Yesterday the baby and I joined my mom and stepdad for a staycation. It was like a roadtrip, except we never left town.

We started our day off at the zoo. The baby and I are members at the local zoo, so we’ve been there several times, but yesterday they were having an “elebration”. The oldest zoo resident, an Asian elephant named Gunda, is celebrating her 61st birthday this month.
Gunda is the elephant on the right. We just missed getting to see the elephant bubble baths in the morning, but we did get to partake in several keeper chats and actually enjoy the outdoors thanks to the cold front that blew in yesterday.
Steele enjoying his favorite zoo exhibit (the playground train) and watching the elephants perform their enrichment activities.

We finally wrapped up our zoo visit around 1pm and were ready to head for the mall (Baba wanted to take the baby to the Build-a-Bear Workshop to buy a friend for “Monkey”). Since it was nap time, we tried to take the long way to the mall so the baby could get some rest in that day. Unfortunately the long way still got us there in about 25 minutes. In order to waste some time we decided to drive through Steak and Shake and get ourselves a picnic lunch. The plan didn’t work so well because the drive-thru speaker woke the baby up.

So we got our food and headed off for destination number two: a picnic at the local cemetery. I realize many people may think this is an odd choice for a picnic, but I am personally a big fan of cemeteries. They are pretty and quiet and the older ones offer some great history as well as a bit of mystery. Also, it seems a waste to have all that pretty park space go unvisited. And I’m sure the residents appreciate the company. This particular cemetery is not very old, but what it lacks in history it makes up in pretty scenery.
We had a nice picnic in the back of my mom’s SUV and then took a walk around the pond, making a quick stop for one of Steele’s favorite activities: throwing rocks.

Following our picnic lunch we jumped back into the car and up the road to the “big mall”. Our only purpose to build a friend for monkey at the Build-a-Bear Workshop. Monkey is the animal we built for Steele at a Build-a-Bear in Oklahoma City. He’s also one of Steele’s favorite toys. This building experience was a bit more fun than the last one. Steele participated a lot more in the building phase. We even filled out a birth certificate this time. Monkey’s new friend is an overly fat dachshund, aptly named “Dog”. My son is very imaginative with his naming.
A slightly blurry picture of Steele showing dog how to work the computer.
After leaving the Build-a-Bear we head straight across the mall to the Disney Store for a little browsing then on to the playground (conveniently located next to a Starbucks).
Steele and I posed for a couple of self portraits in the mall. One of us riding the carousel and one of us at the mall playground. We had had a very full day by the time we dragged Steele off the playground. We got back in the car and headed home for a quick rest before the final stop on our Staycation itinerary: the baseball stadium downtown for some baseball and the final fireworks show of the season.

Steele playing with the helmets from our ice cream sundaes. Our team lost the game, but we had a great time anyway. And the fireworks were really good that night.

We had a great time and packed a ton of activities into just one day. As with a vacation, I was pretty worn out when we got home, but it was well worth it. I would highly recommend the staycation to anyone in need of a getaway or looking for a break from the ordinary.

Thanks Baba and Cappy!

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