We’re BACKKK…in Seattle…

For anyone who has been following our careercation, you’d think that we’d been stuck in the Shinsegae Department Store in Seoul since we haven’t posted since April. But no, since Seoul, we hit up Shanghai, Saigon (David only due to an outbreak of hand foot mouth disease), Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Tainan, Taipei, San Francisco, and Dallas. We made it back to Seattle on Monday, July 16, 2012. We left on February 9th, which is about 6 months of traveling with little Keira and our travel au pair, Kayla.

Keira and Daddy with packed car on start of adventure on February 9, 2012

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Shinsegae Department Store, Seoul


One of my best finds yet is the Babycafe at the Shinsegae Department store in Gang-nam, Seoul. It was only 2 train stops and couldn’t have been more convenient. On the 8th floor, there’s a playroom with toys and assorted toddler gym equipment. Keira could’ve spent all day there, while I kicked back to enjoy my chocolate croissant

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Where to take your toddler in Seoul, Korea

20120425-134702.jpgEven though Keira is loving the people watching and eating, its been a challenge to find nearby kid-friendly places for her to run around. So what’s one to do? Improvise!

We discovered Kona Beans cafe in our neighborhood. It’s a large modern cafe that’s 4 times the size of your average Starbucks and open 24 hours. Continue reading

First Day in Seoul

20120424-221525.jpg We all had a great sleep and woke up at 7am to get the day started!

Our awesome 3 bedroom flat is under $200/nt and in an area called Garosugil. The location is stellar and we’re surrounded by hundreds of trendy restaurants, cafes, cheap eateries and boutique stores. (Message me if anyone wants the contact for this place.)

First order of business was breakfast! So we stumbled upon a small eatery with nice looking photos (nothing is in English). We end up having a feast of mandu (dumplings), 2 orders of perfectly crispy bi bim bap rice pots, fried rice and all the side dishes and soup to go with it. Not sure if this was normal because we did see another guy eating ramen for breakfast, but after all the random pointing and sign language ordering, we just took it to a whole other level. Our travel nanny is liking the way we roll here too. Continue reading

27 hours: Gold Coast to Seoul

20120423-103403.jpg The flight of doom from Gold Coast, Australia to Seoul, Korea during our Around-the-World-Adventure with a 1-year old will probably be the longest trip of my life. But now I live to tell about it.

The itinerary goes:
Gold Coast (4 hour wait) > Sydney (4 hour layover) > Beijing (3 hour layover) > Seoul Airport > 1 hour bus ride to Garosugil neighborhood > 10 minute walk to apartment

Preparations start with sandbagging Keira’s sleep the morning of the flight and getting her to nap 1.5 hours until 10 minutes before we had to check out of the hotel at 10am. She slept no problem. Score 1 for team Niu! Continue reading

Keira’s 1st Birthday

20120423-104011.jpg Keira was born on March 6th, 2010. When I look back on that particular day, I remember all the details. But at the same time it all happened so fast like a dream.

It was Saturday afternoon and time for a cupcake run. So David drove me to Cupcake Royale and when I walked up to the cashier she said “wow, u look like you’re about to pop!” well, at this point it was the day before the due date, so we were pretty close.

I got greedy and bought two cupcakes – trying to pretend like I got one for David, but I actually wanted the second for myself. So I hop back into the car, excited to head back home to enjoy my cupcakes. David said he wanted to drop some mail that he forgot at home, so my cupcakes would have to wait… I waited 2 days later to eat them! Continue reading

Last Day in NZ

This morning we were all feeling pretty optimistic about getting back to civilization. And Happy birthday Keira!!! But we’ll be celebrating tomorrow because it’ll be March 6th back home – we’re traveling all day, plus David didn’t want to rob her of a day.

I dumped the toilet waste again for the 2nd time in a week and didn’t feel so bad about it, as I was envisioning the 5 star Westin hotel Sydney that was just on the horizon.

We got an early start cause the campsite starts turning off the hot water for the showers at 945am to kick everyone out by 10am checkout. Which is hilarious because it’s not like they have to clean lots of beds or bathrooms. I dunno, maybe they had to mow the lawn? Anyhow, we had some time to kill so off to the botanical gardens we went!

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