Yesterday my family decided to get out and see a little more of Seoul. We read up on some of the sites we could visit, and we finally decided to go to Lotte World, a famous family-friendly site in the suburbs of Seoul. Lotte World is one part Mall of America, one part Disneyland. Lotte is one of Korea’s chaebol, or conglomerates, best known as a retailing giant. It is quite the place. We wanted to take our young son to someplace indoor where he could run around and play. We were happy to find out that Lotte World, a mega-mall/entertainment complex, has a place for babies and toddlers called "Baby World." We spent a lot of time in "Baby World" letting our son play on the jungle gyms and slide down the slides. They were just the right level of complexity and size for him. He literally wore himself out playing hard on the equipment and with other children playing at "Baby World." It’s one of the few times when we were able to sit back and watch him without having to chase after him.
We didn’t visit the Lotte World Adventure theme park, which is more appropriate for older children, but we enjoyed looking up at some of the sights and sounds of the theme park situated above us. The mall portion of Lotte World features an indoor ice skating rink and a carousel. One floor above the mall, surrounding the ice rink, is the theme park. It includes fantastic buildings, cute creatures, a monorail train, and trams shaped like hot-air balloons that run along the roof of the building. We only explored a small portion of Lotte World, including the mall and Lotte Mart, the supersized grocery store. We ate lunch at the large Lotte Mart food court. The food is carefully orchestrated so that after you pay for your food you head to the appropriate food counter for a variety of Korean dishes. We ate kimbap, Korean sushi, along with chicken katsu and a curry chicken dish, topped off by a green tea ice cream cone. Not bad for mall food. My son especially enjoyed watching the fish in the Lotte Mart aquarium. The Lotte World help in turn really enjoyed watching him.
Congratulations to the University of Washington Men’s Basketball team for beating Arizona 81-72 to win the Pac-10 tournament title! Arizona won the conference title, but Washington beat Arizona to become the Pac-10’s official representative at the Big Dance, the NCAA Tournament. It’s the first time the Huskies have won the Pac-10 tournament title. Congratulations! Go Huskies.