Since we can’t travel too far away because of the dogs, we decided to spend some time up at the summer house in Chiba. We thought that we’d never be able to go up there again since it was put on sale a while back, but fortunately for us, no one has bought it yet.
In the time we have been away, the area ha changed quite a bit. For one thing, there are a lot more houses being built so what was once a fairly open and spacious residential area, has turned into a crowded subdivision jam packed full of houses. Its pretty saddening because this area is really suppose to be somewhat of a vacation rental type area full of interesting and exotic looking homes, but now people are starting to build ordinary and somewhat boring looking houses, which I think is significantly degrading the charm and appeal of the of the whole area.
The house is about 17 years old now, and is beginning to show signs of aging. Since its deserted 90% of the time, it seems that ticks have made quite a home of the place. I can’t even walk into the place with having a serious allergy attack. Haru’s asthma acts up pretty badly while we are there as well. I think the place needs a serious cleaning.
In its nearly 17 years of existence, this is probably the first time we visited the place during the winter. Perhaps its probably the first time that anyone has visited the place in the winter, and we figured out why. The place is insanely cold during the winter, and none of the air conditioning units are strong enough to heat the whole house, so the night there was absolutely miserable. Even with the heat on at full blast, the house would absolutely refuse to warm up. But by the end of the second day, the house got warm enough to be habitable.
Haru had been wanting to go to the Mother Farm for a while now so decided to to drive up there on the third day. the cool thing is that during the winter, they have a skating rink set up. Since Haru has never been ice skating before, we thought it’d be a good opportunity to teach her.
Although I’m no Kristi Yamaguchi, I consider myself to be a pretty fair skater, since I started roller skating when I was only 5 years old, back in the disco roller rink days. I got pretty good at it, and I also roller bladed a lot during my college years. I often roller bladed to my classes since many of them were spread out all over campus. It was a fun and quick form of transportation. Since roller blading is pretty much the same as ice skating, ice skating came pretty natural for me.
With the exception of swimming, Haru picks up most sports pretty quickly. She learned to ski quite well in only a couple of days, so I figured she would be able to pick up ice skating pretty quickly as well. Although she fell a lot (partially due to the poor condition of the ice at the rink at Mother Farm), she finally was able to skate in short bits. Overall she had a lot of fun skating and she said she wanted to it again Since there is a skating rink in Yokahama, perhaps I will take her there someday.
After a full day at Mother Farm, we had dinner in town and returned to the house. Overall we spent 5 days there. It wasn’t too bad, but we probably won’t go again until the weather is warmer.
Haru’s first ice skating outing:
Fast Tube by Casper