They say that there’s a child in everyone of us. That you’re never too young nor too old to enjoy life’s own little pleasures – riding a carousel, taking a picture with a theme park mascot or buying rainbow-colored cotton candies. I guess this was the reason why we can never resist visiting theme parks everytime we travel. To bring out the child in us and just have fun.
Day 2 aka Everland day, marked my first full day in Korea. I arrived the night before, all alone, while the rest had their city tour. I was anxious and excited at the same time. I never had the chance to mingle or at least warm up (warm up? how apt!) with them. We just had our casual ‘his’ and ‘hellos’ and then parted.
That morning, I was just about to close my eyes when I heard an unfamiliar sound from an unfamiliar gadget. I thought, Kanino ba yun? Alarm ng alas-3 ng madaling araw? I crawled from my bed down to where the noise was coming from (Yes, I slept on top of a bunk bed. Gentlemen ng mga roommates ko no? 😛 ). And viola! I found a phone just beside Mark’s pillow. I tried calling him but he was so sound asleep. Melvin even noticed that I went down to look for the alarm. Grabe Mark! Mga five times nang tumunog yun, hindi mo narinig? It was already 5am when I mustered the courage to wake him up and asked him to turn off his alarm.
Moving on… Our room was all prepped up by 8am. We just had our quick breakfast of what else but noodles! Everyone gathered in front of our guesthouse and off we went to the Hyehwa station. What was funny was that there was no formal introduction at all. Just “Hello nandito na ako.” Haha. Anyway, I did not have any cold feelings (figuratively 🙂 ) at all. I just fell perfectly into place. Like I’ve known them even before I’ve met them. Meant-to-be. Wait! What? Haha. The weather in Seoul might have frozen my brain cells as well.
Before taking the train, Gayle noticed that her T-money was missing. She went back to the guesthouse while we all waited for her. It took her sometime to return that Mel and I said, baka naiwan naman niya dito ung susi sa kwarto. Haha. When Gayle came back, we took the train from Hyehwa to Gangnam. We noticed the warning signs on walls and even made fun of them. Little did we know that it will happen to Stef. Strike 1! Hehe. Di bale nang maiwan ang bag, wag lang si Stef. The train was so crowded that we needed to separate by doors in order to get in. Tikoy just gave us instructions on where to get off. Whew! Akala ko sa MRT lang ang ganitong siksikan. If there’s any consolation, the person standing beside you is not covered in sweat. I still had peace despite our sardines situation.
After changing of train lines, we reached Gangnam station. This place marked its name on the map because of a monster hit by Psy. (I would love to share why this song became a big hit but the non-kpop fans here won’t be happy. Baka maglipat ng channel sa o-shopping. 😛 ) We posed for pictures ala Gangnam style for before heading out to the bus stop.
We had to wait for a few minutes before the bus arrived. I can’t help but marvel at how beautiful Korea is – colorful signboards, clean streets, well-maintained side walks and the one thing that stood out – ang daming coffee shops!. While waiting, we were suddenly interrupted by a Korean officer. He went in front of Melvin and then fixed his jacket. Akala namin kung ano na. He might have felt that Mel was so cold. How sweet! Yes naman may moment!
It was a long ride from Gangnam to Everland. Few minutes into our ride and we started eating. Our ‘growing’ roommate was hungry. Again. Hehe. When there was nothing more to talk about and no more food to eat, most of us drifted back to dreamland. For me, I just enjoyed the beautiful scenery around me – the tall trees despite having fewer leaves stood still like Pepero sticks and the vast mountains covered with snow. Winter has a charm on its own.
Our bus arrived in Everland Reort around 10am. We needed to ride another shuttle to go to the theme park. Everland Resort, like Disneyland, is huge and taking a shuttle is really necessary. Since it was located in the mountain area, it was also evident on how heavy the snow was few days before.
Everland Resort was built in 1976 and has since then became one of the four main theme parks in the world. As of today, it has seven main attractions – Everland, Caribbean Bay, Home Bridge Hostel, Speedway, Glen Ross Golf Club and Hoam Art Museum and Transportation Museum. During our visit, we only went to Everland.
