Okay, maybe the title is a bit dramatic, but it is warranted.
So, on Friday, Oh-nee said that we would be going to Jecheon on Saturday. Not having the slightest clue where or what that meant, I pulled out my Korea travel guide, located Jecheon and found out what was there. Oh-nee pointed to a cave and said, "Amy camera bring!" Okay, okay. Sounds good.
So, 8 am we left for this Jecheon cave. Oh-nee packed a huge cooler (I saw her making Kimbab earlier and couldn't wait for lunch!) As we were heading out, each person took a light jacket and two pairs of shoes (sandals and sneakers). I thought that was a bit odd; it should have been my first clue. But, then again, Koreans are really sensitive about shoes. They wear sandals all the time except when playing sports (and even then, there are a few still clinging to their sandals). So, at the last minute I grabbed a light jacket and my purse (which contained my wallet and iPod. I stuffed my jacket in my purse and headed out the door. At the last second, Oh-nee stuffed some boxer shorts in a bag. I thought that was weird... maybe we were going to sweat a lot?
I'm sure you know where I am going with this. After five hours of driving, we arrived at the cave. It was huge. One thing about the caves in Korea is the absence of liability. So there were really slippery paths, VERY low ceilings (I was completely squatting at one point) and everything could be touched. Cool! After the cave we went to this nice little lake. It was very pretty and peaceful.
(Where things started to come together)
It was here that I started to piece together the truth. The boys kept talking about watching the Simpsons. Wha? "How?" I asked Oh-Chahn. "At the hotel!" he answered excitedly. Uh-oh. Really? I looked down at my shirt, pants and $30 E-Mart (like a Wal-Mart) shoes. Suddenly my contacts seemed really itchy, my teeth felt dirty and I noticed every droplet of sweat on my body. Hmm, this will be interesting.
I explained that I needed some essentials, and was promised that we could go shopping. Great! Sounds good. But, I come to find out that we are, in fact, in the middle of nowhere and that the biggest shopping area consists of the hotel gift shop. I managed to find a men's t-shirt, men's socks and a toothbrush for $7. The contact solution had to be imported. :) AKA, the hotel owners (which I think my family knew, because we were, at one point, in their house watching the baseball game) had a friend from the nearest civilization over bring solution. (No case. Haha, I had to soak them in two bowls.)
The "hotel" we stayed at was more of a series of river-side rooms. All eating was done outside in picnic areas. It was beautiful. Very Korean. It was also located at the base of a mountain with a lot of Buddhist temples. I had my very own Korean room:
The next morning Oh-nee woke me up pretty early. I figured she wanted to get a good start out of here. After all, checkout is around 9 am, right? Well, we actually end up going on a hike. ::sigh:: There I was, in dirty jeans and an over sized t-shirt with a dorky smile across my face. Eyeing my dad's shoes - hard-core hiking boots - and Oh-nee's backpack full of water, I began to get a sinking feeling that this might be a repeat of my Songnisan climb.
We started the climb. It was straight up from the get-go. I was definitely huffing and puffing. I almost wanted to cry when, after an 45 minutes of intense (and, to my dismay, sweaty) climbing we came to a sign that pointed two directions: "Where we came from - 1.5 km" and "The peak - 3.4 km)." But, with my smile stapled on my face, I kept climbing. Luckily, we actually stopped about five minutes after the sign at a beautiful temple. I was also very satisfied with the view, no need to keep going!
After the hike we had lunch, packed up the car and bounced. The car ride was a little smelly (probably me, haha!) and long, but overall very memorable. My favorite story: The boys were fighting, so my dad turned around and pinched the ends of their noses. The tips of their noses turned bright red, I had to turn away to keep from laughing since it looked like it hurt. Soon, they realized that their noses were red. After that I couldn't hold it in any longer. The rest of the night we all kept laughing at their noses.
Okay, so that was my weekend adventure. Pretty crazy, huh? I know I didn't mention my iPod, but I did use it a lot to keep me sane in the car. Sometimes it's nice to hear someone yelling at me in a language I understand. Okay, time to do some lesson planning.
By the way, Kia Tigers came up from a 1-0 score in the 8th inning to slamming a grand slam and another home run to win the game. I've never seen boys so happy.