Isabel is going back to China.....and now we are home

Isabel is going back to China.....and now we are home
we will be here until all our kids have a family of their own

Friday, March 14, 2008

Our Day in Isabel

Today, we awoke in Chengdu, in our room at Sims Cozy Guesthouse. We had to get up earlier than usual so we could meet Brittany at 7:30 AM for breakfast. We had to have breakfast early so we could catch our ride to the Chengdu panda reserve.
Sims has wireless Internet which is a nice change after all those wires back at our apartment. We really enjoy Sims. It is a hostel and guess what? It only costs us fifteen dollars a night. We have a room with a double bed, a bathroom and a TV. Plus, they serve western food here. There's also western books and DVDs for free. It has a really nice atmosphere and has people from all over the world. There is a playful puppy, some hamsters and even some rabbits. According to Mom, there is apparently a pig here too, though we haven't glimpsed him yet.
I've been sick lately, but I'm getting better. I ate a pretty big breakfast this morning and continued eating and drinking throughout the day, which is a good sign.

Anyways, back to the beginning topic. The pandas. We were actually part of a tour that led us around the panda reserve. So our taxi ride and everything was done with other people too- from all around the world. The drive was about twenty minutes downtown and to the reserve. Once there, we walked a little ways before coming across our first panda.
I don't think I have ever seen a panda before- or have memory of it- or seen it as close at it was today. The pandas were meters away from us, in a huge enclosure. We got there early enough to see the pandas having a huge breakfast of bamboo stalks. We saw two adult pandas first and everyone took about ten minutes to take photos and videos or just admire the creatures. The compound included a large grassy place for the pandas to play and tussle, swings, climbing walls, trees and a large shelter where I think they live the rest of the time.
The next one we saw was another adult all on his/her own. She/he was eating breakfast too. We arrived at a good time since pandas usually sleep most the day.
The next ones were two young adults (teenagers) and two adults. The adults were eating while the two youngsters were wrestling with each other. They were play-fighting by nipping each others ears and fur and trying to see who could push the other over the edge of a climbing wall. After a while, they got bored though and just walked away. Brittany took a huge video of most of the tussle.
After, we saw a mother and her cub. They had just been let out from their shelter and the mother was playing with her cub by nipping her ears or grabbing her with her paws. We had to move around a lot to get a good photo since the mother and her cub kept lumbering away from a good shot.
We saw the rest of the cubs after. The first one I noticed was one little one in a tree which I pointed out to Mom. These were only a few months old and were playing with their trainers and eating bamboo. The trainer ran away from one and we wondered why she did that. We found out soon after. The cub liked to snap at her ankles playfully whenever he/she had the chance, so whenever she was around her/him, she always made sure she was either well out of range or picking him/her up. That station was a fun one to watch.
Red pandas were glimpsed after and I have to say, they aren't very good at being photogenic. For instance, they never look up, so you can never get a good shot of their faces. Mom and I had to make cooing sounds to attempt to coax them to look up, but that didn't work. Finally, we got this little guy who decided to cooperate. He made a pretty good shot.

We have to go to dinner now with Brittany. It was a really eventful day today. Mom will write more later. (We haven't forgotten it's report card day, Beth and Grace. ;))

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