While waiting for Tikoy to purchase our tickets, we did the customary picture-taking at the entrance. It was freezing cold kaya mabilisan lang ang pagpicture. After entering the main gate, some of us decided to go to the restroom first – ganun yata talaga pag malamig ang panahon. Kailangan lagi ng bathroom break 🙂 . Those of us who were left got lucky when we saw two Everland mascots ready to pose for the cameras. Photo-op muna!
Since there were few people that morning, we had the chance to get another group shot at the entrance where you would feel that Christmas is really just around the corner – all covered in decorations. Another point of interest at the entrance was the K-Pop hologram – where you get to experience being in a K-pop concert and performing like your idols. The show was already running when we arrived so we decided to try it later in the afternoon. Then up we walked to the next attactions. We saw different architectural forms similar to those in Europe standing side-by-side with Korean attractions like Pororo and Line.
We walked past the Global Fair and then reached the American Adventure. We decided to try the Rolling X-train to get some adrenaline rush. Good thing they were all game to try the roller coaster. The ride was located in front of the Double Rock Spin which for me was more horrifying. We could hear the shrieks of the kids while they were being tossed and turned at the ride. But Mel, Kath and Phoebe were even getting more excited and dared to try the Double Rock Spin. Matapang! After a few minutes of waiting in line, it was our turn. Because Melvin was showing off his love for extreme rides, we took the first few seats in front and he even asked Mark to sit with him in front. Ayun naiwan akong mag-isa sa likod. Grabe!
I fastened my seatbelt. The rollercoaster started to move. I could feel my life slowing flashing in front of me. Then I suddenly felt the rush of cold feelings you had for me – that intertwined and roller coaster of emotions when you left me behind. Then I bumped. And it hurt. And I opened my eyes. Nasa rollercoaster nga lang pala ako. Ang sarap magdrama kapag mag-isa. Hahaha. Pero seryoso malamig naman talaga dahil sa hangin. Si Melvin at Mark nga napaiyak eh. Hehe 😀
So after the “not-so-thrilling ride”, Mel, Kath and Phoebe lined up at the Double Rock Spin while the rest of us were eagerly waiting to see their reactions (Si Mark pala nawawala. Kumakain yata. Haha). When it was their turn, Stef, Tyx and I stood near the ride. The emotions on their faces were priceless. Hindi mo alam kung natutuwa or naiiyak or nasusuka. But I was so surprised at Kath, parang wala lang. Ang galing!
It was lunchtime and most of us were getting hungry so we continued walking to look for a nice dining place. We reached the Magic Land then walked further to the European Adventure towards the Alpine Village. It was reminiscent of European villages – quaint, simple but extraordinary. We settled in a simple dining place where some of us ordered pasta, udon and curry. This was how we ordered at the restaurant – we chose our orders at the first booth, then collected the drinks on the second and our meals on the third. On each booth we had to present our receipts. The pasta orders took 10 minutes to prepare so we headed back to our tables. While everyone was settling down, Stef noticed that her receipt was missing. Strike 2! Buti nalang mabait naman ung staff at binigay pa rin ang order mo Stef. Everyone started laughing and commenting. I’m not sure if they were really worried or just waiting for another misadventure from Stef. Hehe. Kumbaga sa Bingo, isa nalang panalo ka na ng jackpot. Balato naman dyan!
We all ate quitely while enjoying the heater at the restaurant. We chatted a little and decided that we were still full from our lunch and it was not yet ‘ideal’ for them to ride the T-Express. The girls decided to freshen up first while the guys and I waited outside. I could see from Mel’s eyes how excited he was to try the T-Express. But that can wait. Pa-picture muna kami sayo ha! Sayang yung time eh. 😛
When everyone was ready to go, we headed to the Zoo. In this attraction, we rode a bus and entered a Jurrasic Park kind of world. Our bus passed by different wild animals like white tigers, lions and bears. It was so surreal to get close to them. The bear was even fed in front of us and kept on begging for more. Hindi ko alam kung maaawa ako or what. Pero cute. 🙂
While walking, we bumped into a group of Korean students. Akala pa namin kakilala ni Tikoy kasi parang tinawag sya. Tyx, yung totoo, ang lakas ng foreigner magnet mo no? Pa-share naman dyan! Hehe. We had a quick photo op with the students and it was so cute. It felt like our group grew bigger. After saying our goodbyes to the students, we walked towards the rest of European Adventure. Sabi ni Tyx maganda mag photoshoot dun eh. But like what I said in the beginning, it was cold so bathroom break muna. Yung mga roommates ko may comment: ang tagal daw mag CR ng mga babae. Hahaha.
