In addition to Haru’s birthday trip to Bornelund, we decided to spend a couple of days in Izu, a volcanic hot spring resort on a penninsula in Shizuoka prefecture. I haven’t taken any time off from work this year, so Haru’s birthday was a good excuse spend some time away. So we packed up the dog’s and took the 3 and half hour drive through the mountains and down the coast to spend a couple of days just relaxing.
Although my wife, the dogs, and I have made this trip several times before, it was Haruka’s first road trip to the onsen resort. Luckily, Haruka likes drives, because this was probably the longest drive since the trip to Motegi last July. Furthermore, two hours of twisting turns through the Hakone turnpike can make even the strongest turn green from car sickenss, but Haru did very well. She did get a bit fussy about half way through, so we made a brief stop at a parking area to get some air.
We arrived in Izu about 3:30PM, and checked into our pension, (usually a small family operated inn). Since it was Friday (a weekday), we had the entire place to ourselves. Apparently the pension gets the majority of their business on weekends and holidays and rarely gets guest during the week. The owners were nice enough to treat us to some extra service since it was Haruka’s birthday.
The view from our room was really nice. We could see the mountains,the ocean, and the small surrounds islands near the penninsula. The weather was a bit cloudy on Friday so we weren’t able see as clearly as we wanted, but it was still quite nice.
Dinner was excellent. We had LIVE Ise Ebi (Japanese Spiny Lobster) sashimi. In Actuality, Japanese Spiny Lobsters are more closely related to the shrimp family, and are really giant shrimp since they lack claws. I only had a couple of bites because 1). I’m not too crazy about shrimp sashimi and 2). I have a hard time eating something I’ve seen alive, let alone something still alive and moving in front of me. But everything else was really good. It was probably the best pension food I’ve had in a while. There was also plenty for Haruka to eat, although she seemed to be more concerned about the moving lobster in front of us.
Later, I spread out the futon, on the floor. The cusion was really fluffy, so I plopped Haru down in the middle of it and she went crazy. I remember how much I loved rolling around on a fluffy futon when I was a kid, and Haru seemed to enjoy as much as I did. She spent most of the night just rolling around in it util it was her bath time. We then had cake that the pension owner had prepared especially for Haru for her birthday.
The next morning, the weather was much more nicer and clearer. We were able to see more further out into the distance from our window. We all went downstairs and had breakfast in the dining room. Haru got some specially prepared fruit for her breakfast, but she preferred to have some the fish and rice were eating.
After breakfast, we returned to our room where Haru rolled around on the futon some more before it was time to pack up and check out. Before taking the long drive back, we stopped off at Mountain Dog Run, which is a popular park for dogs that’s on a steep side of mountain, where they grow madrin oranges during the winter. We usually stop through there for an hour so and let Princess and Jenna run around with the other dogs. They absolutely love it there. Princess especially love chasing after madrin oranges that I toss down the hill.
After about an hour and half at Mountain Dog Run, it was time to make the the 3 and half hour drive back to Yokohama. Haru slept for almost the entire drive back. Unfortunately, this made her a bit fussy when we got home. I suspect that she slect a bit too much, she we put her bed a bit earlier than usually.
Overall, I think Haru’s first birthday was a memorable one, although she probably won’t remember most of it. But hopefully she can refer to the pictures and videos we took of her.
All strapped and ready to go.
Sitting by the window in our room
Watching Jenna get a drink of water.
Our elegant Ise ebi sashimi dinner
Yes, its still alive.
Haruka chewing on one of the lobster’s spines
Haru’s second birthday cake compliment of the owners
The view from our room on the next day
Princess playing with a mandrin orange
Jenna having fun at the dog run
Finally a video of the trip: