On Day Nine, we were able to go to 일산 Ilsan to visit with Molly Holt, tour the Holt facilities there, and even join in on their Christmas party. We rode the subway about an hour north early in the morning and took a taxi to Holt.
It was the first time we had visited and we were amazed by the size of the property! We found Molly’s home and drank tea together and caught up on the last 3 years. Molly and Whitney had met one time previously – at the same conference and on the same weekend Lee and Whitney first met! She was so delighted to hear that we’d gotten married. As a reminder, we are both Holt alumni.
One of the volunteers there gave us a tour of the property and explained the 일산 Ilsan layout to us. She took us to their lovely museum, which detailed the history of Holt.
We also saw the rest of the campus.
That afternoon, we were able to join in on the Christmas party for the 일산 Ilsan residents and some of their sponsors. A group from the States happened to be there, traveling with a crew from Holt USA (Eugene, OR)!
We had such a great time visiting 일산 Ilsan and seeing more of the work of Holt. We are grateful for the work they’ve done on our behalf as two young orphans, as well as their amazing post adoptive services and their impact on our lives these last five years. We visited the PAS office later in the week…stay tuned for those details!
We were up to catch an early train again the morning of Day Ten. We were meeting our great friends Jolie and Young-ju a bit south in 수원 Suwon.
Jolie and Whitney became friends in 2010 when they lived and worked in 천안 Cheonan. They got along swimmingly from their first meeting and she became a very special 언니 unni, helping Whitney navigate some tough times as an adoptee returning to the motherland. They’ve stayed in touch ever since and we always try to carve out time to see them and their handsome son Noah!
After lunch, we did some shopping and headed back to the house for a bit of a rest. Over dinner, 아빠 Appa asked if Whitney had taken Lee to see the 신촌 Sinchon Christmas tree yet, knowing how much Lee (aka Buddy the Elf) loves the holiday season. He suggested we all go together after eating.
We think 아빠 Appa was a photographer in a previous life because he always loves these photo ops and goes nuts trying to pose everyone in every imaginable grouping. It drives everyone crazy, especially when it is freezing cold outside. Hahaha!
After we got back in the car, 아빠 Appa started driving away from home. We were all confused and asked where we were going, but he didn’t answer us. Then we started driving up a windy, steep mountain. Whitney asked, “Are you taking us here to kill us?”
The Bugak Skyway Palgakjeong Pavilion 북악스카이 팔각정 is supposedly at a similar elevation to 남산 Namsan. It was so pretty up there and this picture doesn’t do it justice. There is a beautiful octagonal pavilion there built in the traditional Korean style. We forgot to take many pictures because we were ooh-ing and ahh-ing.
After we were totally frozen and couldn’t feel our fingers anymore, 아빠 Appa treated us all to yummy coffee and tea at the cafe nearby the pavilion.
The cafe was full of couples on dates and 엄마 Omma scolded 아빠 Appa, saying that it was weird for us to be there, but he didn’t care at all. He loves showing off and taking us places to experience for the first time. We had a lot of fun and talked forever until the cafe closed and we had to head home.
Next up…Lee’s Christmas gift to 엄마 Omma and 아빠 Appa, and a visit to Holt Korea Post-Adoption Services!
Have you connected with us? Find us on these social media outlets and review all of our Korea pictures! We posted over 40 photos over the course of our two week trip!
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