Last Sunday, we decided to take a bus to Camp Walker and check out the town just outside the base. We ended up taking the train after we found one of their employees near the card machines to sell us the reload-able train cards. We added about 10,000 won onto each of them and then hopped on the train. After about three stops, we got out and walked into the multi-floor Lotte Department store.
The department store was gorgeous! One floor had beautiful bakeries and cafes, with treats in the shapes of roses, smiley faces, and all sorts of things, while the next floor had every brand of cosmetics you could ever want. There were many floors with high-end designer clothing, but they also had Columbia, Crocs (the really cute kind 😉 and other more recognizable brands. I did see a cute pair of shoes I liked but they didn’t have my size. I had to use a translator app and my few Korean words that I knew to request my shoe size and inquire into some other products. It was a little tough, but if you try to stay calm and patient, they will really appreciate your efforts and will do their best to help you. In the end, I found a couple blouses on another floor and handed them to the Korean lady that was standing watch for when I needed help and she took them and folded them, placed them in a bag, and motioned for me to follow her to the counter to pay and did everything for me. She motioned for my to use my credit card when the terminal was ready and I said “thank you” in Korean when the transaction was finished. It was pretty painless. 😉 The two shirts were 53 won, total, but with the exchange rate, I saw that I had only paid $47 in USD once it hit my bank account.
I was really excited when I saw a sign on the 6th (?) floor for a coffee shop that ended up being Angel-in-us. I had been wanting to try it out ever since I’d seen in from the bus when driving through Daegu—the name of the cafe was too fun for me to pass up getting a cup of coffee from it. Haha They make a delicious iced Caramel Machiatto by the way.
While I was waiting for my drink order, my husband noticed a sign for a kids corner upstairs, so we went to check it out with our twenty-month-old. There was a sliding door that opened to an outside patio that had a mini roller coaster and train for kids–they were both free! Ava loved it. 🙂
After we rode both rides, we decided to enter the store from the opposite side of the patio and discovered a little room with a lego wall that kids and their parents were enjoying playing with–it was nice to have a break from the humidity outside. You have to take your shoes off and leave them in front of the mat.
I believe it was the 7th floor that had all the children’s clothes, but it is also where I discovered a children’s play-place in the far corner of this floor, called Playtime Kids Club. They had a book they opened that had English in it. There were different amounts you could pay, based on how long you would stay there to play (with an accompanied adult) and I think there might have even been a membership cost you could pay if you wanted to sign up. We ended up paying 10,000 won for 2 hours of play (although we only stayed a little over an hour) but we were both able to go into the play area. Of course, as is the custom, you again remove your shoes and then place them in the cubby locker. There are drinks and sugary-treats for the kids that you can get from the front desk–I think you pay for them as you leave but I am not sure.
This play-place was much bigger than it looked at first glance. There was a block building pit, a wood-pebble pit with dump trucks, sand pit (you have to slip on the provided boots before you walk into the sand pit) a pretend grocery corner with grocery carts and plastic food, a climbing corner, ball pit, bubble zone…I just kept wishing I was still a kid!! I was so much fun to watch Ava interact with the other children, who kept calling her “eva” or just “baby” and all wanting to hold her hand and play with her. One of the little girls kept coming up to us, saying, “hi! nice to meet you!”, over and over. I think she was practicing her English. 😉 It was very cute.
Ava fell asleep very quickly in her daddy’s arms after this exciting visit with her new friends came to an end. 😉
We took the train back near Walker, caught the bus, then finally made it back to our hotel, exhausted but happy and excited for out future adventures in Korea.