Formerly known as "Cruzers in Korea"

Friday, October 23, 2009

More Random Pics

Friday, October 23, 2009 2
It's a beautiful fall day here in Busan. Got some fun family stuff lined up today. In the back of my mind, I'm thinking about all the work I've gotta get done this weekend - a couple of briefs, write a speech, prep some training, plan my next couple of trips and some other things. So what am I doing instead? Blogging. Oh well.

In honor of the recent Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) that just finished up last week., here's the movie poster of the popular Korean movie, "Haeundae." It's a disaster movie set right here in Busan and Haeundae Beach. One weekend while driving across the Gwangan Bridge, we saw the movie film crew taping scenes for this movie. Cars were toppled all over the place, smoke was everywhere and bloody actors were writhing in pain all across the bridge. When I say bloody, I don't mean England type of bloody as in "not bloody likely" (insert bad accent here), but bloody as in there was fake blood on them to make this disaster movie scene even more dramatic.

Carol screening my blog posts before I hit the "publish" button. Usually a good idea although I do hold veto override powers.

A lazy Saturday morning.

That's Doctor Spooner, the Navy doctor at the Chinhae Navy Base. He does a great job taking care of all the military folks and the civilian merchant mariners that work for Military Sealift Command. He's not Jake's favorite person though when he has to get shots.

Because of the clothes dryer situation, this is how we dry sheets. Carol might take exception to my use of the word "we." I think the word "she" might be more accurate because of my lack of participation in the laundry department. Hey, I bring home the bacon though.

Jake being Jake

There are a couple of strategically placed vacuum hook-ups like this throughout the apartment. Very cool and very convenient. No need to lug around an entire vacuum. Just hook up the long hose and we are good to go. In that last sentence, I should probably substitute the word "we" with ... never mind.

Kimchi fried rice. Delicious. Jake gets first dibs at the egg though. His love of eggs is how I know that he is a true Cruz. The egg gene seems to have skipped a generation with CJ.

That's Jasmine and Marwa working on a school project with CJ. Lesson learned: when you dump water all over cardboard, the cardboard will get wet and soggy.

Sometimes the boys and I do sleepovers in the living room. Pseudo camping I guess. Lots of fun until Jake gets into that up too late, irrational zone. Then I'd rather drink a glass of elephant snot.

Jake getting a haircut at Pier 8 from Ms. Chung.

Hope you enjoyed the randomness of it all. Until next time -- C2

Monday, October 19, 2009

They're Naked!

Monday, October 19, 2009 2
Check out this short video we took at the beach the other day:

So this is what Jake was referring to:

Those guys must work out.

Not something you see everyday in Korea. Until next time -- C2

Friday, October 16, 2009

APEC Nurimaru & USNS Pomeroy Tour

Friday, October 16, 2009 0
More pics with Mom. I know some of these are redundant cause of the recent video I posted. I love redundancy though. BTW, you might've seen some of these on the recent video I posted.

This is at the APEC Nurimaru Park, a beautiful location in Dongbaek Park just a few minutes from our apartment. APEC stands for Asian Pacific Economic Conference. Nurimaru is a combination of two Korean words - nuri, meaning world and maru, meaning summit. In 2005, a huge world summit was held in the round building behind us and was attended by many Presidents and leaders of countries . This is also where Carol and her exercise group go to walk. It's one of my favorite places to run because of the air, scenery and soft track.

That's the Gwangan Bridge behind us.

Haeundae Beach in the background.

I don't remember any of my grandparents at all. I'm really glad that CJ and Jake know their grandparents well.

Mom got to see my workplace. Here we are outside my office.

In my office. Jake kept messing with my coins on the left.

Disregard the full in-box.

Carol was tempted to do a Jane Fonda type pose on top of the armored personnel carrier but opted against it.

On a separate visit, Mom joined some of the women of the Busan International Women's Association (BIWA) for a tour of the USNS Pomeroy at my workplace at Pier 8.

Lunch onboard the ship. Those were the best crabcakes I've ever eaten. I've got the recipe if you're interested. Seriously. The BIWA ladies are gonna print the recipe in their next magazine.

On the bridge of the Pomeroy with Captain Mike Finnigan. He's a great Captain with a fantastic crew. His father served with PFC Ralph Pomeroy during the Korean War, who the ship is named after. PFC Ralph Pomeroy was a medal of honor recipient.

