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ChengDu :: Day 4

At our friend’s recommendation, we booked a driver to take us to the panda reserve. We’re staying all the way across town so the driver’s price was about the same as taking a taxi. Trust me, we could have taken the 2rmb bus, but with three kids, we decided to play the vacation card and give ourselves a break.

Our driver was worth his weight in gold.

He sent a text at 6:40am saying he was outside waiting. We expected him around 7:10am. We stopped to grab red bean breads and milk boxes. Then, we were at the Panda reserve.

He already had our tickets.

Then he said, “This way!” Walking quickly.

Apparently, the panda’s are only active in the early morning. So, we had to get through the entire reserve by 11am. Once the sun came out, the pandas’s would be escorted inside.

So, we briskly walked to the first spot. Our driver went to see the zookeeper. Apparently, the panda’s were taking a bath. “This way! We’ll go see the others!” We continued walking quickly.

He took us to a spot where there was a Mother and three one-year-old panda’s playing.

We also saw a newborn “yearling” who was less than 2 weeks old. (She didn’t have her black spots yet.)

Then, bath time was over, so we got to see more pandas.

Next, we made our way to the Red Panda’s. (Hubs favorite.)

Our driver’s wife is a zookeeper for the red panda’s so Schäfer got to throw apple slices to the red panda’s. Apparently, there are so many pregnant red panda’s that his wife has to work 7 days a week.

Next, we headed to the big pandas. We got to them just as they were being called to come in. Once the panda’s are “inside” they can be viewed through a glass wall. Trust me, it’s just not the same.

We left the park at 10:45am with our Panda Love Tank overflowing. I felt sad for the tour groups who were just now arriving to see indoor, sleeping Pandas.

We wanted to take Schäfer to a nearby university because we learned they had a 10rmb museum with dinosaur bones. The driver took us there (it wasn’t far form the reserve), but they were closed. Guess that’s what happens in August.

I guess viewing all that meat and thinking about bones got Hubs in the mood for ribs so he treated our family to Tony Roma’s. YUM. Thank you Hubs!

We came back to the Home inn and everyone went down for naps. That’s the benefit to staying in one room – Hubs and I rest more.

After naps, we took the kids to another walking street which wasn’t so great. Just new buildings built in a traditional way with expensive shopping inside. We did enjoy a nice walk through Wen Hua Gong Yuan (Culture Park).

This evening we attended a local opera show. Thankfully, they change “acts” every 15 minutes or so. The kids really, really enjoyed it.

The show started at 8 and finished by 9. There was some drama before bed, but I could only offer grace because we’re the ones that dragged them out late at night.

I still have my sinus infection, but refuse to take any more Benadryl. I am still congested, but mentally clear.

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