Did you know that it is Panda Appreciation Week? I just found out and had to share!
My family has a very special place in our hearts for Panda Bears. My mother loves Panda Bears – they are by far her favorite animal.
Growing up in Baltimore, we frequently drove to the National Zoo in Washington, DC to visit these beautiful creatures. My sister and I felt that Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing were personal friends.
When I read the news that Hsing-Hsing passed away in 1999, I couldn’t help shedding a few tears. When I mentioned this to my sister, she simply said “Those panda bears were a big part of our childhood.”
We moved into an old Baltimore row house that was skinny and long, like all Baltimore row houses, when I was about 6 years old. The house had a lot of character, not that I understood that at that age.
There was one room in the house that had panda bear wallpaper and that magical room was going to be my bedroom! I distinctly remember the first night in the house, and for many nights to come, falling asleep counting the pandas on the wall.
Pandas were a big part of our childhood.
For many years, Christmases with my family involved spending time with our grandparents. Grandparents, I am fortunate to be able to say, were a big part of our adulthood.
But in 2007, our last remaining grandparents passed away and my mother decided that we should start a tradition of taking a special outing when my sister and I were home for the holidays.
Of course, the first trip we took was to Washington, DC to visit the next generation of Panda Bears.
In honor of Panda Appreciation Week, I wanted to share a few photos from that visit, as well as some media coverage of this important celebration.
What do you think? Do you have any special family memories and traditions like these that you would like to share? Have you ever seen a Panda Bear? What did you notice was different about these bears?
I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading.
A few more photos