Going home

Mom, this better be a REAL camping trip, not like the last one.

The afternoon sun is streaming in on my passengers as we head home from this REAL camping trip in Chiba. The reunion with our astronomy club friends (of Nokogiriyama cafeteria campout fame) in the hills of Chiba was cold, and the boys were now looking forward to getting home. I was looking forward to feasting on a little more fall foliage in the Yoro Valley. We’d already done one walk in the woods, shot pictures of retired, forlorn picnic tables set out for those wanderers enjoying some shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing” as it was coined in the 1970s. Taking in the forest atmosphere for mind, body, soul. The boys thought that was probably it. Then we were going to go straight home.

The moon shot was taken by Ben with his cell phone. He was very enchanted by working hard to capture a moonshot through a telescope lens. You can click on the picture above for the rest of the story and the campout pictures.

I had another idea, that wasn’t going to be too hard, I thought. We’d walk along the scenic Yoro River on our way home and maybe see a waterfall. But in order to make this happen I need to find a parking spot very quickly in the busy village, jump out and head straight for the river. There is no time to study instructions with boys angling to get home instead of another walk. They found skipping stones and soon were so engrossed that they had to be torn away from that pasttime to walk further along the banks of the river.

It would have been a really pleasant stroll through delicate canopies of red and yellow maple leaves if it weren’t for two boys trying to shove each other down the banks into the river below. Every river crossing is comprised of stepping stones which also present opportunities for shoving matches amidst the tentative forest bathers. For them, it’s a respite. For my boys, shinrin-yoku tends to be more of a contact sport. I tried to get a nice family photo, too…Ben launched himself to the ground just as I snapped it. Sam said…

Yes, once again the boys have worked their magic and managed to exhaust mom to the point that even she is just dying to get in the car and go home.

All was soon fixed with jumbo candy apples and chocolate covered bananas. As I nursed some irritation about yet another walk foiled, a song came on which seemed to speak to the moment, crossing the AquaLine over Tokyo Bay. Fix You by Coldplay. Mom needed to fix her internal register. I didn’t mind the $70 each way to drive on a bridge/tunnel. Why should I mind boy nonsense? No outing will be perfect through and through, although the most recent trip to Nobeyama set a high bar for everyone having a wonderful time. With mindsets adjusted, bathed in the warmth of the sun, we found ourselves stuck in a traffic jam. Google hadn’t warned us of this. We were starting to get a little hungry so we dove into our stock pile of s’more materials like raccoons into a trash can. Another great song came on. 

Hey Ben, what was the name of that song that we heard on the way back from Chiba when we were camping? I think by the band you like? Maybe the name Going Home? we were feasting on smores when that came on.
Yeah that’s it. Thanks buddy.

The amazing thing is on the way to this star-gazing camp-out, the song A Sky Full of Stars played just as we were about to cross the AquaLine. Spontaneous soundtrack for a memorable trip.

Ben likes: The Score

Sam likes: Coldplay


  1. Marilou 2 January, 2018

    Beautiful pictures! Nice to hear some comments from the boys too. Looks like you’re having great adventures

  2. Pop Pop 2 January, 2018

    Thank you again for a glimpse into your marvelous life…your spirit of adventure is amazing

  3. Kim P 3 January, 2018

    Thanks for a fun read!

  4. Amy O 6 January, 2018

    I so love your writing! You’re such a cool mom. It doesn’t hurt that I’ve been listening to Coldplay incessantly since we saw them in concert a couple of months ago, so I felt right there with you.

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