I am taking my family this weekend to Yongpyong Resort, Korea’s largest ski resort and likely home of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Barring heavy traffic, the trip should take us about two hours by car. The snow is long gone, and the monsoon rains may be in full force, so we won’t be skiing. Nevertheless, we’ll do our best to enjoy the short two-day trip as hikers and tourists. My wife has been anxious to see Yongpyong Resort ever since she watched "Winter Sonata," one of her favorite Korean dramas. The resort is featured prominently in the drama. She wants to relive all the precious moments of the show, such as when Bae Yong Jun and Choi Ji Woo are at the resort "working" on a construction project (actually, most of the time they are focused on their love triangle–but I digress). I gave my wife free rein to take us where she will tomorrow so that she can cherish those "Winter Sonata" moments. I’m tempted to bring our CD player so I can play the theme from "Winter Sonata" at key places where the characters shared special moments, such as the time when Choi Ji Woo pushed Bae Yong Jun out of the way after a construction beam nearly fell on him. The drama would have been much shorter if she had not. If weather permits, we will try to do some hiking in areas normally dominated by skiers. If not, we’ll explore the lodge and as much of the resort as we can during our brief stay there.
The next day, I get to dictate our itinerary. We’ll drive a circuitous route through Odaesan National Park on our way back to Seoul. Odaesan is just south of Seoraksan National Park, South Korea’s most beautiful and famous park. Odaesan is not considered as spectacular as its neighbor, but it includes some noteworthy places I want to visit, including an historic Buddhist temple and great hiking in the park’s interior. If we also have time, we will also visit the East Sea coast not far from Odaesan. We’ll see whether Yongpyong or Odaesan turns out to be the highlight of the our. No matter what, I hope we aren’t hampered by rain and forced to stay inside buildings and in our automobile.
Dear Reader, have a great weekend. I’ll be back online Sunday night.