Somebody's Having a Birthday Today!!
Trip Start Jun 24, 2010
66Trip End May 18, 2011
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Chengdu is most famous as the home of the internationally acclaimed Center for Panda Research, so upon asking Lisha what would be most special for her birthday, she decided that what she’d really like to do is see the pandas! So that’s what we did! It’s not easy getting there though, but it is certainly worth the effort. After a 2½-hour road trip driving on some beautiful and very remote country roads that took us through the midst of some outrageously gorgeous landscapes of fields and mountains and terraces of crops being tended to by their hard-working owners, we arrived far up into the steep-sided hills of the mountains at the entrance to the Panda Reserve.
Lisha was certainly having a good birthday getting to do something this special, but we wanted to make it extra special by giving her the opportunity to hug a real panda. But our desires didn’t quite align with the realities of the panda’s daily schedules, as there are only certain very short times when outsiders are allowed to interact with the pandas in their enclosures, and we just happened to be far removed from those times. Drat!! Oh well, even though there was some teary-eyed disappointment, Lisha took it in stride and was very happy she at least got to see the pandas up-close and in person!
With the few days we were in Chengdu we celebrated her “birthday week” with other fun events too! We went to a traditional Chinese arts performance called Shu Feng Ya Yun at the Sichuan Opera House where we enjoyed the amazing performances of a variety of musicians, quick-change artists, comedians, life-size puppets, and a hand shadow artist. We went to a place called the People’s Park, a large rambling park in lush surroundings in the middle of the city where the kids could just run around and be…………well, kids!
We had a great dinner specializing in the local cuisine called Hot Pot, where we chowed down on some incredible food in a cook-your-own style (rather than the typical community pot). It started out with appetizer munchies of candied pecans and spicy peanuts, followed by a cavalcade of ingredients to toss into the boiling cauldron of
And of course, we just had to have the requisite birthday party, even if it was in the confines of our little hotel room. It was quite the festive event! Complete with balloons, gifts, and even a birthday cake bought by Jim, our very kind tour guide, we had a pretty darn good party in honor of the birthday girl! She was giddy and happily wired for her whole special day!
HAPPY 8th BIRTHDAY, LISHA!!