18–26 February 2012
Fiona, with passport in hand, takes her first trip abroad.
In December, when we had that tree in our house, I received a book from Karen, Bob, Michael and Charlotte. It’s about airplanes. I looked at it a few times, but I didn’t really get it. Then, one day, Mama and Daddy mentioned that we would be getting on an airplane. I still didn’t know what that meant, but they seemed to be indicating that we would be going somewhere. A few days later, they started putting my clothes and diapers into a suitcase. They told me to get Brown Bear and my blanket, and then we took the subway—pretty awesome!—to another train—really awesome!—to the airport, where we got on an airplane—weird at first, but when we got off, I realized it was totally awesome!
We were on the plane for a long time, it seemed, and I had somehow forgotten Brown Bear at home. When we got off the plane, we were in a very different place. We had to stand in line, which would have been boring except that I got to hold on to these little blue books with our pictures in them. At the front of the line was a guy behind a window, and I handed the books to him so he could stamp them—I had kept my eye on the people in front of me so I would know what to do.
It turns out we were in some place called Iceland. We went to church there, and we met some friendly senior missionaries, Elder and Sister Callaway, who invited us over to their house for dinner that night. I sat in a regular chair and ate a biscuit. But the best part was that I made a new friend at their house. Her name is Ingi, and she’s an Icelandic bear. Sister Callaway said I could keep her, since there weren’t any kids in her house to play with her. I had a good time getting to know Ingi, who showed me some interesting things about Iceland. She came home with us, too, so now she has a lot of friends from all over, like Churchill (from the Northwest Territories), Red Panda (from China), and, of course, Brown Bear (from the northern Rockies).
One of my favorite places in Iceland was a grocery store with a friendly pig outside. He was so funny! He always smiled back at me when I waved and said hi. I also got to wave and say hi to some whales, which I’ve seen in some of my books. I couldn’t see the entire whale because they were mostly covered with water, but they lifted up their arms to wave at us while we were on the boat. Waving to the whales was definitely the highlight of that boat trip—it was nothing like the comfortable boats I’ve ridden in New York. I did not feel very good because the boat was moving around so much. Finally I just went to sleep.
One day, we went to this place where I got to try out my snow boots. I don’t know what it was, but there was snow, so that was cool. Then we went to a place where water shoots out of the ground. Whoo, that was so neat! And there were these bushes that were prickly, just like in my favorite Sesame Street video.
We also went swimming in this strange pool. I wasn’t too happy about it at first, because after we put on bathing suits and took showers, we went outside in the cold air! Fortunately, Mama and Daddy picked me up and put me in the pool, which was nice and warm. I also wasn’t too keen on the orange things they put on my arms, but they did help me float around and keep my head above water, so I had a good time.
After a few days, Mama and Daddy packed all of our stuff into the suitcase again, and we went back to the airport. It was another long trip home. But I had a great time, and now when I look at my airplane book it makes a lot more sense. And seeing airplanes in the sky has so much more meaning now that I know there are people in them, flying off to see some amazing place!
This article appeared on pages 12–13 of Issue 6 | April 2012.