Staycation 2009

John and I had talked before about the idea of a “staycation” — time where he takes off work but we “stay” home and visit our hometown as tourists. We’ve had a few fun Saturdays out exploring that caused us to think more seriously about the idea. Then I realized what I truly want in a vaction — time away from my day-to-day chores (cooking), time with my family. And what I don’t enjoy about going on trips — packing, all the laundry upon return, getting there and back. A staycation would give me what I wanted without the stresses of what I didn’t. So, with just a few days’ notice, John scheduled some time off, and I planned some events for the family. I worked through Austin by “area”, choosing activities and restaurants. We stayed home for Elizabeth’s morning nap some days. Mostly, she napped as we went along our activities.

Day One: South Central
brunch at Kerby Lane
Austin Science and Nature Center
Zephyr at Zilker; explore Zilker and Barton Springs
dinner at Shady Grove
Bat cruise

(We were hot and exhausted after day one and scaled back the other days)

Day Two: Central
lunch at Central Market
afternoon at Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum
walk around The Triangle
dinner at Mandola’s
gelato at Teo’s

Day Three: Round Rock
breakfast at Lone Star Bakery (Round Rock Donuts)
Inner Space Caverns — we saw lots of bats and were the only guests on our early tour
lunch at Rudy’s
afternoon at Rock ‘n’ River — John and I took turns watching the girls while the other went on the slides. FUN for all of us with shallow splash areas for Elizabeth, kiddie slides for Caroline, fun slides for the grown-ups, and a lazy river for the whole family.

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The Wiggles! Tips for maximizing your kid’s enjoyment of the show

Caroline checks out a movie each week from the library, and one show or another by The Wiggles is usually her choice. About the same time she began identifying Australia on the globe and asking when we could go see them, I read that they were coming to Austin. So, way back in May, I bought tickets. And I told her about it.

Tip One: You might want to wait a bit before you share the good news.

We created a countdown calendar and she began telling everyone we encountered that she was going to see The Wiggles in August. Today was the day!

This is the Goin’ Bananas tour, so we watched the Goin’ Bananas show a few times on Netflix, thinking we’d need to learn those songs.

Tip Two: They sing a variety of songs from all their albums, so you don’t need to learn a bunch of new ones. It’s fun to know them all, of course. But you can count on favorites like Fruit Salad and Hot Potato, too.

These guys are fantastic. Really, it is a good show. They interject humor for the adults. They do some pretty athletic feats. They’re cute. You’ll enjoy the show alongside your kids.

I had read online to take roses for Dorothy the Dinosaur and doggie treats for Wags the Dog. At our show, they did sent the dancers out to collect roses for Dorothy. The dancers then presented the flowers to her after doing a dance from their heritage. I though, though, it said flowers, not roses. We brought some purple flowers. The neat thing about that, though, was that we knew which were our flowers when they were given to Dorothy.

Tip Three: bring flowers and dog treats, just in case.

I thought the woman in front of us was really annoying, bring this big sign to hold up. Well, it turns out, that is another part of the show. The Wiggles take a few moments and read aloud all the signs that the kids made. They really put effort into this and tried to read the signs in the balcony even.

Tip Four: make a sign to take — big letters! My favorite was Keep Austin Wiggly!

Here are our pictures.
My final tip is just enjoy the show!