Panda Abroad

“Dude!” I exclaimed. “What are you doing?”

panda on rug in hallIt’s not often that Panda comes up with ideas for an adventure, so I was a bit surprised when he replied, “I’m trying this carpet out to see if it will fly. I’m planning a trip to China!”playing under rug

“I think this one is better,” I said. “We could go incognito…disguised as a burrito!”

“Stop making fun of me,” Panda responded . “I’m serious about this. If you don’t want to go you don’t have to, but I’m going!”with panda on chair“Calm down, buddy! I was just kidding. What’s this all about?”

“I was reading Mom’s blog post about how she was Raised By Swedes,” Panda replied. “And I got really curious to know about my roots. So I googled it, and it says pandas are originally from China! Who knew?”

“I bet Mom did,” I said. “You know her English learner class adopted a panda from the San Diego Zoo in 2004.”panda adoption“Seriously? Where is it now? What’s its name? How come we haven’t seen it?” Panda was full of questions.

“They don’t give you the panda,” I replied. “From what I understand you just help pay for its food and you get an adoption certificate. She has it up in the sewing room. I’ll have to take you in there sometime and show you.””Hmm…” Panda mused. “So which carpet do you think we should take?” (He was referring to our previous two adventures, where we had taken our flying carpets to the Grand Canyon and Area 51.)

“Let’s go with the front living room,” I suggested. “It’s the fastest one.”world view living room carpet with pandaWe were right, and before we knew it we were flying over the ocean on our way to China! approaching wallIt took us awhile to get there. I had no clue China was so far. Finally we looked down and saw the Great Wall and we knew we were there! landed at airportBy some great coincidence, we landed at the airport this time. “You mean we could have taken a plane?” Panda asked. “I guess so,” I replied. “Now that I know how to fly one, maybe we can do that next time.”  “Yes, let’s!” Panda agreed. “Hey look at all those pandas! Maybe they’re my long lost relatives!”panda in displayWow! I had never seen so many pandas in one place before, not even in the pictures of Mom’s sister’s collection! Before I knew it, Panda had jumped into the crowd and was immediately nowhere to be found!panda and display bearsIt was like Mom’s “Hidden Panda” drawing only worse! What was I going to do now? “Panda!” I shouted. “Where are you???” (What had made me think this trip wouldn’t contain the proverbial “element of risk”?)foster with pandas 2“Dude, I’m right behind you!” Panda replied. “Isn’t this awesome? C’mon, let’s go see if we can find more of my relatives!”panda on wall“Awesome,” I mumbled. I could see it was going to take work to keep track of Panda during this trip. If I came home without him I knew Mom would be really mad! So I had no choice but to follow him and try not to let him get out of my sight.panda and foster in hong kong2I have to say Panda can be pretty determined when he puts his mind to it. It was all I could do to keep up with him! Then, it happened: I lost him AGAIN!panda with babiesWe were at the Wolong Panda Reserve, and before I knew it Panda had jumped into the baby panda enclosure. Once again I had to find him among hundreds of his relatives.panda with babies with foster“Ummm…I hate to take you away from your family reunion, but it’s time to go,” I said. abc news panda falling off“Okay,” Panda said. “Just let me climb out…”

Now I was starting to understand how Panda is always falling off of stuff. It must be in the genes! As soon as he hit the ground, however, one of the reserve’s panda handlers scooped him up along with some other pandas and walked off with them!Panda in china with keepers“Panda!” I cried. “Don’t be scared! I’ll save you!”panda and person bestIt seemed as if they were examining all the baby pandas! The handler looked at Panda for a lot longer than the others, and the next thing we knew…panda and toys 3…Panda ended up in the GIFT SHOP with a bunch of toy pandas. Such indignity! I actually had to go buy him to get him out of there. “Mom owes me big time,” I told Panda as we left the shop. “I’m hungry,” was his response. “Let’s go look for a snack!”panda eating bambooWhile looking for something to eat, we came across some pandas eating bamboo in the wild. “This bamboo is delicious,” Panda said. “You should try some!” “Great,” I mumbled to myself. “If you’re going to be a bear, couldn’t you at least find some FISH to eat so I can enjoy it too?” coming down wallAfter his snack of delicious bamboo, Panda was energized once again. “Hey, wait up!” I called after him. But soon he was lost from sight. When I found him again he was playing with some pandas in what I assumed was another panda reserve.panda in tire4“Panda!” I cried. “Get out of that tire right now! You might get hurt! (Wait, did I just say that?) Anyway, I think it’s time to go home!”panda in tire2“Okay, I guess you’re right,” agreed Panda. “Mom might be getting worried about us by now.”  “Yep,” I replied, “unless she’s working on a new blog post!” We both know that Mom gets worried if she doesn’t know where we are at all times, except when she’s writing a blog post. Then I’m sure we are the last thing from her mind!over taiwanWe went to the airport to pick up our flying carpet, and once again we were on our way! The view was breathtaking! I wished I had thought to sneak Mom’s iPhone out of the house so we could have taken pictures of our trip.leaving ChinaSaying goodby to the Great Wall!foster and panda in space2It’s always fun spiraling through outer space. And finally, we touched down in our own living room once again!back in living roomOnce we landed, I sniffed the air. Yep, we were home, all right. “Come on,” I said to Panda, “Let’s get back on our chair so Mom will think we’ve been here all day.”back on chair

There’s no place like home!

(Panda and China photos for this post came primarily from Pixabay, with a few from Google image searches and Pinterest.)