Thursday, July 28, 2016

OUR STAYCATION - HUGE SUCCESS?

Last week we were on Staycation and it was a huge success.  We were busy every day.  We began our Staycation Saturday evening by going to the drive-in to see Finding Dory.  The evening was warm, perfect, and gorgeous.  We packed our cooler with drinks and snacks, but still bought chicken fingers, fries and slushies from the concession stand.  Although, Elliot periodically watched the film, he spent a good portion of the time playing amongst the dirt and rocks.
Elliot, waiting for the movie to start
Sunday, Elliot went to visit his father and grandparents.  I cut the grass, washed clothes (we designated an area to layout the clothes we would be wearing during our Staycation – this turned out to be an excellent idea, a timesaver and solved the dilemma of what to wear).  All other clothes were put away.  We also prepared a few foods ahead of time for easy heat and eat meals.

Monday morning, we signed Elliot up for Vacation Bible School.  It was the only morning he went.  He couldn’t get over our leaving him there and refused to go again.  This was actually a good thing, as it made our mornings less hectic and we were not in rush mode.  We picked Elliot up at noon and headed out for the Children’s Museum, then the Duquesne Incline.  We ended this very hot day with ice cream treats at Dairy Queen.
Being creative at the Children's Museum
Tuesday, we headed down to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History (one of Kayla’s favorite places).  The building was cool and Elliot was very well behaved.  Afterward, we were supposed to ride the PNC Carousel, however, parking is an issue in Oakland, so we visited Dave and Andy’s Homemade Ice Cream shop instead.  That evening we had dinner reservations at The Olive Garden.
Checking out dinosaur bones at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Wednesday, Mom joined us for Polar Bear Pop at the Pittsburgh Zoo.  We took the tram to travel the park (it was a very hot day) and only toured a few sites.  That evening, Kay, Elliot and I enjoyed dinner and a show on a Pirate-themed Gateway Clipper Cruise.  Highlights: Elliot threw up after dinner and a few crew members cleaned that up; Elliot spent most of the time lying under the table watching Kids’ YouTube. 
Hanging with the Polar Bear at the Pittsburgh Zoo
Thursday, I left free for Kayla to fill.  She said, why don’t we rest.  HAHAHA.  So, except for her having a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon, we mostly stayed close to home.  I did laundry and we packed for our trip to Ligonier.
Touring Fort Ligonier in the rain
Friday, we loaded the car with swimsuits, stroller, blankets, sunglasses, books, and a cooler filled with lots of water, and headed on out to Ligonier.  Beautiful drive, but once we hit our destination, the Ramada Ligonier, to pick up our amusement park tickets, it began to rain and thunder and lightning.   We decided to explore Fort Ligonier instead and then walked Main Street (this little town is lovely!), had lunch at Abigail’s (delicious) and then checked into our room.  We unpacked and ordered Chinese, which Elliot and I walked to pick up. The Ramada Ligonier has an outdoor pool, and if you go there around dinner time, there’s a good chance you will have the pool to yourself (as we did). 
Enjoying the Hotel's outdoor pool
Saturday, after our complimentary breakfast of waffles, eggs, ham, potatoes, toast, juice and a ton of other choices, and after Elliot played at the Lego table, we packed up the car and headed on over to Idlewild Park where we spent the day (until the thunder, lightning, and rain) riding, playing and swimming.  We were home by six, tired, yet happy and rested.
A little downtime
Are you considering going on Staycation?  Check your State’s “official tourism” website for ideas of where to go and what to see.  In Pennsylvania, the website address is: www.visitpa.com.  It has a special section for PA Road Trips that I refer to often.  Then, set a budget and stick to it.  Many of our activities we paid for strictly in cash (we set up a binder with each day’s activities and driving directions stored in a plastic sleeve, along with the amount of money we anticipated we’d need for that day).  Careful planning and lots of research ahead of time really made for a fun and relaxing week (well, except for maybe the many times we drove around in circles because I have NO sense of direction).
Elliot, ready for the road???
Have you gone on Staycation?  If so, what fun things did you do?  I’m thinking of maybe a four day during the autumn months (our favorite time of year).  Any ideas??

Sweet dreams after a day well lived
Peace,
Trish

Please note that the links provided in today's post are for convenience and informational purposes only.

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