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Pete’s Big Hot Adventure

In our last story of Pete Invents the Cold Suit, Part 3, Pete had just turned 18 and was preparing to leave his hometown in Antarctica to make the big move to Santa Monica, California. “Ripping Rainbow Pops! I need another suitcase.” Pete realized, as he packed all his cold suits, books, and computer. Suddenly, it occurred to him that he did not have enough space. How on earth was he to travel to the other side of the world without enough space? This was the night before Pete was scheduled to depart Antarctica and he was getting a bit nervous. So, he asked Mama Victoria, “Mama, do you have an extra suitcase that I can use?” To which she replied, “Of course, my son. I do have an extra suitcase and I am happy to give it to you.” Pete’s journey to reach Santa Monica, California required nearly three days of traveling. There was only one way out of Antarctica, and it was dangerous. First, he had to endure a perilous ship ride through the treacherous Drake Passage which is the body of water that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It is a very deep waterway, 600 miles wide, with rough waters and fierce waves that leads to South America. This passageway was the main reason why Pete’s parents and siblings were so nervous. But Pete was brave! And made it in one piece without melting. Then, he took two connecting flights from Buenos Aires to Los Angeles. By the time Pete reached Los Angeles airport, he was exhausted. Sure, he slept on the flight and even managed to change into another one of his cold suits, one that had a more tropical style. The airport was amazing and bustling with travelers scurrying about. Pete was a little overwhelming because he had never seen so many humans. They were hurrying around everywhere, walking fast, with nervous looks on their faces. They couldn’t find their flights or their planes. Their kids were asking for everything. Families were hungry. They were standing in line to buy treats. They were carrying giant suitcases. “Oh my! Life is going to be very different here.” Thought Pete. There in the Western world, far away from the frozen continent that he had called home for 18 years, Pete wanted to be included. He wanted to belong and be part of the human population; living the same life that they did, while of course, always wearing his cold suit. He could hear a lot of people speaking different languages. And some folks looked at Pete strangely, maybe because he was a frozen treat wearing a strange-looking suit.
But he did not feel different. And he noticed some of the clothing that others were wearing and thought they looked funny, too. “Jumpin’ jelly beans. What are these humans wearing?” Observed Pete about so many folks. He didn’t care if others stared at him because he had confidence. As Pete strolled through the airport taking it all in, he noticed scores of little restaurants and charming food huts. “Flippin’ frosty frills! I’m hungry! Pete realized. Pete’s tummy growled with hunger. He couldn’t resist treating himself to a fruit cup and a grapefruit soda at a cute, little snack bar called Ice Lolly Lane. Not long after he finished, he fell asleep on a bench and dreamed that he was surfing in the Pacific Ocean at Santa Monica beach. Two hours later, an airport employee tapped Pete’s shoulder to see if he was okay. “Holy sucker sticks! I need to go to my hotel!” exclaimed Pete. As he counted all of his suitcases, he looked for a sign with a little car on it – a taxi sign – something he had studied about on his computer back home. Pete knew that taking a taxi would deliver him to his hotel. Secure in his cold suit, he exited just outside the airport and hailed one of the many taxis that lined the side of the street. Pete grew nervous with excitement for this was the beginning of the adventure he had always dreamed about! He never imagined so many people could survive in a hot, sunny climate. Soon, the taxi drove down palm tree lanes and Pete could see an edge of brilliant blue just beyond the horizon. “That must be the Pacific Ocean! I can’t wait to go surfing!” Thought Pete. All around, he saw humans with tanned skin adorned in shorts, t-shirts, flip flops, and sunglasses strolling down the sidewalks of Santa Monica. Back in Antarctica, Mama Victoria and Papa Randy were worried sick about Pete’s survival. That is why they gave him a cellular phone with instructions to call as soon as he arrived in Southern California. Suddenly, Pete remembered to call. “Hello??? Pete? Is it you? Cried Mama Victoria. “Hi Mama! I made it to Santa Monica! I miss you and Papa so, so much! But I am fine and now taking a taxi to my hotel! Is everything ok?” Expressed Pete.
“Oh! My dear son. I am so relieved! How is everything?” Asked Mama Victoria. Pete could here Papa Randy in the background. “My cold suit is working perfectly! And there are so many cars and humans! And little stores everywhere. And the humans here seem to rush about, all in a hurry to get somewhere. Is that normal, Mama?” Curiously asked Pete. “I am not sure, Pete. But try to stay calm and safe!” expressed Mama Victoria. Pete was so curious. He saw candy stores and snack bars and little restaurants and clothing boutiques and slushy stands and bookstores and a word that he would soon learn all about – traffic. Pete would also become familiar with another word – organic – a very popular word there in SaMo. What in heaven’s name did organic mean? Pete would discover that organic meant eating natural foods that were not grown with chemicals, or, pesticides – bad things that make people sick. Little did he know that he had been eating organic all his life! “This city is so cool! Thought Pete. “I can’t wait to arrive at my hotel so I can relax. I’m tired. I want to change my cold suit and unpack my bags and take a nice rest.” He yawned in sleepy thought. Soon, the car arrived in front of Pete’s hotel. He paid the driver and entered. The nice young lady behind the counter flashed a beautiful smile which made Pete turn a rosy shade of red and his big, warm heart beat a little bit faster. That is the moment when he turned his cold suit up a notch just to ensure that he didn’t melt.
“Good day, Maam. My name is Purple Pop Pete Cold and I am here to claim my hotel room.” “Well, of course, Mr. Cold. Your room is ready and waiting for you. Here is the key.” “Thank you, Miss!” Replied Pete, enthusiastically. Once inside his hotel room on the fifth floor, Pete realized that there was no air conditioning! Pete had read that air conditioning was very important in California since it kept spaces cool in very hot weather. Since it was summer, Pete grew quite concerned for the safety of his life. So, he laid out all of his cold suits and examined the battery supply to make sure they were all fully charged. They all seemed to work perfectly with all batteries fully charged. Pete sat down on his bed to take a moment. He knew that he was realizing his dream even at such a young age. And then it occurred to him that his fulfillment was just beginning and he was excited! “What will come next? What will I do? I have so many things I want to accomplish! And I feel like I can achieve all my goals. But what’s next?” Wondered Pete. He could tell that the room was hot and that there was no cool air. He missed the freezing environment of the Antarctic, the big white continent that was his home for 18 years. And he thought, “How am I going to survive where having to wear a cold suit, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year in order to survive in this climate? Maybe I made a mistake.” Doubted Pete. Yet Pete had watched so many superhero movies of characters overcoming obstacles and accomplishing their dreams. And he said to himself, “I can do this! I know I can do this. I just need to get used to wearing a cold suit, just like humans get used to wearing clothing.”  With that realization, Pete realized just how exhausted he was. Now, his cold suit fully charged, he laid down on the bed and drifted off into a deep, restful slumber. In his dream, he applied to university and was accepted to study engineering. The next day, Pete visited a local engineering firm looking to hire new talent as a junior engineer. He applied and he was hired! It was as though he had a vision that directed him where to go and what to do, and that was the passion that drove him. A few days later, Pete changed into one of his casual cold suits to set out and look for apartments around the Santa Monica area. He could not have been happier. Everything was falling into place. All because he had a plan and was motivated.

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