Hayama Weekend

This weekend was an awesome, mellow beach weekend.  I found my new favorite town- Hayama!  SMS and I headed over on Friday for my long-anticipated haircut appointment.  I got an awesome cut by Jennifer.  I’m really happy with the lightness and I do not mourn the loss of “triangle-head,” the unfortunate side effect of thick hair in a layer-less bob.
SMS came because he wanted to talk to a local hair and make-up artist.  While the haircut may have longer than any of his have been by at least a factor of 10, we all got along well and decided to cement our newfound friendship with dinner at The Gazebo, a local fish and chips place.  I know, I know.  Fish and chips in Japan?  I promise, I’m not the type of Irish-American tourist that goes looking for the Irish pub in any and every city I visit.  The Gazebo wasn’t a pub and the fish and chips were awesome.  I got the three piece “Special” fish and chips which were made with local mahi magi.  It was so delicious.  I ate two pieces and split the third b/t Jennifer and SMS so we could all try.  The fries were pretty good but what sealed the deal was that there was malt vinegar on the table.  Yum, yum, yum. 
Jennifer got the fish taco, which was awesome-looking.  It was a little too small to share plus whoever heard of asking a pregnant woman to share her food anyways?  So, maybe another time because it looked awesome although I did not have ordering envy since I was happy with my choice.  SMS got a green curry that he enjoyed.  I had a small bite and wasn’t overwhelmed but maybe next time I’ll just have to eat more of his food.
Plus, cuteness quotient alert!  There was a small bird nest in the corner and little baby birds were hanging out as the adult swooped in and out to feed them.  So cute with their little necks stretching in and out.  The picture is terrible but it helps with the mental memory jog.
Saturday was a mellow day.  I started reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.  I’m about half-way through and really enjoying it.  I abandoned Summerlands by Michael Chabon because it just felt too much like the author thought that anyone with two braincells could come up with an engaging, Harry Potter-like fantasy book and well…apparently, he can’t.  I love some of his other work but Summerlands didn’t cut it.  Plus, I only have Americanah for 10 days so I have to get cracking!   
I also made a delicious banana bread, which SMS and I feasted on.  We cleaned up a bit around the house and then walked down the boardwalk to a little beach a little over 1.5 miles from our apartment.  The walk was ridiculous, but we wanted to get out of the house.  Biking would have been better but I left my bike at work so walking was it.  After the beach, we cleaned up and headed to Friendship Day on base to watch the fireworks.  The 16 and base were mob scenes but we eventually got to Gazebo #10 and had a great time hanging out with friends and watching the fireworks.  I finally saw a Hello Kitty Firework!  Sagoy!
Sunday was our Hayama field trip.  It was awesome!  We took the train to Shin-Zushi and then took the #12 bus into Hiyama.  The bus was packed but since the beach was 2 miles from the train station, we were happy to be on it.  We passed a small vintage bike shop and leather-working boutique that had absolutely gorgeous wallets, business card holds and handbags.  We both really wanted to get something but didn’t really need anything so we kept going.  We passed the Gazebo, which has a Sunday brunch that we will definitely go to sometime soon.  Our late-morning snack was provided by the small bagel shop.  The bagels were great- definitely boiled then baked.  
L: C.C. Baxter: gorgeous leather goods; Top R: Gazebo; Bottom R: Bageru!

After our lox and cream cheese bagel with delicious coffee, we went to the beach.  It was a gorgeous day and the coolest beach- nice sand, clean water and a shrine on the left side of the beach.  The view was great- we could see a torii gate in the water, Mt. Fuji shrouded in clouds in the distance and the beautiful shrine.  We walked around the grounds before heading back to the beach and settling down.  We went into the water, which was a great temperature but SMS had the unfortunate experience of encountering a small jellyfish.  Boo!  I think the jellyfish get bad in August and they are on their way.

CW from top left: Hayama Beach; the shrine; small torii gate (squint!) on the jetty and the left side of Fuji; bridge to the shrine

After swimming, we headed up to the beach shacks for lunch.  We found one with a translated menu and the woman taking orders spoke really good English.  We spoke a little Japanese back, which she complimented us on but let’s be real, her English is what made the experience go so smoothly.

Panorama of the Beach Shack

I ordered chicken pho (so beachy!) and SMS had the ginger pork plate.  We were seated at a nice table and the whole atmosphere was so relaxing and pleasant, I could have stayed there all day!  We did stay there for a while but then decided to head out.  We stopped at Sweet Tooth, a cute little bakery, for dessert and then hopped on the bus back.  We went out to Sitar for dinner, which was super tasty and they had other customers tonight.  Yay!

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