“Hey Panda! How tall is the Seattle Space Needle?”
Foster’s voice woke me from a sound sleep. “I think it’s 605 feet,” I responded sleepily from under the bed. “Why?”“Well,” Foster began. “Mom has this crossword puzzle up here on the bed and I was just seeing if I could find some answers for her. How did you know that anyway?”I jumped up on the bed. “I don’t know,” I said. “Maybe Benji told me when we were in Italy. I guess we could go there and find out.” Foster considered for a moment. “Yeah, I guess we could,” he replied. “Come on, let’s go in the living room.”Once in the living room, Foster immediately jumped up on the recliner. “Dude!” I said. “What are you doing up there?” Foster fumbled with some stuff on the table. “I’m looking for a piece of paper. I want to write Benji to see if we can go visit him and Tiger!”
“I’m shocked there’s not a piece of paper anywhere in this house,” Foster mumbled irritably. I laughed. “Oh, there’s plenty of paper,” I said. “Mom just keeps it put up where you can’t get into it. Hey, why don’t we just Skype them?”“Great idea!” Foster agreed. “Let’s use the desktop computer instead of Mom’s laptop. We’re less likely to get in trouble that way.” It took us a few minutes to figure it out, but we finally got Tiger on Skype. “Let me get Benji,” Tiger said when he answered. “He knows more about this computer stuff than I do.”Benji was glad to hear from us, and excited about the prospect of our visit. We made plans to meet up as soon as we got into town. We’d be taking our travel tunnel, so it shouldn’t take too long to get there.“Wow, there’s your Space Needle!” I said as we approached Seattle. We were amazed at how tall 605 feet actually was! “Hey!” Foster said, pointing. “I think that’s Tiger and Benji down by that taxi!”We parked our travel tunnel and ran up to the street. “Hey guys!” Benji called. “Hop in! We got this taxi so we could show you around. Where do you want to go first?” We were kind of hungry, so they decided to take us to the fish market.“Wow, this is cool!” I observed, as I jumped up to sit on the ice. “Yeah,” Tiger replied. We come here all the time. The owner sometimes gives us free fish!” After a delicious snack of free fish we were ready for our tour.One place Tiger and Benji said we had to see was the Kirkland Waterfront. There was this great statue where Benji and I enjoyed a game of leap frog. Foster and Tiger decided to just watch this time. Tiger said leap frog was only for kids, and Foster thought we might get in trouble for playing on the statue. That didn’t deter us, and we had a great time.After that we went to the library to see the river that runs under it. Tiger went to look up something about hunting, so the rest of us enjoyed looking out the window and seeing if there were any good animal books. Then it was time to see the Ferris wheel on Pier 57.I had a blast riding the Ferris wheel but Foster had his doubts. We aren’t afraid of heights after all our international travel, but Foster says there is always an element of risk. One of my favorite places was the Boeing air museum. It kind of reminded me of when Foster and I went to outer space. Of course I had to jump up to see this airplane up close, but I was outnumbered by cats telling me to get down. This train was really fun, too. You couldn’t actually ride on it, but we all had a blast climbing up on it and pretending. Foster said it reminded him of the “Shan-e-Punjab” in India. “Didn’t you go on a train in Peru?” asked Benji. “Tiger, didn’t we read something about that in their blog?” “Yes,” Tiger replied. “It was the story about the dark and stormy night.” Then he added, “Hey! Let’s go to our house so you can meet Sue and Bob!”Sue and Bob were really nice and even gave us some delicious cat food for a snack. After that we all took a nap by the fire in their cozy living room. Once we woke up, Tiger and Benji were eager to show us their back yard. “You’ll love our yard,” Benji said. “Sometimes we come out here and wait for moles or birds to chase,” Tiger explained. “Sue doesn’t really like us to catch them, but it is fun.” Fortunately I had brought my fatigues so I was dressed for the occasion. “Wow!” Foster mused. “So this is what it’s like being in a back yard…”“Yeah,” Benji said. “We have lots of fun out here. Sometimes we even help Sue with the yard work!” Foster and I were impressed. “We sometimes help our mom paint stuff in the house,” Foster offered. “That sounds fun,” replied Tiger. “Hey, come look at our chairs!”“These are great!” I exclaimed, and Foster agreed. “Hey Benji, can you take our picture so we can show Mom when we get home?” Benji complied, since he knew where Sue kept her camera. Tiger wasn’t so sure, mumbling something about “young whipper-snappers” and being too adventurous for our own good.“Okay,” Benji conceded. “I’ll put the camera back. Let’s play hide-and-seek! Foster, you’re it!” I hoped Sue wouldn’t get mad if I hid in her garden, but Benji said he did it all the time. After a rambunctious game, which Tiger elected not to join, we were tired and went back inside.It was time for another nap, but not before Foster and Benji had a stretching contest. Tiger and I decided it was a tie. We all went to bed so Foster and I could get up early to leave for home.The next morning, Benji and I got an idea. “What are you guys doing in there?” Foster demanded. “Benji is coming home with us,” I replied. Foster was just about to say something when Sue came into the room. “Umm….no,” she said, smiling. We shrugged. Well, it had seemed like a good idea at the time.After saying goodbye to our friends, we went to get our travel tunnel. On the way, we saw this mural and Foster said it looked like something Mom would draw. “Dude,” I said, as I ran ahead of him, “we say that in pretty much every adventure.” Foster agreed. “Well, I guess it’s because Mom would seriously draw most of the stuff we see,” he commented. “I guess you’re right,” I said as we gained altitude. Soon we were high over the Seattle skyline and on our way back to Fresno.
What a great trip!
We were so tired from our flight that as soon as we got home we were ready for a nap!