A Virtual Adventure

“Hey, that looks pretty good!”

a Panda's new shirtPanda seemed pleased at my compliment. “It’s my Hawaiian shirt for when we go to Hawaii,” he replied. “I asked Mom if she could make me one and this is what she came up with.”a sniffing“Well that’s cool,” I said, “but don’t you remember? It’s Social Distancing. There are travel restrictions. We can’t go to Hawaii.” Panda looked disappointed. “Aw man,” he replied. “I forgot!”a Foster looking at back“Is that a real hat?” I said, changing the subject. “Let me see the back.”a paw on headThe back of Panda’s new outfit met with my approval, so I turned my thoughts back to Hawaii. “So what makes you want to go to Hawaii?” I asked. Panda’s reply was muffled.a panda on back“Oh, sorry,” I said, flipping him over onto his back. “Thanks, Bro,” Panda replied. “Now that I can breathe, I’ll tell you. I was talking to Benji on Skype the other day and he said that Sue and Bob have been to Hawaii a couple of times. He showed me this post Sue wrote about how last time they just got back before Social Distancing hit. They had a great time. Maybe if we went we could see a volcano!” I nodded thoughtfully. The kids at the Christian school had been asking Mom if we could go on an adventure to see a volcano…a banyan tree with shirtWe quickly decided that even if we couldn’t go to Hawaii, we could at least look it up on the computer and imagine how it would be if we were there. “Wow!” Panda exclaimed when we looked up Lahaina, on the island of Maui. “That tree is huge! I’m shocked you were able to climb up that high.”a talking by tree“It’s only pretend,” I responded. “I guess I can climb as high as I want.” Panda frowned. “I guess,” he said. “Hey, what kind of a tree is this? I’ve never seen one before.” Suddenly, as if on cue, we heard a loud squawking sound.a one mynah bird“It’s called a banyan tree,” said a voice from a branch high above us. “Don’t you know anything about dendrology?” Panda and I looked up with a start. “Who are you?” I asked warily. “And what’s dendrology?” Our new acquaintance sounded a bit irritated. “I happen to be a myna bird,” he replied, “and dendrology is the study of trees.”a yellow mynah bird talkingSuddenly we were joined by what we could only assume were more myna birds.”That’s right,” one of them said authoritatively. “And we live in this tree.” Panda and I felt like intruders now. “We’re sorry,” Panda began. “We didn’t mean to intrude, but–” The head myna, a yellow bird with a sharp beak, approached him with a no-nonsense manner that I personally found a bit aggressive. “I’ve never seen a panda in a Hawaiian shirt before,” he declared. “Are you even a real panda? And is that a real pocket?”a mynah birdsBefore Panda could reply, “Yes, and yes,” the tree above us came alive with a symphony of squawking mynas. “It’s time for our concert,” explained a myna with a kindly face. “People who visit the island of Maui come from all around to hear us sing at sunset.” Panda and I looked at each other. “Sunset? Is it that late already?” we exclaimed in unison. “We had better get going!”a driving jeep on computer“Wow, that was amazing!” Panda commented. I nodded in agreement. “I guess we should go back when we have more time. One of the birds told me that tree was brought over from India as a gift from missionaries, and was planted in 1873. Hey, if we ever do go to Hawaii, do you think we should rent a jeep?”a driving jeep“Yeah,” Panda replied. “I’ll drive, since you know I got my jeep driver’s license when I went to basic training.” I was all for that. “Yes,” I said, “you had better drive. Remember the first time we went to Africa, I drove that jeep, and I had no clue what I was doing?” Panda laughed heartily. “How could I forget? We ended up in the middle of the river and had to be rescued by a man with an elephant!” a windy road 2“Oh wow!” Panda exclaimed as he clicked on a link that took us to an extremely long and winding road, right through the mountains. “I don’t think I would want to drive on that, license or no license!” a road signsI shuddered. “Talk about an element of risk,” I replied. “I think Sue and Bob went on a windy road when they were in Hawaii. Maybe it was this one!”a landing helicopter“I think I’d actually rather go in a helicopter,” I ventured. Panda agreed. “You can be the one to fly it,” he said, “since you have experience.” We laughed as we reminisced about how I had flown a borrowed plane to get us out of Nevada’s Area 51. “That was a fun adventure,” Panda commented. “You flew that plane like an expert!”a lava computer Hawaii“Whoa!” we exclaimed in unison as we clicked on another link. “A volcano!” We both agreed that it would be super cool to fly over one.a helicopter lava bWe quickly decided that if we were going to be flying over volcanoes, we should go with a real pilot. We had no trouble finding a professional pilot to take us on a helicopter tour. When we were right over the volcano, we seemed to be losing altitude, but fortunately the pilot pulled us back up just in time!a helicopter altitude“Well that was exciting,” Panda said as we cleared the active volcano and continued our helicopter flight over the islands. “We probably shouldn’t tell Mom about that part, though.”a looking at sandWe looked at several other amazing photos of Hawaii, and when we came to this one, Panda got an idea. “Follow me,” he said excitedly. “This is going to be so fun!”a surf boards bBefore I knew it we were standing in front of a surf shop looking at surf boards for rent. “Mom would like all these colors,” Panda said appreciatively. “Which one shall I get?” I didn’t have to think before replying. “Whichever one looks the safest. You’re not really going to–“a walking on beach surfboard“Come on!” Panda called as he trotted down the beach with his surf board. “Wait till you see me ride the waves!” a panda surfing2“Woo-hoo!” shouted Panda as he caught the first wave. “This is awesome!” I decided to keep my comments to myself. After all, he had won the world championship log rolling contest  when we went to Yosemite.a on canoeAfter Panda had finished surfing, we were invited by some local residents to go for a canoe ride. The view across the sparkling water was breathtaking. When we reached the shore, we decided we should head back home.a seeing selves“Hey!” Panda exclaimed when we got home. “It looks like Mom was working on her blog while we were gone.” I was about to agree when I remembered. “We were never gone,” I reminded him. Panda looked at me, his eyes wide. “You’re right!” he replied. “But then–“a nap“I don’t know,” I said as we jumped back up on the guest room bed. “But I think it’s time for a nap!”

