Our South Korea Bucket List

I am so incredibly excited… =) My sister-in-law and her fiance’ are flying in tomorrow. Can’t wait to experience the beauty of Korea with them and of course, cross off some of the items on my Bucket list. =) Oh, I haven’t shared that with you yet. It’s incredibly long so it will be interesting to see what we actually get to check off over the next 18 moths or so.. but I’m excited!

So here goes…


Our South Korea Bucket List

If anyone knows of any must do’s that we should add please feel free to comment below or send me a message. =) Until next time. sig. 3

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” ~ Susan Sontag



Our first full-month electric bill in Korea

electric bill

Living in South Korea definitely has you rethinking your electric uses throughout the day. I’d say us Americans are pretty spoiled when it comes to this. For Koreans it’s a duty to conserve as much energy as possible. With the risks of possible Blackouts rising, the prices are steep and you WILL be charged for overuse.

24/7 AC usage…HA!!!  Oh, you’ll regret that quickly. Daily laundry, keeping your home cool or any of those bad habits we bring over from the US will cost you. Be careful!!

From what I’ve been told, rates are charged on a tiered level plan. The rates are based on increments of around 300 kWh. So, the first 300 kWh is the cheapest, 300-600 kWh is a little higher, and so on. So, of course, it makes sense…the more you use, the more expensive it becomes.  But also, the rates increase depending on overall demand as well, so if demand increases throughout the country…apparently, you pay for it. It may sound crazy to some but it is what it is.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining….okay maybe just a little bit…lol… but, I do understand. And yes, I’m spoiled and need to learn how to conserve. I had read numerous posts in the local Facebook groups before we pcs’d so I thought I was prepared but sadly, nothing prepared us for the dramatic jump in cost from our first bill to this one.

Our last Bill was around 360,000 ₩ (abt. $335). It was only for 21 days though, so we were expecting our next bill to run us some where in between 6-700,000 ₩ (abt. $550 $650)which for most is still kinda high.

Now let me add, that we are a Military family and receive a utility/maintenance allowance of $950 a month. Many families try to stay under that of course, which means you pocket a little extra each month depending on what your bills are. And yes, we’d love to pocket some as well but figured as long as we stayed within the allowance and weren’t having to come out of pocket anything extra then we were doing pretty good.

After seeing a Facebook friend who lives in the same building as us post about how high her electric and gas bills were, I sent the girls downstairs to check the mail for ours. OMGosh…this is exactly how I felt.



 We had become “those Americans” with a million won electric bill. ($1016.85 according to todays rates, to be exact.)…Seriously?!?! After I went through the house shutting off and unplugging everything that wasn’t being used, I calmed myself and vowed that we would become more energy-efficient. 🙂

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

— Dr. Seuss, from The Lorax

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Note: In my Helpful Links section I will add the website link where you can input your kWh usage and get an estimate of what your bill will be.


Playing catch up

I am the worst Blogger ever…  *hangs head in shame*  I have been lacking the motivation and desire to do anything when it comes to photography, my blog, or even my fitness. But alas, I must get out of this funk. I don’t know what’s been going on with me but I’m pulling myself up, stepping back into my big girl panties and moving on.  🙂 These past  3 months have just flown by though, so let me try to quickly catch everyone up.
June 24th we began our journey to South Korea…. The Land of the Morning Calm. It was a LONG, uncomfortable flight but, I am so very thankful to have been able to make this trip together as a family. From Dallas to Seattle, Seattle to Japan, Japan to Osan Airforce base, Korea… Not a flight I want to take again, anytime soon. 🙂

Note: I haven’t really picked up my camera but a couple times since we got here, I’ve only used my phone.. like I said, no motivation, no desire, you get the gist… So anyway, please excuse the crappy cell phone pics throughout this post. If you click on the collage it will open up into a bigger window for viewing better if need be. =) KoreaBound_June24_2013Once we arrived at Osan, we were ushered into a conference room and told how to fill out our customs forms, etc. Then we grabbed our luggage and went through customs… Thankfully, everything went pretty smoothly. We were then bused over to Yongsan (about a 45 minute to and hour trip), briefed and checked into the Dragon Hill Lodge. The DHL is an absolutely beautiful hotel but sadly we were all too tired to fully enjoy it.  We ate dinner at one of the many restaurants available and went to bed. 

