Sir WHIP had spent all afternoon and evening polishing up his scales until they shone. Then he flew into Kid Joey's room and woke him up.
"It's two in the morning, Sir WHIP! Are you nuts?!"
"I have such a surprise for you tonight – for the whole family, actually! We will be starting the New Year off right!
Kid Joey went into Ro's room first, figuring she would be the least mad if he and Sir WHIP woke her up at this crazy hour. "Huh?" she mumbled, turning away from her weird little brother, aiming herself toward the wall so he couldn't be in her face anymore.
But of course that just forced Sir WHIP to hop into the air and fly over her to land on her pillow, his scaly feet right in front of her nose.
"Up, up, young lady! We have a surprise to share!"
"What do you mean get dressed warm? What are you up to, Sir WHIP?" Ro asked as she bundled up, while Kid Joey entered his parents room, careful not to startle Brie, for she was very protective of Mom.
"Are you sick?" Dad was concerned.
"No everything's okay. Sir WHIP has a big surprise for all of us. We have to get up right now and bundle up."
By that time Mom was awake, with that Mom radar that senses when kids are up and about in the middle of the night.
"What about Brie?"
"Brie too." Brie wagged her tail, thinking the best surprise of all would be for Kid Joey to go back to his room and let her keep snuggling up to Mom and snoozing.
Outside in the back yard the gleaming dragon stretched himself as large as he could and lowered his head down so that the whole family could climb aboard.
When they had he took off. "We have to hurry or we'll be late!" he shouted back over his shoulder where everyone held on tight.
"Where are we going?" Kid Joey shouted back.
They flew and flew. Sir WHIP covered a lot of distance with his giant wingspan, and just a little bit of magic that he'd discussed with Gramps Blaze earlier in the day…well, actually, technically it was the day before by now. Sometimes the whole middle-of-the-night-turns-into-the-morning-of-the-next-day-thing was pretty confusing.
"Okay! We made it! It's just starting!!" Sir WHIP shouted, and pointed himself at Christmas Island, near Samoa, where there were…
"Fireworks! Cool! But why are they celebrating the Fourth of July in January?" Kid Joey cried out in delight.
"People shoot off fireworks on New Year's Eve too!" Mom said, bursts of flaming colors reflecting in her eyes. She'd never seen fireworks from the sky before! None of the family had. Kato was a little scared at first, but with Kid Joey's arm around his shoulders, he calmed down and enjoyed the show. Then, when the fireworks started to quiet down in Samoa, Sir WHIP changed direction, heading for New Zealand, where their fireworks were just beginning.
In Australia, Sir WHIP touched down on the Sydney Opera House roof, and let the whole family off his back for a while to stretch their legs and give him a rest while they watched the amazing fireworks show going on.
They headed for Honolulu, Hawaii next and clapped and cheered for the beautiful fireworks, and loved the hula dancers who were also part of the show, along with a great feast call a luau. They had a great time there, but Sir WHIP hurried them along for it was almost midnight in Kyoto, Japan, and that display was really cool.
Kid Joey watched Sir WHIP's wings pumping up and down, the dragon almost effortlessly balancing the family and hauling them through the air at incredible speed. He watched the fireworks reflecting on Sir WHIP's shiny scales, and smiled, thinking how awesome it was to have a fire-breathing dragon for a friend.
Kid Joey thought back over the year, and realized how wonderful it had been! He had met and become pals with his new grandfather, Gramps Blaze, he'd found out his Grandma Crystal could see things in her magical crystal ball, he'd fixed up the Kraken with Gramps Blaze and learned how to fish, and he'd discovered and become really great friends with Sir WHIP. What a year! And now he was flying all over the world watching New Year's fireworks displays in all kinds of different cities! And they were really, really cool!
They flew to Paris and the entire city's New Year crowd roared and cheered when Sir WHIP landed on the top of the Eiffel Tower, continued to flap his massive wings in greeting as they sparkled in the fireworks lights. No one had ever seen such a sight, and likely never would again, thought Kid Joey. He had the coolest friend ever!
Dubai's display was pretty awesome, and got a lot of oohs and ahs from the whole family, not to mention a couple of nervous whines from Kato who still wasn't sure he liked the whole flying thing, let alone the whole flying thing in the middle of flashes of fireworks. But when he saw Ro and Kid Joey laughing and pointing at the various fireworks and light shows, he calmed down and curled himself up under Ro's leg. She petted him gently, proud of him for being so brave.
They hit New York City hours after their start in Samoa, and even through they were all starting to feel a little worse for wear having gone so long without sleep, Mom and Dad, Ro and Kid Joey and the pups were nevertheless very excited to see the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, especially with such stunning fireworks lighting up her face.
All across the United States they pointed out historical landmarks, all lit up with fireworks and amid roars of celebratory crowds. Ro and Kid Joey clapped in glee as Mom and Dad held onto them with firm grips, making sure they were safe.
As Sir WHIP sparkled across the sky, and got attention from the crowds, many of whom mistakenly thought him a special fireworks display, he smiled to himself, so happy to have been able to surprise his adopted family with such an exciting trip.
Soon they flew over Baker Island in the Pacific Ocean, the last to celebrate the New Year.
As soon as the fireworks display was over, Sir WHIP banged a u-ey and soon he lighted atop the roof of Ro and Kid Joey's house, hopped down into the yard, light as a feather, and flattened out his neck so that everyone could crawl off him and head to their rooms to get some sleep. He shrunk down and followed them into the house.
Before they went to bed, though, even though the sun was well up into the sky, for Baker Island was far away and almost fourteen hours behind Eastern Standard Time. So midnight there meant it was…
"Wow! It's almost four thirty in the afternoon!" Kid Joey said, astonished, especially since he'd barely slept two hours last night before Sir WHIP had woken him up.
"Well, I got you back home as quick as I could. Now shoo! Bedtime!" the dragon defended his flying time from the far side of the Pacific Ocean.
"Before you go, I thought a special treat might be in order," Dad said, pulling a bottle of champagne out of the fridge. He poured a some into a special glass called a flute, for himself and Mom, and some for Sir WHIP, and sips for Kid Joey and Ro, then said, "Happy New Year everyone! And thank you, Sir WHIP, for the wonderful New Year adventure!"
Ro and Kid Joey squinched up their noses at the champagne's bubbles as they tickled, and grimaced at the taste of the bubbly wine.
"Ew. Why do grownups drink this stuff? It's yucky!" Kid Joey said, holding his glass down for Kato to have a taste. The bubbles startled Kato whose tongue lapped up over his nose. He stepped back and barked at the glass which still fizzed. Everyone laughed.
"It's a special drink that people use to toast special occasions," Dad explained.
"Which fireworks did you think were the best?" Mom asked.
"I loved London with the giant Ferris wheel!" Kid Joey said, his eyes sparkling.
"I liked Paris – I love the Eiffel Tower," Ro said. "but Dubai was kind of cool too. That big tall building with all the lights was really neat!"
"The Australian one was very pretty with the white finale," Mom said.
"I liked China's," Sir WHIP said. "They invented fireworks, and they honor dragons above all other creatures."
Everyone nodded at that.
"I liked New York City with all the fireworks going off around the Statue of Liberty, lighting up her face. It made me happy to live here in our country," said Dad, and everyone liked his choice.
Kato was just glad to be standing with his feet on solid ground instead of slippery, wiggling dragon scales.
Within half an hour everyone was asleep, dreaming about all the beautiful things they'd seen on their Happy New Year Adventure with Sir WHIP.
TD – 12/27/2015