Emil and I have experienced the trip of a lifetime. Steve and Angela treated us to a wonderful, unforgettable visit to their home.
We were able to let old memories fade and form new, wonderful memories that will fill our lives forever. The people of Korea are the most gracious, kind, generous people in the world. They have a marvelous history! They open their homes and arms and want to share all they have with you. This was demonstrated to us first hand with our time spent with Angela's family. Her Mom, Dad, and her siblings, are among the best people I have ever know. We are so lucky to have them as part of our family. Steve is a very fortunate man. He has the Best Mother-in-Law anyone could have!!! We have a lot to learn from the Korean people! They treasure their traditions and cultures, things that maybe, we here at home, have forgotten.
The countryside is beautiful! One is surrounded by rivers and mountains with beautiful foliage and color. The city of Seoul has been transformed into one of the worlds largest growing cities. The 1988 Olympics started an enormous building boom and today it rivals cities such as New York and Chicago. On a lighter note I found more Starbucks than I saw on my last visit to New York City. The older "city" is still there. There are neighborhoods that reflect the ancient ways that are only steps away from the new modern world.
Steve and Angela are living a dream. Their home is on the top floor (22) of a new condominium. The views are magnificent! The home itself is large and filled with Asian and Western amenities. The kitchen has all the new bells and whistles any kitchen in the USA has plus they have kim chi refrigerator drawers!!!!! The wall coverings are fabulous. Papers I have never seen; three dimensional textured papers I can't even attempt to describe. I photographed them, but I'm afraid the shots don't do them justice. All the closet doors are covered with an ostrich skin material and are amazing!
The most remarkable invention and one to experience is the TOTO toilet. This is something everyone has to have. I demand our builders make them a must in every American home built!!!! I suggest all of you search out one and experience it for yourself. I can say no more!!! I want one --------now!
I had Steve and Angela's permission to rearrange and make design suggestions. Due to jet lag I was unable to sleep the first night and was at work immediately! Before they were up I had rearranged the entire living room! Their reaction was fantastic and they couldn't believe what I had accomplished. I was surprised myself. It's always fun when you have free rein and your work is appreciated. Of course I had a beautiful space to work with. One of my favorite features in the apartment is what I named, "The Great Hall". It runs 48 feet long and is over 4 feet wide with marble flooring and foiled papered walls. They purchased an antique Korean chest that is at one end facing the entry into the living room at the opposite end. What an affect! Along the walls are beautiful pieces of art that they have collected over the years. The foyer, which is entered in the center of this hall, is another unique space. The side walls, covered with the ostrich paper I mentioned before, are sliding doors that open to cubby spaces from floor to ceiling to hold shoes, which are always removed before entering a Korean home.
I'm going back to putting the pictures after the script this entry because I think it's more telling to see all the pictures together. I have included some of our day trips to Olympic Park, typical Korean streets, the modern city it has become, plus other interesting shots!!
Has anyone noticed I haven't mentioned my experiences with the traditional Korean foods? Truth be it ---- I didn't do good on that subject.-------- Maybe I'll just throw in a picture!