility of being swept away. The river isn’t very wide, but it was moving. They went slowly over the first few rocks, helping each other and working well together. About halfway through, they started getting more confidence. They made it across and we started loudly cheering from the top of the library. The boys looked up at us and neither smiled nor acknowledged us. I took that as encouragement to cheer them on all the more. They went over the real bridge and tried it again. This time it was easy and they were joking. When they finished again, we cheered to see if we could get a reaction out of them. Nope. Same, same.

We found Annie and the kids in the library. She was reading to Calvin and Asher, but Calvin had fallen asleep. That seems to happen a lot and it is really cute, but of course, then someone has to carry him home. After rousing Calvin, we headed home and made fajitas/burritos (Calvin’s request).

We were just hanging out on the couches after dinner and before bed, but this rumbling and shaking began. It was loud and fast and my heart was racing. An earthquake. My first earthquake. Here in the Pacific Rim, earthquakes aren’t uncommon. Dan said that they had experienced one other earthquake and it was a lot more subtle than ours. It was just a few seconds, but so powerful. It was 5.0, just off the coast of Busan. Crazy. We were told to expect aftershocks, but none came. We all sort of paused and just were like, “Did that just happen?”

More late night cards, conversation, and laughing for the adults. Though a few times we circled back to the earthquake. Did that really just happen? Yes.

Happy 4th birthday, Calvin! What a way to end it, though.


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