The Mystery in the Forbidden City
Chapter 1 Homesick in Beijing
“I miss Grandpa Harry’s waffles,” Ella Briar said with a pout.
“I miss the blueberry muffins from Petunia Bakery,” her brother, Ethan, added.
The twins frowned at their plates, which were piled high with fried rice, pickled vegetables, and some foods they didn’t recognize. The Briar
family was having breakfast at their hotel, the Beijing Imperial. The large dining room was decorated with red and gold furniture and paintings of swirly dragons.
“But, kids, we’re having an eating adventure!” their dad, Andrew, said as he reached for his chopsticks. “Check out those delicious-looking bao!”
“Our neighbor Mrs. Chen used to make bao when I was growing up,” their mom, Josephine, said with a smile. “My favorites were the ones with sweet beans in them. They tasted like little cakes!”
Ella picked up a bao and bit into it carefully. The steamed bun was warm and soft on the outside and filled with
sweet barbecued meat inside. It was actually really good.
She still missed Grandpa Harry’s waffles, though. He always decorated them with chocolate-chip smiley faces. Ella missed everything and everyone back in Brookeston. She knew Ethan did too.
The Briars had been traveling around the world for more than a month now. The reason for their big trip was Mrs. Briar’s job. The Brookeston Times newspaper had hired her to write a travel column, Journeys with Jo!