Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Family ‘Staycation’

Our pre-Easter trip gave us three nights with son Walt and his family. The visit also supplied an opportunity to tag along on one day’s adventures of the “staycation,” the stay-at-home vacation ” daughter-in-law Sarah and son Walt had mapped out for their offspring to experience Atlanta’s attractions.

Baboo and Nana, AKA Walter and Linda, tagged along for Monday’s trip to Zoo Atlanta. Walt worked most of the week and joined the fun on Good Friday for a trip to the aquarium.
From the left, Stella, Nate with Flat Stanley, Luke and Charlie pause for a photo in Flamingo Plaza at Zoo Atlanta.

Sarah’s temporary exit to locate Baboo was the perfect chance for capturing pix of the Fab Four. The kids and I waited just inside the entrance. The girls skipped and twirled in the yet-to-be-crowded Flamingo Plaza.

The boys, true Skupien males, pored over their maps of the zoo, charting the quickest route that would take them to the monitor lizard and the World of Reptiles. Both boys had asked for their own personal copies of the zoo map, and they proudly lined up for the photo with their maps on display.

Nate was diligent about keeping Flat Stanley involved. Notice Stanley peeking out over the top of Nate’s map. The grands were back in school this week, and I am looking forward to a report on the reception accorded Nate’s completion of the Flat Stanley assignment. Flat Stanley is a 1964 children's book written by Jeff Brown. I think I need to put it on my to-read list.

Sarah makes memories.

Then we were on our way. The lush foliage in the photo above was one of the great design features of the zoo. Mature trees shaded much of the connecting walkways, and there were even frequent tags identifying plants large and small.

The spacious paved paths were another design plus. Even as the crowds grew thicker, we were able to maneuver my lightweight transporter wheelchair with little difficulty. At least that was my impression, but I was just sitting in my chariot, a lady of leisure. Husband Walter provided the push power, so his take on the ease of maneuvering in increasingly more crowded conditions might be different, especially since there was often one of the grands hitching a ride on my lap. 

Charlie and Stella encounter sheep in the petting zoo.
Even though we hadn’t gone to the reptile house first, the boys as well as the girls enjoyed the petting zoo.

Cuddly looking guest from China
Unlike some of the creatures in outdoor living arrangements, the pandas were quite active in their air-conditioned indoor habitat. What a treat to see these real-life mammals, the species that was the model for the teddy bear of my childhood. Okay, I admit it, the teddy bear of my teen years, too. In fact, I slept with that teddy bear until I got married.

Nate makes sure Flat Stanley’s visit to the pandas is documented.

Nate’s photo of the spitting red cobra
Our guys could have spent hours among the reptiles. But there were orangutans, gorillas, giraffes, emus, a rhinoceros, elephant, kangeroo, tigers and more to see. The kids were also looking forward to their choice between a train ride around the zoo or a ride on the carousel, populated with creatures of the wild instead of horses.

Alas, after the reptiles my energy had diminished, and the crowds had grown until taking photos was no longer a priority. But husband Walter posted his images of the zoo excursion here. After the train and carousel, we headed back to the Skupien household. Sarah took orders for our individual choice of a flavor from her stash of Blue Bell ice cream, and we topped off a wonderful day with bowls of the luscious treat. 


  1. Looks like such fun! And a real Panda, you just can't get any better than that!

  2. i would love to see this zoo and i would be in their with the kids petting those sweet animals. i even like to view reptiles but only when contained away from me. staycation is a super idea.

  3. We took grandchildren and children to the zoo at differnt times. Always fun to see things from the perspective of a child, or a Flat Stanley. Dianne

  4. That Flat Stanley is so cute! Good job! I love the photos and write-up today, as always.

  5. "Kudos" to you and Walter for making the trip to the zoo with the little ones! Ed and I chose to sit out the recent zoo trip of our little ones, even though we were invited along. We had to stay home and "chicken sit"!

    Flat Stanley appeared to be enjoying his trip :)