Swans-A-Swimming and Korea Tour Day 7

Has anyone ever successfully retrieved a splinter with a pair of tweezers? Because... I haven't. Yet, every single time I even think the word "splinter" I head for those unwieldy pieces of metal stuck together at one end that masquerade as helpful tools of splinter removing. But they are trickers, taunting me with their little pinchers that don't actually pinch. Sometimes I think I would have more success trying to pull out that splinter with my toes than with a pair of tweezers.

Also, why do we have to call it a "pair" of tweezers? The sides are clearly not matching as evidenced by their inability to line up and work together at the exact point you need them to. They should be called an un-pair of tweezers.

Also, in case you are wondering, I have a splinter. And I find it annoying. And not at all enjoyable. And I can't possibly make cookies when I'm annoyed. But you could. If you wanted to. I wouldn't mind watching you. Except, I mean, I would still complain about the splinter while watching you. Is that okay?

1. Bake a cookie while not getting a splinter. Try to make it in this shape.
2. Outline the cookie with a #2 tip and thick black icing. Start with the head and the inside of the neck. Move on up to the top part of the neck and the back of the swan. Then outline around the bottom and add the water last. Let it all dry for an hour while still not getting a splinter.
3. Fill the swan with white icing and the water with blue icing. Be very careful to not overfill your outline... or get a splinter. Let it dry overnight.
4. Add the tiniest eyeball every with black icing. Use the dark gold to make a sweet little beak. (Everything about a cookie swan is sweet. I'm pretty sure of it.) Make a wing with some more of that white icing. Try to make the top line of the wing match the top of the swan. (Unlike those tweezers.) Add some little water splashes with blue icing along the front and back edges of the water line. Admire your work.


So, Korea has been around for kind of a long time. Like, years and years. This palace was originally built in the 14th century. And then it got burned and they rebuilt it and then it got burned again and they kind of got annoyed that they had just rebuilt it and it went and got burned again so they didn't do anything about it for a few hundred years. And then they rebuilt it only to have this other country come in and take over the place and burn it again after only 40 years or so.

They started rebuilding it about 30 years ago and they are still working on it. Apparently there were some 330 buildings in the palace in its heyday. We got to see some of the foundations they had recovered on another building while we were there. I didn't take a picture because I was too interested. I felt like Indiana Jones just looking at the site.

And just like when it was originally built... it is in the middle of the city of Seoul, South Korea. This is the outer courtyard. It's kind of big.

These are the guards at the gate. I honestly don't know anything more about them.

This is the throne hall. It's kind of huge. And its made mostly of wood. And if you wanted to talk Korean, you could call it the Geunjeongjeon.

This is the side of it. It looks similar to those Buddhist temples from yesterday, eh? I'm telling you... I LOVE Korean architecture and the ornate buildings. But I'll try not to show you too many buildings from now on.

Except this one you should see. It's the banquet hall. Can you IMAGINE coming to dinner here? It would be so super gorgeous and fancy at night. I bet they had floating lanterns. I know I would.
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