So, on Friday morning, we packed up the car and set off for Niigata in the rain. We were both hoping that the weather was going to get better. I couldn’t imagine that it wasn’t going to be sunny at least for one of the days. We made pretty good time and got to Ishiji beach at around one, I think? The beach house was pretty basic, but would do the job. Oh, hang on a minute, is this our room?! Where is the bathroom? I hate sharing a bath. If it’s an onsen, then at least there is some good in it, but what’s the use in sharing a normal bath with total strangers? I was pissed off. My husband knows my feelings about that, and had explicit instructions to book “hotel with private bathroom” on pain of death. Worse thing was, I hadn’t had time to “de-fluff”, if you know what I mean. And everyone knows that kind of thing is frowned upon in the public bath.
So eventually, after much huffing and puffing, I decided that was just one of those things and we decided to go for a walk down the beach..in the rain..Hannah was itching to make a sandcastle, and refused point blank to admit that it was actually raining. So there we were, with umbrellas, on a wet beach making sandcastles. Ah, it was a blast from the past to a childhood of going on the beach rain or shine, huddling under my Dad’s big fishing umbrella during the showers. And would you believe, there were actually people swimming in the sea! And not just children either, fully grown ones!
On the way back to the beach house, I realised that I had forgotten to pack the sunshade/windbreaker thing that we had bought for the trip – arghhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!! Idiot! So I had a bit of a sulk about that for a while, then got over it 🙂 Hannah and I went for a bath at 3:30, when the bath opened, in the view of being the first ones in, clean water, and luckily, no company – yay! Then we went out for dinner. That night was the first night we have all stayed in a room with no cot. Oh, what fun! The kids ran rings around us. I decided just to give up and let it happen. Please imagine me and my husband, sitting sharing a warm beer while the children ran around us over futons and knocking things over as they went. A low point was me drinking beer while b-feeding young one..Waynetta Slob, yup, that’s me.
During the night, Hannah spiked a fever, that was pretty awful. I had brought some sachets of infant paracetamol with me (infant tylenol for all you non-Brits), so gave her some of that, but it was clear I was going to need more.
On Saturday morning, we had to be up and out by 9:30 because we had to move to another beach house. Late booking meant places were pretty hard to find. Another discussion with hubby..will not go into details about that one..So we decided to go on the beach first, as Hannah seemed to be stable, not such a fever and she was itching to get on the beach again. It was all going ok at first. I even ventured into the sea, and Hannah seemed to be having fun. But beach with my baby, was a bit of a nightmare! Sand in the mouth, hair, eyes, ears, you name it. His whole body was just a sandy mess! Not sure why my children are so genki. And I don’t even give them sugar. God only knows what would happen if I did. Hannah went out to the rockpools with Dad while I was in charge of watching Luka consume sand and throw it about (that was the worst part). After a while, we realised Hannah’s condition wasn’t the greatest, and went to check-in to beach house number 2
Wow, it was at a temple! Apparently this place is used for school trips and is only open to the public for one week in a year! It was amazingly traditional, and unbelievably creepy. I was excited and terrified about it all at the same time! Winding corridors and creaky floorboards, hidden exits and hidey holes all over the place, shoji shutters and cicadas chirping away in the trees in the garden outside. Really surprising. Well Hannah wasn’t getting any better though, and the medicine was fast running out, so Yusuke and Luka went off in search of fever-reducing medication. For the first little while, I was fine just lying around, but then I started to get bored. Hannah was asleep, I didn’t have a book, and there was NOTHING to do. Then Hannah woke up an hour later, and started wandering around saying “let’s go to the beach then”, even when it had started to get dark. She was not with it one little bit. Finally, TWO HOURS later after a marathon search for drugs, Yusuke came back with some acetaminophen! Just a fraction of the western dose of course, but it was something!
That night, there was little problem getting the children to sleep. The only person not to sleep well was me! First of all, children running up and down the halls until midnight. I can’t understand this putting children to bed at the same time as adults business. I remember being put to bed at 9 at the latest when I was a child and I think I must have been at least 10 or 11 then, so is all a bit weird for me. Plus, I am so used to waking up all night to deal with Luka, but having the futons just made it so much easier to deal with him. Wake, feed, sleep, roll over, no lifting into the cot, waking up with bars in the face, etc. But it meant I was wide awake at 5a.m.! My body is just not used to having so many chances to sleep! I went downstairs at 6 and convinced the owner to let me take a sneaky shower, then wished I had come down for a bath the night before because it was the size of a swimming pool.
Weather was still shit on Sunday, so we went off to the aquarium, which the children enjoyed, but depressed me a bit – think small spaces, big fish, seals, penguins, you get the picture. Then off home! The traffic was so bad! We were trundling along the motoreway at 20km/h at some stages, and the rain – wow! Torrential! It was such a weekend riddled with disasters, that we really could only laugh about it all! Glad we went though really, but it would have been so much better with nicer weather, because the beach is only really fun when it’s sunny.