So I’ve arrived here in Seoul, and I’ve got one thing to say: Singapore Airlines is a big tease. After my excitement about the internet (THE INTERWEB! FROM 10,000 FEET! OH JOY!) I came to find out that it’s only available on select flights, mine not being one of them. Now, granted, the flight wasn’t too bad, but I had built up Singapore Air so much that realizing it was just like any other United Flight (in coach, no less), I was a wee bit disappointed. That, and the strangely flexible man that sat on the aisle refused to get up from his seat, instead putting his legs nearly around his head every time I went to the restroom. Who knew that Seat 35C was reserved for contortionists?
But alas, I arrived, and in one piece. In my haste to pack and get Lila to the boarders, I inadvertantly forgot to pack the Ambien, so attempted the "red wine cure" for insomnia; sadly, it didn’t work. Not only did I not fall asleep, never even caught a buzz and just ended up very dry-mouthed and exhausted. So much for Jet-Lag Free Aubrey, as originally claimed.
That said, the hotel is a DELIGHT. Truly, everything I said about it before and more. After waking up at 4:30 (for once, not a result of Lila Belle steamrolling me like she does to delicately tell me she needs to go out) my attempts to fall back asleep were futile. As such, decided to forge ahead with the day, check the interweb, eat a Luna bar and take advantage of the 24-hour gym. THIS is where you would have found me at 6am.
Then, after being my own personal Jane Fonda (minus the anorexia and Ted Turner nuptials, of course) I decided it had been FAR too long since I had a swim. So alas, took advantage of the infinity pool, also located on the 24th floor. I’ve never been in an indoor one of these before, and it truly was breathtaking; the picture below doesn’t even start to do it justice. (Maybe tomorrow I’ll sneak my camera in.)
By 7am, I was back in the room, enjoying the poshest shower experience I’ve ever had (and remember – my house in Atlanta had the nicest shower I’d ever been in until today), spent far too much on Pay-Per-View "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" (he SOOO cheated on Jen with Angelina – sorry, fans, their chemistry was undeniable), took a nap and woke up for the fanciest brunch I’ve ever had.
Are you sensing a theme here?
My lunch was one of those occasions where you can’t quite believe the food still arrives. Complete with a choice of cocktail, I went to sample various gourmet appetizers and opted for the seafood "main" course. After just returning to my seat, the onslaught of additional food choices began. For those of you who have ever been overwhelmed at a Brazilian Steakhouse where the choices seem to never end, you’ll understand. Only these options included King Crab salad, proscuitto-wrapped melon, shrimp cocktail, green bean/squid salad, tossed-to-order mixed greens, tuna tartare, beef carpaccio – and this is just a sampling OF THE APPETIZERS. You can only imagine the ‘mains’ and ‘desserts’ – amazingly enough, because the portions were so small, I didn’t necessarily waddle out of there (ok, maybe just a little.) Perhaps the food coma was the reason why I missed that step and went SPRAWLING in between the tables while every Korean diner looked on aghast with horror and amusement at that clumsy blonde American. TOURISTS.
My pride (and ankle, damnit) appropriately scathed, I decided to see the sights; namely, Changdeokgung, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Truly an amazing place – our tour guide was really cute and funny, and given that it was 75 and BEAUTIFUL today, there was nothing more that I wanted to do than to be outside. (Ok, that’s a lie – there’s some things that will always take precedence over all others, but last time I checked, Michael Vartan wasn’t here nor do I see any red carpets being rolled out for me. Only a matter of time, I know…)
I took a ridiculous amount of photos, but have spared you the onslaught of "Aubrey using her borrowed bad-ass Digital SLR camera" giddiness…only 50 or so pics when you click on the photo below.
And alas, I returned to my room. Want to see what I’m talking about? LOOK. THIS IS MY ROOM. (Not a stock photo – this is my ACTUAL ROOM.)
So I suppose that about wraps up day one. I got kind of creative with the camera (see above, reference "Badass Digital SLR") so there should be a self-portrait set forthcoming. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this…with me…in the heart of Seoul.