Hawaii background photos are from Pixabay.com and Unsplash.com

17 thoughts on “A Virtual Adventure

  1. O wow, Hawaii looks great! Humanmom would love to go back to Australia where she lived as a little girl … I don’t think Hawaii is near so she could pop over 🚁and visit?!
    Thanks for sharing 😺
    huggs Annie&Charlie

    1. Thanks Annie and Charlie! Our Mom doesn’t really want to go to Hawaii because she’s kind of scared to fly in a plane. We’re thinking it would be fun to go to Australia next!🐱🐼

  2. Thank you for the exciting Hawaiian adventure. Foster is a great guide and Panda an awesome surfer. Hope the new week is going great for you all, Thank you for the smiles.

  3. Hey thanks for the honorable mention! 🙂 🙂 There’s nothing like a trip to Hawaii! Maybe the windy road was the famous road to Hana! I love the Banyan trees and especially seeing Panda surfing! Maybe when all this quarantine business is over we can return to the islands!

    1. Yes I hope you do get to go back! I’ll have to “re-visit” the volcano theme though, because I think what the kids were really asking was for them to go down inside one 😬

      1. You can get pretty close by going to Hawaii Volcanoes Natl Park on the Big Island. Last time I was there I saw the red glow from the vent and there have been lots of eruptions since then!! Plus while you’re there you can visit the big turtles on Punalu’u Beach nearby!! That will be my next trip!! 🌴🌴🐢

      2. Oh cool! I will definitely have to look that up! The big turtles sound fun also. Maybe Foster and Panda will see their tortoise friend from when they learned about cactus/cacti 😀🐢 Not that the would be any cactus in Hawaii, I guess, but their international friends tend to get around 😂

  4. Charlee: “Our Dada has a strange obsession with volcanoes.”
    Chaplin: “But he also has a strange obsession with not falling into hot lava.”
    Charlee: “So I bet he wouldn’t mind going along on a virtual trip. That’s the safest way to do it!”

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