Back from a weekend at Hamanaka. I couldn't even tell you where we were for sure. I truly need to learn my geography here! What I do know is that the resort was lovely and amazing. The weather was very windy, but otherwise quite lovely (especially for enjoying the scenery and onsen!) while we were there. The whole family trekked over there after New Year's Day. My BIL and his wife and kids, along with my FIL and MIL all caravanned with us from Osaka while my SIL, her husband and son headed there from Tokyo. Our group included four kids under the age of 2 1/2 years old. On the one hand, they entertained each other at times which was great. On the other, this made for a lot of childcare work for all adults involved!
Peanut enjoyed her first plunge in the "big bath" quite a lot. I'm a pretty modest and shy person in general, especially when I'm in the U.S. But after being introduced to the Japanese onsen, I've discovered that I have no real qualms about sharing a public bath with a bunch of women. There's something quite convivial about the experience, and frankly it makes washing a small child much easier when you've got a lot of experienced mothers helping out! I'm still afraid of making some social faux pas (using the wrong soap for instance, or not rinsing at the proper time etc.). However, as a relatively new mom (when does that title wear off?) I feel that the relaxation from enjoying a nice spa day like that is well worth any potential embarrassment!
Here is Peanut enjoying some of the scenery:
Back to regular life and the start of 2009!