Then off we went to the Magic Garden – this garden changes decorations depending on the season. That time it was all white because of winter. Just beside that was a line of restaurants similar to those in Amsterdam. It will give you the feeling that you were really on the other side of the world. The restaurants were intricately designed and the windmills and small structures were crafted to take you to the story of Gus and Hazel (Yes, I am talking about The Fault in Our Stars. See the connection? Hehe. – Insert Ed Sheeran’s song here).
What was amazing was that we saw these group of Korean students again and had our pictures taken for the second time. If that was a race they were assigned to do, talo na sila. Naulit na yung pic namin eh. Pero di bale, nag-enjoy naman kami. Right after our ‘photoshoot’, we ordered some coffee and churros and decided to rest for a while. There was a typhoon in the Philippines and everybody was worried so we all went online to check on our loved ones. Thanks to the free wi-fi around Everland.
Finally it was time for Mel, Kath and Phoebe to experience T-Express. While they lined up at the T-Express, the rest of us went back to the restaurant. We really needed to sit somewhere warm – sa sobrang lamig sa labas, mas okay pang umupo sa loob at magkape (at kumain ng churros 😛 ) . We had nothing to do so my fellow Hallyu fans and I had a quick convo about our addtictions – Shie is more of a KDrama fan and Gayle, like me, just recently started “fangirling”. According to Gayle, she was looking for a foreign language to learn and eventually ended up learning Korean. Learning the language is really much easier and more fun when you watch Korean series, variety shows and listen to Kpop songs. Daebak!
When they were done at the T-Express, we tried the other attractions nearby. We went inside the Rio first. It was like the Rialto in Enchanted Kingdom. The only difference was that we did not understand what the characters in the movie were saying – nothing at all. Alam mo yung tumatawa yung mga katabi mo pero NR ka? Haha. I hope Everland’s management will have timeslots for English viewing. Please? 😀
According to Einstein, gravity is not responsible for people falling in love. But at the Rotating house, they will make you feel like you’re actually the one rotating and that sooner or later you might fall. Then your seatmate will suddenly remove his scarf and demonstrate that you’re not rotating after all. It’s just the background. Hay nako!
It was getting late and we were slated to visit the K-pop hologram by 4:30pm. We chose the easier way up which was the Sky Way. We separated into three groups and took our ride. From the European adventure, we were taken back to the Global Fair. It was fun to take pictures while riding the Sky Way and enjoy the view of the surrounding. Picture-picture ng konti. Tyx, may fear of heights ka ba? Or takot ka lang ma-fall? Hahaha. We were about to go down when Mark and I stepped on the ground and suddenly limped. Ouch! We both felt what seemed like electric shocks coming from our feet. Mark, may spark pala tayo?Haha. Kidding!
Unfortunately we failed to make it to our K-pop hologram schedule. We decided then that it was time to shop for souvenirs. While everyone went inside, Mel and I visited the Pororo shop. Mel was asked to buy a bag for Ate Ibang’s son however we cannot find the right size. The only available bag was just the size of Mel’s fist. Lapis at eraser lang yata ang kasya dun.
An hour passed and we all met up at the entrance of the souvenir shop. Wala pa si Kath. We all waited for her and when she arrived, we asked her where she went. Sumakay pala ulit ng rides. Wow, Kath. Ang saya-saya naman. Buti ka pa nakarami. Hehe.
Then it was time to go. We had to wake up from dreamland and return to the real world. It was a fun day and while we all head back to the city, I knew deep inside that the experience I had will never be forgotten – like a happily ever after.
When we visit theme parks, we leave our world and enter another world of dreams, magic and make-believe. We are again back into our youthful minds when everything is possible and then we are reminded that we are never too old to be who we want to be. The world is full of obstacles and dragons and dungeons but we have superpowers and fairies and well, love that will conquer even the wicked witch of the west. In our real world, just like in fantasies, all you need is to have faith and to believe in yourself. Like what Peter Pan said “All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.” Believe that you can fly.