Trip Report: South Korea and Thailand – Day 1

Our trip began with a direct flight from Atlanta (ATL) to Seoul, South Korea (ICN) on Korean Air.  A few months prior to our trip we found an incredible roundtrip airfare from ATL-ICN-BKK on Korean Air and got another couple to book the trip with us. Overall, our flight was really pleasant with good (comparatively) food in economy. It was operated by a 777-300.

Korean Air 777

Our flight was slightly delayed getting into Seoul (approximately 6 PM local time).  We had an overnight layover in Seoul and had arranged to meet with an old coworker.  We stayed at the Grand Hyatt – Incheon which was perfectly suitable for a 1-night airport hotel.  If I were going back to Seoul, I would certainly stay in the city.

From the hotel, we took a taxi to meet my former coworker in downtown Seoul.  Total cost was around 90 USD and the trip took approximately 45 minutes. See below for a few scenes from our time in Seoul:

Myself on the left, my former coworker in the middle and one of our friends traveling with us.

Seoul, South Korea

My wife and I having drinks in Seoul.

Seoul, South Korea

A scene in downtown Seoul.

Seoul, South Korea

Our room at the Grand Hyatt.

Grand Hyatt Incheon

Our flight left around 9 AM local time the following morning for Bangkok so we didn’t stay out too late but it was great to catch up with an old friend in Seoul.  We will have to go back to Seoul in future, certainly much more to see!

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Trip Report: South Korea and Thailand

One of our bucket list locations had always been Thailand and when we came across a great fare on Korean Air from Atlanta to Bangkok, we couldn’t pass it up. We first came across the airfare during the summer of 2014 and booked the trip for November, 2014. The trip report will have the following sections:

ATL-ICN on Korean Air

1 Night at the Grand Hyatt Incheon

ICN-BKK on Korean Air

3 Nights at the Millenium Hilton Bangkok

BKK-CNX on Bangkok Airways

2 Nights at the Le Meridien Chiang Mai

CNX-KBV on Thai AirAsia

2 Nights at the Sheraton Krabi

KBV-USM on Bangkok Airways

1 Night at the Le Meridien Koh Samui

1 Night at the Conrad Koh Samui

USM-BKK on Bangkok Airways

BKK-ICN-ATL on Korean Airways

Stay tuned for the next installments…..

Trip Report: Christmas in Rome and New Year’s in Barcelona (Day 6-10)

New goal for this summer is to post much more frequently and as part of that I am trying to wrap up several old trip report series.  Today’s post will cover the last 5 days of our trip in 2012 to Rome and Barcelona.  Photo’s are from both Barcelona and the costa brava.  I will let the pictures do the talking in this post.  Looking forward to more posts soon!

View from our room in the Hilton Del Mar Barcelona

View from our room in the Hilton Del Mar Barcelona

Gothic Quarter

Gothic Quarter

Gothic Quarter

Gothic Quarter

Harbor

Harbor

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

Our Smart car rental

Our Smart car rental

German Shorthaired Pointer reminding us of our dog at home

German Shorthaired Pointer reminding us of our dog at home

View over Cadaques

View over Cadaques

Waterfront near Dali's home

Waterfront near Dali’s home

Trip Report: Christmas in Rome and New Year’s in Barcelona (Day 5)

No excuse really for not posting the next installment in this trip report for more than 4 months, just have been extremely busy at work and haven’t dedicated the time to complete it.  Given that I have had such a long gap in between reports, the final installments in this trip report will be more picture heavy since I don’t remember the specific details of what we did/saw/ate each day.

 

Baths of Caracalla

Baths of Caracalla

Basilica San Giovanni in Laterano

Basilica San Giovanni in Laterano

Teatro dell'Opera di Roma

Teatro dell’Opera di Roma

Rome Street Scene

Rome Street Scene

Veterinario

Veterinario

This was our final day in Rome with my family.  The continued on to Naples/Pompeii/Florence and my wife and I continued on to Barcelona.  We thoroughly enjoyed spending Christmas break with them in Rome.

I will write the remaining Trip Report installments covering our time in Barcelona over the next two weeks.  After that I will begin an introduction to our upcoming trip to Thailand this fall.

Trip Report: Christmas in Rome and New Year’s in Barcelona (Day 4)

Given that it was Christmas Day we had planned to sleep in a bit and meet my family a little bit later (10:30) near the Vatican.   Our plan was to meet outside the Vatican walls and proceed into St. Peter’s Square in order to listen to the Pope give his Christmas address. Amazingly, our plan worked.

We met outside of the walls and walked as a group into St. Peter’s Square finding it to be less crowded than we initially had feared (still about 30-40 minutes before his speech).  We managed to get within 10-15 people of the northwest corner barricade, all-in-all a really good spot to watch.  As the time for his appearance and address approached the square became more and more crowded, to the point that it was filled out to the very edges. Pretty neat to be as close as we were. (I should clarify that I am not Catholic but do find it very neat to witness events like this)

I definitely count myself incredibly lucky as this is the second time I have been able to watch a Pope deliver a religious holiday address in St. Peter’s Square. (My wife and I saw Pope Benedict give an Easter Mass on our honeymoon)

Some pictures from our time watching the Pope.

St. Peter's Christmas Morning

St. Peter’s Christmas Morning

Waiting on the Pope

Waiting on the Pope

Pope Francis Christmas Address

Pope Francis Christmas Address

Once the Pope was finished giving his Christmas address we had decided, as a family, to have a long late lunch for our Christmas day meal.  We met the owner (Frederico) the previous day and he was at the restaurant when we returned ensuring we were well taken care of.  It was a good experience and I think we all enjoyed the chance to spend a couple of hours together celebrating Christmas.

After our long meal (2.5+ hours) we strolled leisurely back towards the Spanish Steps doing some window shopping along the way.  We were surprised, but happy, at the amount of people out and about on Christmas Day.  Made for a very fun atmosphere.

Beautiful Ceiling

Beautiful Ceiling

Sorry for the quality of the above picture but the lighting was difficult to capture just how magnificent the ceiling of this church is.  We went there on the recommendation of the aforementioned Frederico and it was amazing.  The church is tucked into a small piazza behind and to the left of the Pantheon.  Well worth it to go out of your way to find this church.

Elephant statue

Elephant statue

My wife really liked this one 🙂

Christmas Day - Trevi Fountain

Christmas Day – Trevi Fountain

Alright, one more day in Rome with my family to blog and then we head our separate ways. My wife and I went on to Barcelona and the family continued onto Florence.  Hopefully, I can get our Day 5 post out tomorrow. Until then, enjoy!