Monday, December 31, 2007


K: Mark & I received some money for Christmas from my parents, my work, and from a gift we returned. We've decided to apply all of it towards a nice set of luggage for our travels.

Unfortunately, our cheapo Target set has a huge hole in the side from our last flight and since Mark has taken a job that will require some traveling, it is a good time for an upgrade.

From what I understand, for international flights between us we are allowed 4 check-ins and 2 carry-ons. I will probably get a monsterous purse to load up as well. I am leaning away from a *Big Bertha* suitcase since Mark's clothes, specifically SHOES, are much heavier than mine and tend to drive the weight over the limit.

As I was reading reviews, it seems that Samsonite is generally the best-known, and while it's expensive, not mind-blowing.

I found this full set of 5 pieces for $300. Is a garment bag worth it? If we choose not to take it with us to Korea, it may be helpful for business trips. This luggage will come in a dark grey color. I was hoping for something in a deep maroon or bright blue, but I'm not sure how Mark will feel about carting those bright colors around. Since this is community luggage, we'll probably have to go with a more neutral color and I can just tie some bright ribbons to it so we can easily spot it in baggage claim.

Macy's is also having a sale on luggage (aren't they always!). They have quite a few spinner collections, which are sold piece by piece for around $100/piece. As far as I can tell, the spinners are supposed to help with maneuverability, which may be nice as we navigate the streets of Seoul. I also really like this blue color, which may be Mark-approved. I would assume we'd get to large size suitcases and two of the medium sized ones and maybe one travel/carry-on bag.

I'm leaning towards the set of 5 pieces, since it seems like we'd get more bang for our buck, but it would be nice to choose each piece individually and mix and match.

Also, these bags will mostly hold Mark's clothes. We figure there probablyaren't many tall sizes in Asia. I plan to bring a few basics and just buy most of my clothes once we arrive in Korea. (Here's hoping my birth father is feeling generous since he owns a clothing factory and all!)

Any feedback, especially from the Spain girls, about what pieces you think are necessary... if there's another luggage brand we should consider, etc? Oh and Hannah - you travel for work a lot, is there something in particular we should look for to cover Mark in that department?

Friday, December 28, 2007

First Class Fantasies

K: Well, just a bit of daydreaming today. Mark and I have been talking about booking our flights to Korea with our tax returns this year. That way, we'll have no way out - the tickets are bought - we're going!

We started talking about the flight there, which, according to Travelocity, is a whopping 14 hours and 10 minutes. Now, I have a hard time sitting for that length of time, but my 6'7" hubby falls apart on airplanes. Last time we flew, his ankles were around his neck (while his legs invaded my personal space) and his back started hurting. And that was just a 3 hour flight to Mexico...

I started doing some research on Korean Air, which is supposed to be the best, just to see what the flying conditions would be like. Well...

Here's what Coach/economy looks like. I wish I could get the other pictures to download, but they were in flash. You can see them here if you're interested. I like how they describe the seats as "snug."

Then they have the normal first class seats, which much more leg room.

Then there are the sleeper seat/recliners in first class
Finally, there are the completely unbelievable sleeper seats. *Mark is drooling now.*

Considering just the coach seat is over $1000/person per way, I'm thinking the first class Kosmo Sleeper Seat will remain in our dreams. But it's pretty cool, right?

Guess Mark'll just be loading up on Nyquil and Vicotin for his long jouney east. :-)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Web 2.0 Han Won Style

K: So following my phone conversation with Sang Kwan, we talked via IM for about 45 minutes. It was actually much easier than speaking on the phone because they could take their time responding and reading my messages. Emily did most of the typing since my brother was too nervous about his English, but she would ask him questions since he was sitting right next to her.

We discussed many topics including:
  • Our trip to Korea --- both he and my birth father are expecting us. They want to help us find a job and to live in the family home... we'll see about that. From what I understand, they have an apartment in Seoul but hardly live there. That might be an acceptable living arrangement.
  • The funniest thing was when they mentioned that if we came to Korea we'd have to quit our jobs, and I said that meeting my brother is more important than any job. Emily told me that Sang Kwan was very happy and wanted a beer. haha.
  • We established that we all also enjoy drinking wine. When we get to Korea, we decided we will drink wine and listen to music (something they said they enjoy).
  • Along the listening to music theme, they said they like country music. How crazy is that?
  • They also think that my brother and I look alike!
  • My birth father DID in fact receive the photo album. (Somewhere my mom is doing cartwheels.)
  • Emily & Sang Kwan have been dating 4 years.
  • There were a couple of funny translation issues, or at least I'm going to take them that way... 1) They asked what I was doing right then, I responded, and they followed up by asking me if I'm boring. Hmmm... 2) They asked when we come to Korea if they can live with us. I most certainly hope that was a language barrier issue. I can only imagine living in a cramped apartment with Mark, Sang Kwan, and Emily. Yikes.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


K: I am literally on cloud 9 right now. Slowly floating back down to reality. Why, you ask? Well, I JUST HAD A PHONE CONVERSATION WITH MY BIRTH BROTHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hearing his voice and excitement when he realized who he was talking to was an experience I'll never forget. I still haven't gotten this goofy grin off my face. I mean, that was my blood brother! It just makes him so REAL to me to hear him speaking to me! Okay... time to slow down and give a few more details. Deep breaths...

It's shocking how cheap it is to make a call to China. We picked up an international calling card from Walgreens for $10, which gives us 2 hours to China. How insane is that?!?!

Well, we dialed the number Sang Kwun provided, the phone was ringing, and there he was saying "hello." He didn't immediately realize who he was, but the minute I said the name Han Won, he just broke into excited laughter. It was a little difficult to communicate with him, so his girlfriend, Emily, jumped on the phone and started talking. Her English is really really good!

The sweetest part was that Emily told me that my brother was so excited that he couldn't think of the English words to use to talk to me. When I talked to Sang Kwun, he kept apologizing for his difficulty speaking, but come on, if we were having this conversation in Korean it would be much worse.

Though the language barrier prevented my brother and me from having any sort of in-depth conversation, we discussed our trip to China. He was really excited to "play" and "eat" with us. He also said he would tell my birth father I say hello.

I believe there was something in there about it snowing in Beijing and the two of them at work right now.

We also discussed IMing on MSN... OMG... he just logged on....more later........