Just call me Bilbo Baggins because on Sunday, February 16th, I woke up at 3:30am to get ready to go skiing at Dragon Valley Hotel and Yongpyong Resort. Steve and I met the Air Force bus (they do recreation trips every weekend) at 5:30am and about 2 hours later we arrived and got our gear on. Luckily, not everyone in the group we were with were experts so I had people to ski with (like Steve’s friends John [the guy who ordered chicken feet] and Lisa [she ran into a fence…and since it was a mesh-like material she proceeded to get stuck in it]). At Dragon Valley-where the 2018 Winter Olympics will be held-there is one run that’s a 25 minute gondola ride to the top and then, if you’re slow like me, takes 25 minutes to get down. It was called “Rainbow Paradise”, sounds nice right? And it was; it was an intermediate slope, but very fun. Especially since you could see everything at the top, apparently on a clear day you can see the East Sea (it was not a clear day). At the end of the day I didn’t injure myself, I had a lot of fun, and I was very sore, but it was worth it. That night Steve and a group of 6 of his friends/colleagues rented a villa for the night and we stayed up until 1am (impressive considering everyone was drunk by 7pm).
The next day a few people went snowboarding, but the rest of us went to a water park/spa at the hotel next door. Some interesting things about Korean swimming attire: the women (and some of the men) wear clothing over their swim suits. This can vary from a white T-shirt to a full dress with a wrap over it. The younger women also wear baseball hats and all of the children wear life jackets (even though there isn’t a pool deeper than 5 feet). They also had different “themed” or “flavored” hot tubs. There was a brown/yellow colored one (gross, I know) that was “lemon” scented, a green colored one that was aloe, and several pink, purple, and blue ones. Apparently, a lot of spas have things like that in Korea. They also had hot rooms with salt, one with charcoal, and one with “Elvan rocks”, so I guess that’s where you go if 1) you’re an elf 2) you want to sweat so much you become an elf. Sadly, Legolas was not there which brings my Hobbit references to an end.