Hakone Japanese Gardens

October 30, 2021 9:18 am

Jess' parents drove out and visited us from the 19th to the 24th. On Friday I took the day off of work and we drove down to Saratoga to visit the Hakone Japanese Gardens while the girls were in school. We thought it'd be nice to actually meander around rather than be dragged about with constant complaints of it being boring. We were right.

Jess and I had watched a Great Course on Japanese history and we both agreed we liked the aesthetics of the gardens and then found there are a handful of such gardens in the Bay Area (which has a pretty long history of Japanese immigration).

It was cloudy (it actually rained every day her parents were here, the only rain we've gotten in 10 months) so my pictures are rather muted, so nothing spectacular. But I still enjoyed the trip.

We sat in a waiting pavilion for a few minutes which had a large window (that's one of the pictures in the gallery). I went outside to try and get a picture of Jess with her parents sitting inside through the bamboo, but the dynamic range was too much for my camera and I couldn't keep it still well enough for an HDR shot, so this is what I have. Now just imagine all the bamboo is rich green instead of blown-out white.

I had intended to set up a group picture of all of us before they left, but it kept slipping my mind until it was too late.

The girls enjoyed their visit. They warmed up to "Papa" and "Bubbie" much more readily than we had expected. Corinne was super happy to have more playmates around and Heather happily showed them projects she's working on and read them things from books.

Before their visit we had asked Heather if she'd be comfortable with them visiting during her birthday. She was a little upset at that idea and asked that we keep her birthday to just us. So they scheduled their trip to move on to their next stop at the beginning of this week.

Their next stop was in Utah and they intended to drive highway 50, "The loneliest road in America." But the storm system made a mess of the Sierra Nevada passes. One was closed due to flooding and the others were covered in snow and ice. Traffic wasn't moving at all on them when they were leaving and there were chain requirements in effect. So instead they drove south through Las Vegas.

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