A few weekends ago, my friend Amber and I visited Seoul, stayed the night, and had a great time enjoying a lot of big-city activities we don’t usually get to. We planned it a few weeks in advance and it was a nice summer getaway. Thankfully, even though it was during rainy season and we went prepared for rain, the rain stayed away until the end of our trip.
We mostly wanted to do more escape rooms, because we had done one together a few weeks before and had a blast. My friend had done tons of them, so she was the expert. In Seoul, there is a series of escape rooms made by the same company and there are two seasons of about 5 games each. You can check out their website (Korean and English) here!
We got into Seoul around noon and headed over to the Coex Mall, where the new Starfield Library is. We admired the library for a few minutes before heading over to California Pizza Kitchen for lunch. In Daejeon, we have some American restaurants, but not as many as Seoul does, so we took advantage of the proximity and had some amazing pizza and pasta.
Then we shopped around in the Coex – which is huge – and took selfies at the library. It’s brand new, and in the middle of a big shopping area, so it was kind of loud and definitely crowded. There were a lot of families there spending time with their kids. It would be a hard place to sit and read in quiet, but it was definitely a sight to see! I’m glad to see that bookstores and libraries are becoming more popular in Korea. Just last year we got a new Kyobo bookstore (that’s also huge) in Daejeon and I visit all the time.
Next, we headed over to our escape room. You are given about 60 minutes to complete each escape room, but some are longer and more difficult. We had done Venice together before and won (barely) so we signed up for two more: the Louvre Museum and the CIA room. The rooms are often very intricate and, though I can’t say much more about them without giving it away, very surprising. We finished the Louvre with almost 30 minutes to spare. We were thrilled and celebrated at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Gangnam with some chocolate covered apples and iced chocolate drinks.
Then, we decided to see the new Spiderman: Homecoming movie (that I had seen the night before upon it’s release, thanks to my wonderful husband who fully understands my love for all things Spidey) and the only theater we could find that wasn’t sold out was a comically tiny theater where the seats were all at the same level. Nonetheless, we got to see Tom Holland portray one of my favorite characters.
After the movie, we went to our Airbnb in Itaewon, put down our things, and headed over to Taco Bell, another American chain we can only enjoy in Seoul. Then we set out to find a place to sing karaoke (it’s called noraebang in Korean) and we found a hole in the wall place above a bar and walked in expecting it to be gross, but it was the fanciest noraebang we’d ever seen. Upon entering, we were given a cup of popcorn before we were shown to our room. It was a lot of fun to sing our voices away.
The next morning, we got ready and went to Hapjeong to meet another friend of mine who had just given birth to her first baby. We ate breakfast with her as we listened to her anecdotes about having a baby in Korea, and then we headed over to our second escape room of the weekend.
The CIA room was much more difficult for us. We went into it nervous and came out disappointed that we didn’t complete it, but we are positive that we can go back with more people and make a successful run of it. Despite our loss, we had a ton of fun. On our way out of the building, it started to rain.
We took the subway to Dongdaemun Plaza, where the Pixar exhibit was being held. The exhibit was huge – there was a section for each Pixar movie and even some sections for the shorts. It was awesome getting to learn about all the work that Pixar puts into each of its movies. We worked up an appetite walking around all of the rooms.
Finally, we capped off our Seoul trip with some more American food – Shake Shack! I had never been before, being a Southerner (we don’t have them in the South) and I was pleasantly surprised how delicious it was. We didn’t want to finish our burgers, fearing we would be sad when they were gone. The shakes were also some of the best we’d ever had.
Our trip was so much fun, and I can’t wait to go back and claim revenge on the escape room we failed. I’m hoping I can convince my husband to go with us sometime, since I think he’d be good at the puzzles. This weekend, my friends and I had a Pixar movie marathon, inspired by our trip to the exhibit, and I learned how to crochet!
I hope everyone else is enjoying the last days of summer!