I thought the tea house was closed for good. It had been many months since it appeared to be open, so I just assumed it was an experiment gone wrong. But I was wrong.

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The plan was to take my dad to the hot springs and then go home for whatever meal we could make out of the fridge. We had dined out the night before and economically, I don’t like to do that two nights in a row.

But my dad insisted that he buy us a meal, as we had paid (by gift certificate) for the meal the day before.

And so, we thought – why not CafĂ© Balzam? It was on my list to try and we were already out there…