Dragon Hill LodgeOh, and I can’t forget to add that the months of June, July & August apparently are incredibly HOT & HUMID…not my cup of tea…ugh! I don’t think I’ve ever sweated so much in all my life. I’m talking Dripping, I was sweating in areas I didn’t know you could sweat from…Wow!! Thankfully, since September has rolled around it has cooled off considerably. We’re still getting up into the 80’s sometimes but the humidity has dropped by at least half. =) They say the winters are dry and cold/snowy but this cold weather gal is counting down the days. Instaweather
Anyway, our ride arrived the next morning to take us to CRC (Camp Red Cloud, another hour drive), where we checked into Lodging.

CRC is an extremely small post, you can easily walk from one end to the other in less then 15 minutes, but for those just arriving it’s a huge blessing. Within the first few days we did all the registering here,  and  turning in paperwork there…all the necessities. Next on the top of the list was finding an apartment, getting our Korean Drivers license and of course, finding us a Hooptie. =)
But first, we had to see our nephew who is currently stationed at Camp Casey (about a 30-40 minute drive from CRC). We were so very happy to have some time with him before he heads back stateside in October. Antonio met us at CRC and we headed off to Uijeongbu Station to catch the subway out to Seoul. 

Blog_Subway_SeoulTrip_Antonio_July2By the time we arrived in Seoul we were starved, so the first thing we looked for was a place to eat.  Kraze Burger it was… Yes, a safe choice but still a bit of a twist and oh so good. =) I ordered the Nude Burger and a strawberry smoothie Bubble tea.


DowntownSeoul_June2013_2Next, we hit the streets again and happened across the Myeong-dong Cathedral. The Church was beautiful as were the grounds. We didn’t venture inside simply because we weren’t sure if we were allowed, or if it’d be disrespectful. I later found out that you can go in and it is pretty popular with tourists. Next time… =) 

Myeongdong_Cathedral_June2013_2It was a great way to spend our first weekend in Korea but sadly, we had to get back to business. Sunday evening we contacted the Realtor I had been talking to and immediately set up a time for that upcoming week, to check out a few apartments.  Let me add that there are some single homes you can rent in the area but we chose to stick with an apartment. Becky (our Realtor.. Highly Recommended.) came and picked us up right outside the back gate of CRC (which is located right by Lodging), and took us to see three different apartments out in the Yangju-si area. Yangju-si, is perfectly located between both camps Red Cloud and Casey and since most things are done between those two posts we thought it’d be the best option for us. The first apartment was a small 3 bedroom that was an immediate ‘no thank you. The second was much nicer… (of course, we all know how this works, right?) Three bedrooms two bath. I Absolutely loved the kitchen but wasn’t too keen on the bathtub/shower area being enclosed together but still, an option. 


The last one for the day was the definite winner though. Four Bedroom, 2 Bath, new build with only a few minor finishing touches needing to be done, almost 1700 sq. ft. way more space then I was expecting. We could have kept looking but we decided to jump on this last one before it was gone.  We had our inspection appointment set up for the following Monday and lease signing on Tuesday. Yay!! In less than two weeks we had found a place to call home.

SClassWe went in and took the test for our Korean divers license which I was a little apprehensive about but it was way too easy. And Jeff went out the next day in search of a hooptie to get us around. We ended up getting a great deal on a ’96 Hyundai Sonata for $1060… The green machine. Another blessing… now we could move into our apartment without having to worry about  how we were going to get all our luggage there, etc.. The green Machine

We had our lease signing Tuesday July 9th and scheduled to have delivery of the loaner furniture (ie, dining table, a couple beds, dressers, desk & washer and Dryer) the next day. Our Unaccompanied baggage (Necessities we sent ahead of everything else) arrived soon after.SClass_apt  

Click Here to see a short clip that shows how they delivered our furniture 15 stories up. =)

And to round this all up, about a month later we received our HHG’s (House Hold Goods) shipment which contained the #1 thing the hubby was worried about… his Harley.  Oh, and of course the truck, which we picked up the following week. We made it through this move with minimal damage so I guess I can say it was a success. Whew!!

Kudos and much love to each of you who made it all the way through this post… It turned out to be longer then I expected but since I’ve caught everyone up, I feel like I can now start sharing our experiences. =) Until next time…

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“No, no! The adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time.”
― Lewis CarrollAlice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass


“The Gift of an Ordinary Day”

Just wanted to take a moment to say Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing moms out there!! Each of you are beautiful, amazing and awesome in your own way! I hope you all have a wonderful, pampered day, full of love….but most of all, remember to treasure the ordinary days.

Much Love,

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Once she stopped rushing through life, she was amazed how much more life she had time for. ~ Author Unknown