Awake in Dublin

Zzzzzip! Miss Cynthia opened the zipper to my carry-on bag. I blinked at the sudden bright light. Yawning, I stretched my paws as far as they would go. I sat up and looked around the hotel room.

I woke up to Dublin!

I barely remembered leaving the Tri-Cities, so many hours earlier. Teddy bears are lucky. When they travel, they’re small enough to have a bed in a suitcase. Miss Cynthia made a bed for me in her carry-on bag, just before we left for our trip. While she and Doctor Steve had to travel on four different airplanes, I just took a nap!

Wake Up, Perry . . . We're In Dublin!Now we were in Dublin. I woke up quickly and looked around. Our hotel room was very large and very beautiful. There was a soft sofa and comfortable chairs. A great big bed was piled high with fluffy pillows. Tall windows framed a view of Dublin’s city streets.

I felt fresh and rested. Not like poor Miss Cynthia and Doctor Steve! They were very tired from traveling for such a long time. Doctor Steve put his feet up on the coffee table. Miss Cynthia sprawled out on the bed next to me.

"Was it a long trip, Miss Cynthia?" I asked.

"Too long!" she said, as she picked me up for a hug. "Still, we’re here now. What do you think of Dublin?"

We walked to the window and looked outside. On a flagpole, the Irish flag snapped and danced in the fresh, cold breeze. People walked briskly. They had bright pink cheeks from the wind. Everyone looked happy and jolly.

"I’ll bet people in Ireland like bears!" I said. Miss Cynthia and Doctor Steve laughed at each other over my head. "I’ll bet they do, Perry Bear," answered Miss Cynthia. "Shall we go find out? It’s time for tea!"

In the British Isles, tea time is an afternoon ritual. Between 3 and 5 o’clock—just about the time most children come home from school—the Irish, English and Scots sit down to tea. It’s a happy, friendly meal.

Doctor Steve, Miss Cynthia and I went to tea in our hotel. We settled onto a comfortable sofa, set before a crackling fire. Miss Cynthia made a seat for me on a nice soft sofa pillow. Looking around, I sniffed the good smells with my bear nose. Wood smoke, tea and sweet cakes were in the air!

Our waitress, Miss Caroline, was smiling and jolly. She had bright pink cheeks, too! "Welcome to Ireland!" she said. "Tea for three!" ordered Doctor Steve.

Tea for PerrySoon, a steaming teacup sat before me. "Milk or sugar with your tea, Perry?" asked Miss Cynthia. "Both, please!" I said eagerly. Miss Cynthia laughed as she picked up the lumps of sugar with special little silver tongs. Teddy bears like their tea very, very sweet.

I settled back into my soft cushion and sipped my tea. All around us, groups of happy people chatted as they enjoyed an afternoon snack. Many of my friends from the orchestra were there. Everyone greeted me warmly. It was nice to see so many good friends enjoying a snack.

Now it was our turn! Our tea cakes and sandwiches had arrived. First, I had a scone with Devonshire cream. A scone is like a biscuit or a muffin, but sweeter. You split it open, and spread it with jam or butter. Devonshire cream is a thick, sweetened cream. It is my favorite.

Tea sandwiches next! We chose from a large tray of tiny finger sandwiches. No crusts at tea! I sampled the smoked salmon sandwich. Miss Cynthia ate her favorite, cucumber sandwiches. Doctor Steve preferred the roast beef. Miss Cynthia poured more tea into our teacups.

Time for the sweets! Oh, it was so hard to choose. There were tiny French �clairs, filled with sweet whipped cream and frosted with chocolate. Little tarts sat next to a rainbow of sliced sweet breads. I tried a nibble of everything, even though my tummy was so full, I was straining my stitches.

As we ate, darkness fell. Outside the parlor where tea was served, a beautiful English knot garden caught the last rays of sunlight.

I leaned back, plump, full and happy. After a good night’s sleep, we would explore Dublin. I knew I would see and hear many interesting things.

But for now, I was a happy, sleepy, very full teddy bear!

Perry's Travels: