Formerly known as "Cruzers in Korea"

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Off To Thailand

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 0
It's been a very busy couple of weeks. I recently returned from two conferences in San Diego. One was a gathering of all the Commanding Officers of the Military Sealift Command units stationed in the Pacific and Far East regions. The other event was a planning conference for JLOTS - Joint Logistics Over The Shore. JLOTS is a huge exercise that will occur in Korea in 2010. Yup, the Gaslamp District is still fun and the Mexican food is still good.

The family is off to Phuket, Thailand today for some rest and relaxation. Since I haven't blogged in a while, here are a few random pics before I'm off the net for a few days.



My office at Pier 8. Can't beat my window view. It looks out over the water into the Busan Harbor.


Not sure why he started doing this but one of Jake's favorite things to do lately is drop his drawers, smack his rump roast and sing, "Shake your booty, shake your booty!" Curse you, KC and the Sunshine Band!


Because the parking situation is so tight in Korea. Most folks place their cell phone number on the dashboard of their cars. When people are double and triple parked, folks will call each other to let them know they need to move their car. Pretty neat. Wonder if that would fly in the US?



CJ as MJ this past Halloween. He's become quite the Michael Jackson fan lately, even learning the moonwalk. Spoiler alert. We saw the MJ movie, "This Is It." Although we liked the movie, how can you make that movie without a single moonwalk? Very disappointed with that. I'll live.

That's all for now. Until next time -- C2

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veteran's Day!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009 0
Happy Veteran's Day to all those patriots out there. Thank you for doing what you do. The Cruz men have definitely done their part in serving their country. Dad led the way.


Dad as a brand new sailor.


Dad serving in Danang, Vietnam.


My oldest brother Alan was the first of the siblings to join the military. He served 10 years in the Navy. I think this was on one of his deployments to the Mediterranean Sea.


Onboard the ship.

Bernabe bucked the trend and joined the Army. Nothing like an early morning shave in the field.


Bernabe was a field artillery guy and served in Desert Storm. He did time in Germany, Hawaii and New York also.


Me onboard the USS John F. Kennedy.





Nothing like a Navy homecoming!


My little brother Lee getting pumped on one of his multiple deployments to Afghanistan. Lee served as the Green Beret medic on his Special Forces team. Getting big - good. Growing stache - not so good.


Lee's team after a major fire fight in Afghanistan. That's Lee in the middle.


Our military folks can't properly do their jobs without the support of family and loved ones. Here's the Cruz clan waiting for Dad. That's Dad's ship in the background, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Again, have a great Veteran's Day everyone. Off to San Diego now for two conferences. Until next time -- C2

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Shinsegae

Thursday, November 5, 2009 5
The Shinsegae is a block and a half from our apartment in Centum City. It is now the world's largest department store. I know this because of all the Guinness Book of World Record signs all over the Shinsegae stating that it's the world's largest department store. It's a pretty impressive facility. It has an ice skating rink, world food court, many restaurants, huge book store, high end stores that we can't afford to shop at, a golf driving range, grocery store, regular movie theater, Imax theater, a rooftop park overlooking the city and a massive spa with many naked people running around. Most importantly, they have a Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken.


The Shinsegae is right next door to the Lotte Department Store mall, which is pretty impressive too. In these tough economic times, you can't have enough luxury department stores.


To give you an idea of how huge the Shinsegae is, here is a picture of one of the bathrooms. Just kidding. This is a closet.


Carol likes to walk to the Shinsegae to grab a bagel and cream cheese at the Au Bon Pain bakery. They are so friendly in there. The manager usually gives the boys a free bread stick or snack during their visits. I think it's cause Carol shows him a little leg.


Lots of Greek statues in the Shinsegae lobby area. Great place for a toga party.


We interrupt this blog post for a quick toga party flashback.


Outside of the grocery store area is a long line of herbs, roots, mushrooms, tree trunks, twigs, powders and other natural things that are "good for health." This is a very popular Korean saying - "good for health."


The Shinsegae is so massive, you can have actual airplane dogfights inside the building. If you blow the picture up, you can see the Guinness Book of World Records signs hanging on the balcony.


I needed a little help to figure out the food court. At first, I went directly to the food place to order food. Wrong. You have to go to the main counter and tell them the number of the dish you'd like to order. I had a Sanford and Son flashback standing in front of the restaurant with no one helping me. "You Big Dummy!"


So after you order your food from the main counter, you look at this digital board and wait for your number to come up. Wow, that sounded kinda fatalistic.


They have a kiddie play area too. I imagine this is what the spa is like except everyone is naked.


Koreans take physical health very seriously. Notice the mouth covering thing these food handlers wear. I'm thinking of buying a couple of these contraptions as Christmas presents for those friends who have that "say it, don't spray it" problem.



Simple yet effective. These watermelon holders make lugging fruit home so much easier from the Shinsegae.

There's a very cool ice cream/gelato place at the Shinsegae that we like. You can get three flavors of ice cream in one cup for pretty cheap. The place is called Gusttimo. I would've taken a picture of all the colorful ice creams but I got shut down by the ice cream workers. Guess it's top secret kinda stuff. I felt like I just had my Soup Nazi experience from Seinfeld.

Anyway, there's our stroll through the Shinsegae. Until next time -- C2
 
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