Wish Mom could've stayed longer. She was probably worried that Dad was starving himself in the Philippines. I shouldn't talk. When Carol went to the US this summer, I ate nothing but vienna sausages and potato chips. Better go for now before I digress even further. Until next time -- C2

Video of Mom's Visit

Well Mom is back in the Philippines now. Deep sigh. Here's a nice reminder of her visit - minus the surgery and immigration complications. More on that stuff later. Might want to expand the video to a bigger size for easier viewing.

You'll see many of the good folks from the Filipino Community Group from our church in the video. I think Mom really enjoyed their company. We visited some nice parks, temples, the beach, ate some good food, did some shopping and got to tour my work place and the USNS Pomeroy. It was great having Mom here. Until next time -- C2

Follow on note: might be better to view the video straight from YouTube. Just click on the "YouTube" word near the bottom right of the video and it'll get you going. The video below seems to not work as well.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Mom's Visit - Kumgang Park

Friday, October 2, 2009 3
Had a great day yesterday sightseeing with Mom. We hung out with the Filipino group from church. The plan was to relax at the hot springs, ride the cable car up Kumjeong Mountain, hit a nearby amusement park and do some karaoke in the evening.

Mom's arrival at the airport.

One big glitch. CJ got sick the night Mom arrived.. This is the bucket we laid by his head just in case he needed to throw up. Unfortunately, he did throw up. It didn't end up in the bucket though. Our couch has seen better days.

Mom on the subway with some of our friends.

This is at the hot springs place. First off, I thought it would be an outdoor place. It was a lot different than what I had in mind. There was no co-ed hangout place like the advertisement showed. Instead, in order to enjoy any of the different relaxing water spa areas, you had to get butt ball naked and be separated into dudes and girls. Because I didn't want to intimidate the other members of the group with my naked manliness, we decided to forego the hot springs and move on to lunch.

Mom enjoyed her first Korean meal of kalbi and sumgyupsal - beef and pork barbecue with a bunch of sides. She really liked the food. Wasn't crazy about sitting on the floor though.

Although Mom's not much of a daredevil, she handled the cable car just fine. The views were fantastic. The cable car takes you up Kumjeong Mountain.

Alvin, Edwin, Charlie and Grace

Mom with Amy who is a missionary in Namhae.

This park was really something. Very relaxing and lots of great natural sites. That's one of the things I love about Busan. You've got the hustle and bustle of the city but you can also enjoy the natural beauty of the beach and mountains.

Mom got to see firsthand the picture taking craziness that ensues when we're around the Filipino group. Makes for good memories.

The mountain is a popular place to hike.

Within the mountain park are several amusement park rides. Our group hopped onto this crazy excuse for entertainment. It was insane! Amy was scared out of her gourd, Ludy didn't stop screaming for a milisecond, Edwin had the death grip on not only the oh sh__ handle in front of him but the oh sh__ handle in front of me too, and one person even barfed. Definitely worth the price of admission. I think some of the folks unintentionally crocheted permanent doilies into the fabric of their seats. The ride operator should be committed.

It was a really fun first day. I hate that Carol and the boys couldn't join us but CJ was miserably sick. He's doing a lot better today though. Until next time -- C2

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mom's Here!

Thursday, October 1, 2009 0
We picked Mom up from the airport last night. We were concerned that the family might've been affected by the recent typhoon in the Philippines. Our family in Pampanga seems to be doing okay. Our prayers go out to those that have suffered through this typhoon. Looks like another one is on its way.

We're ready to show Mom Korea. Things got off to a rocky start though. CJ's not feeling so hot and actually threw up last night. Cleaning vomit late at night never gets old. I'm reminded again that Carol is an absolute Saint. I'm watching CJ sleep right now with a bucket next to him just in case. He's doing better.

In honor of Mom's visit, here are a couple of shots from over the years:

I think this was from 1973. Mom had her hands full while Dad was out at sea or away for training.

And then Lee enters the picture. Here we are hanging out at the Botanical Gardens in Norfolk, Virginia. Plaid was awesome in the 70's.

Ah, the joy of living in Navy Housing. Bell bottoms with patches - only I could make that look good.

Me, Mom and my Dorothy Hamill haircut.

CJ and Mom - 10 years ago.

Jake and Mom - 2 years ago.

So now we've got a full plate scheduled for Mom. Lots of sightseeing, good food and good company. It's Chusok here in Korea, one of the biggest holidays of the year. For Chusok, many people travel to spend time with their families, so it's very appropriate that Mom is here with us now. More pictures to come. Until next time -- C2
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