Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Ketchup. Catsup. Catch-up.

 

Why does anyone ever spell ketchup "catsup"? It's kind of weird and unappetizing to me that the word "cats" would appear on a plastic bottle of red, tomato-based stuff I squeeze on my French fries.  I spell it "ketchup" and to my Australian or British friends who call it "tomahto sauce", I'm sorry, but that is something else entirely that comes out of a can and is used for making marinara.


Anyway.  It comes down to this: it's high time for me to blow the dust off this blog and play some serious catch-up here. For starters, I am writing this post not in Korea but in the guest bedroom of my in-laws' house in California!  A few weeks ago, as we were discussing our plans for the summer, I was punching in various places I wanted to go and checking airfares when I came across such a crazy good deal, I kind of still can't believe it.  I mean, it was less than the cost of almost all the places in Asia that I wanted to visit. 

 


This way I get to meet the nephew my sister-in-law adopted since I left and the baby my soul sister had.  My kids get to swim and run around in the country like a bunch of ruffians, Wyatt can stomp around being a T. Rex for several weeks without me worrying about our downstairs neighbor who is quite possibly the crankiest man in Korea.  (I am not exaggerating when I say that when we are in the elevator with him, he actually growls at us!  Story for another time...). And next month, Matt will join us for the last couple weeks for a roadtrip.  You know I love my roadtrips.


The only catch with our amazing airfare was that the travel itinerary was abysmal. We had six hours in Shanghai on our way over and will have thirteen there on the way back.  When I told my friends in Busan about this, those who had been there winced and groaned.  They informed me that it was actually good to have a long layover,  Now I completely understand.  I was told that you have to go through immigration to get a 144-hour pass, and that you had to claim your baggage and check back in, then go through passport control and security again.  I thought this would take two, maybe three hours.  The kids and I would grab dinner to kill some more time before our flight.  Maybe we'd play some games and nap while we waited to board.


The story of our time there can best be summed up in Wyatt's words when he saw the line for passport control to check out, after waiting an hour past the time we were told the check-in desk for our airline would open before it actually did.  An hour. Yes.  Anyway, he started crying (it was 11 pm our time by this point) and said, "No! No! NOOOOO!  I don't WANT TO WAIT IN ANOTHER LINE!!!"  


Bro.  I feel ya.  


We ended up sitting at the gate for only about forty-five minutes before it was time to board.  So yes, a long layover, while terribly painful, is necessary there.  Some of what took so long was due to total lack of information and having to figure it out through trial and error, and I would like to tell you I know better what to do next time, but... I'm not entirely sure that's true.  I can't claim bragging rights yet, I'm afraid.


But anyway, we arrived safely in San Francisco late Monday.  Which was weird because we left after midnight on "Tuesday".  I've been doing this my whole life, but I still feel like we should be able to say time travel is possible if you can gain or lose entire days by crossing an ocean.  I'm always left wondering about how to talk about the time on the plane.  Was it "yesterday"? "The day before yesterday"?  All last night, Wyatt, Annalee, and even Jayna we're struggling with sleeplessness... so I was too.  It was frustrating on the one hand, and I plan on more naps today. Buuuut, California.  *Heart eyes.*


Travel isn't the only piece of news, though!  My first baby has graduated from high school!! 

 

 I have so much I want to say about this, so hopefully I'll be able to grab the time to put it into words to post.  But suffice to say, I'm filled with so much gratitude and awe, I cried all the way through the ceremony.  Motherhood is such a crazy trip.


And speaking of crazy trips, Skyler, my new high schooler, is in Hawaii right now and will be joining us in July.  

 

She had begged and begged to go see her best friend all year, and she worked a very regular babysitting job this past semester to help pay for it.  It was a little scary to send her off by herself, but so wonderful to see her surprise reunion with her friend.  This girl and her whole family are just such precious people.  Lilly's best friends with her little sister, so she wanted to go too, but she has been sweetly supportive of Sky.  They are moving to Japan later this year, so hopefully we will all be able to see each other more.


Before I left Korea for the summer, we got to do some fun adventuring that I will post about soon, I hope.  But I think I've covered all the big news.  So now it's time for some serious caffeine dosage to compensate for the lack of sleep.  


I hope you all are kicking off summer (or winter, depending on where you are) with lots of happy fun!