Its been a while since we took a trip to the summer house in Chiba. This is mainly due to the fact that every time we go there, the house is in such poor shape, that we wind up having to clean the place, which defeats our purpose for going their in the first place, which is to get away from work and to relax. Despite it being a 3-day weekend, I told Haru and my wife that we were only going to spend one night, because I can never get a good nights sleep there. As a matter of fact, the last time we were there, I slept in the bed where my older cousin usually sleeps when he’s there. For some reason, the bed was damp and moist, and it smelled really badly. Initially, I thought it was the air conditioner leaking water on to the bed and the water caused mold and mildew to form on the mattress. But after only one night of sleeping on that bed, I develop rashes all over my body and part of my face. The rash and the itching lasted several days which compounded my distaste in going out to that house. I never figured out what caused my rash and itching. My theory about the air conditioner could have been true, but it a BRAND NEW air conditioner which barely had any use on it, so it’s hard to believe that it would leak already. I also have another theory that my cousin (being somewhat of overweight slob) sweated all over that mattress and the sweat never really evaporated completely because of the high humidity and the bed spread and sheets that covered it. Its a pretty disgusting thought, but I can’t think of any other reason for that bed being wet.
This time around, the house was reasonably clean. There weren’t green things growing in the refrigerator, no small bugs crawling on the furniture, or any dead roaches in the bathroom like the previous times. I didn’t check to see if the bed was still wet; I was so thoroughly disgusted the last time that I really didn’t want to know. I thought it’d be best to just sleep in another room this time to be safe. Most of the air conditioners worked which was really important because it was really hot, so cleanliness-wise, the weekend got off to a good start.
We had dinner at our usual restaurant in town and bought some hickory chips and fire crackers on the way back. My cousin had bought a smoker -nothing too fancy, just metal box with a door – so that we could make smoked cheese, hence the hickory chips. When we got home Haru and my wife did the fire crackers; I just took pictures (see below).
We then fired up the smoker and loaded it some cheese that we bought at the local supermarket. After about an hour and half of smoking the cheese, it was ready for sampling and I must say, it was pretty nice. Haru didn’t seem to care much for it. She seem to prefer eating ice cream instead. But she had so much fun on the first day, that she wanted to stay another night. We didn’t have any plans for the following Monday, but I did want to get enough rest for work on Tuesday. So I told her that if I can sleep well (which I usually can’t in that house), that I will consider staying until Monday, and she was very happy about that.
The next was suppose to rain. Haru wanted play in the portable pool that my cousin left at the house. She even woke up earlier than usual (about 7am) and by 8AM she was ready for the pool. I managed to sleep really well. I had the whole bed to myself and didn’t have Haru waking me up too early as she usually does on weekends. She was already preparing the pool by the time I got out of bed at 8:30.
The weather was perfect for the pool. It was almost 30 degrees Celsius at 8AM and there were no signs of rain. Haru and my wife filled up the big plastic pool with water, and Haru pulled out her mermaid dolls and squirt gun from her back pack and through them into the pound of water. She immediately dove in and practiced holding her breath under water. Soon afterwards, she discovered how fun it was to jump from the top step of the porch into the pool. Overall, she spent the entire morning and part of the afternoon with the pool. Again she asked me if we really had to go home on that day. I was pretty well-rested and she really looked to be enjoying the trip, so we decided to stay another day. The afternoon was spent just relaxing and enjoying the house.
Later that evening, we went to a nearby restaurant that specialized in seafood, we managed to get a seat by the window that had a great view of Tokyo bay. Haru had her usual sushi and ate all of it. She even had room for ice cream afterwards. We spent a quiet evening at the house and turned in for the evening.
The next day, I was up earlier than everyone else. I started preparing for our trip back home. A few minutes later Haru and my wife came down. Haru asked if we could stay yet another day, but I explained to her that I had work and she had kindergarten the next day, to which she responded, “okay then we’ll come back next week.” For the first time in a long time, the trip to the Chiba house was a good one. We got the rest we needed and Haru had a lot of fun. The whole trip home (or until she fell asleep in the car) she kept saying “goodbye Chiba, see you next week!” So, I guess we have our vacation plans set for next