Friday, May 31, 2013

Aloha to Songtan - A Shopping Adventure

The main gate leads to Songtan - a modern version of Europe's "cobbled streets" in a rabbit warren of shops.

The shopping center is restricted to pedestrians and mopeds.

My first purchase - a Harley Davidson Tshirt, "Sturges at Osan".   The vendor gives me a Shaka! 

The shops feature Hello Kitty ...

... Psy ... 

... and American sports!

David and Andrew call each other ... 

... to order McDonald's Delivery!

How about an ice cream with a beer?

Or Korean Cheese Steak?

Or pub grub?

I doubt Ocean's Eleven will rob the Bellagio!

Never fear, Irish beer is here!

Hmm ... would you patronize a hairdresser named Miss Piggy?
Or purchase a guitar from Mr. Potato?

 Lazy Pink Whale is an artist who brightens the alleys ...

... with colorful murals!  I am giving away two prizes for all the posts from Korea and China:

- One box of souvenirs to a US resident
- One envelope of souvenirs to an International reader

Comments are open through Saturday, June 29, 10 pm in Hawaii.  I'll post the winners on Sunday, June 30, at the Reading Reviewer.


Kim in Korea

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Aloha from Korea!

Aloha from Korea!   We departed from Honolulu on Sunday, May 26, at 11:15 am ... and arrived in Inchon on Monday, May 27, at 4:45 pm.   It's a 9 /12 hour flight across the International Date Line.   We enjoyed two South Korea movies with English subtitles:

CONFESSION OF MURDER (link) an intriguing crime drama.

MASQUERADE (link) a beautiful historical drama.  It reminded me of Kevin Kline in DAVE (link).

Confession of Murder-poster.jpgGwanghae.jpg

My husband met us at the airport and we caught the shuttle back to Osan Air Base -  hour and half drive through rollings hills that reminded me of MASH.

My husband lives in a small one bedroom apartment with the other unaccompanied officers.

Because the base is compact and the infrastructure is restricted, inbound personnel apply for "command sponsorship" to bring their families.   We chose not to apply ... I wanted that extra year in Hawaii.  I think I made the right decision as families live in three high rise apartment buildings.  

The weather has been rainy and foggy for the past two days, giving us the opportunity to recover from jet lag.  The sun finally came out, brightening our outlook on Korea.    Tomorrow we plan to explore the city of Osan.  

On Saturday, my husband and boys are joining the local Boy Scout troop on the Task Force Smith Trail.  It commemorates the route of the American forces to repel communists from South Korea.   

On Sunday, we kick off our week stay at the Dragon Inn on  Yongsan Army Garrison to explore Seoul.   

The following week, we fly to China.

More pictures to come!


Kim in Korea

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Aloha to Punchbowl - National Cemetery of the Pacific

On Sunday, May 26, my family is flying to Seoul ... and we arrive on Monday, May 27 - Memorial Day.  I share my recent photos from the National Cemetery of the Pacific.

From its website (at this link),

Few national cemeteries can compete with the dramatic natural setting of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. The “Punchbowl” was formed some 75,000 to 100,000 years ago during the Honolulu period of secondary volcanic activity. A crater resulted from the ejection of hot lava through cracks in the old coral reefs which, at the time, extended to the foot of the Koolau Mountain Range.

Although there are various translations of the Punchbowl’s Hawaiian name, “Puowaina,” the most common is “Hill of Sacrifice.”

During the late 1890s, a committee recommended that the Punchbowl become the site for a new cemetery to accommodate the growing population of Honolulu. The idea was rejected for fear of polluting the water supply and the emotional aversion to creating a city of the dead above a city of the living.

Fifty years later, Congress authorized a small appropriation to establish a national cemetery in Honolulu with two provisions: that the location be acceptable to the War Department, and that the site would be donated rather than purchased. In 1943, the governor of Hawaii offered the Punchbowl for this purpose.

Punchbowl offers a serene setting above busy Honolulu.

I walked up the crater wall to a series of memorials.

The trees give shade to the Tin Can Sailors.

This memorial reminded me that we find peace through reconciliation. 

Hit My Smoke refers to the Forward Air Controllers from the Vietnam War.

The 24th Infantry served in WWII, Korean War, and the Gulf War.

This plaque is made from the stone from the Philippines to remember General MacArthur's return to defend the island nation.  

This brought tears to  my eyes, 

This is not a bivouac of the dead.  It is a colony of Heaven, and some part of us all is buried here.

The top of the crater walls gives an excellent view of Honolulu ...

... and Diamond Head!

I was curious about this stone ... 

... what does it look like to you?

We should all embrace Hiroshi's attitude!   Do you have a veterans' cemetery in your area?  One randomly selected commenter from this week's blogs wins a Korean souvenir!  This giveaway is open to all readers.  Comments are open through Saturday, June 1, 10 pm in Hawaii.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, June 2, at the  Reading Reviewer (at this link).


Kim in Hawaii

Beauty to remember the sacrifice.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Aloha to Sandy at the Naval Training Center

In honor of Armed Forces Appreciation Week, Sandy is giving us a tour of the Naval Training Center in San Diego.  

For decades the training center was part of San Diego naval history starting all the way back in the 1920's. 

The Naval Training Center is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Thanks, Sandy, for the tour!   Do you have any pets?  I have two family cats and four foster cats!   One randomly selected commenter from this week's posts win a book choice from my convention stash.  This giveaway is  open to all readers.  Comments are open through Saturday, May 18, 10 pm in Hawaii.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, May 19, 10 pm in Hawaii.


Kim in Hawaii

Monday, May 13, 2013

Aloha to the Gateway to Paradise!

I live near the airport and popped over to check out the recently renovated USO Lounge.  Here's a few photos from the gateway to paradise ....

We have a large influx of Asian tourists.

Oversized luggage includes golf clubs and surfboards.

The lava-lava the Samoan word for a cloth worn as a skirt by men and women.   It is a popular uniform for the transport companies.

Newly arrived military personnel appreciate a smiling face and helpful directions.

Inside the USO Lounge, a hula girl pays tribute to the Medal of Honor recipients.   How far do you live from the airport?  One randomly selected commenter from this week's blogs wins a book choice from my convention stash.  This giveaway is open to all readers.  Comments are open through Saturday, May 18, 10 pm in Hawaii.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, May 19, at The Reading Reviewer.


Kim in Hawaii

I join the USO in supporting deployed troops!