‘Sweetest’ grandpa stages elaborate vacation photo shoots for granddaughter’s Peppa Pig toys

A man whose granddaughter stashed her Peppa Pig toys into his suitcase took them on a grand adventure, and TikTok is in hog heaven.

And there's an update to this story: Grandpa surprised his granddaughter with his video of the pigs' adventures, and she was smiling from ear to ear.

Five-year-old Lisette of Sacramento, California, loves "Peppa Pig," an English animated television series about a pig and her family. While her grandfather, David Zielke, 64, packed for a 10-day trip to Cabo San Lucas, she slipped four figurines into his luggage.

David Zielke took photos of his granddaughter's
David Zielke took photos of his granddaughter's

On March 5, Tanya shared a YouTube video of her neice reacting to the pigs’ vacation.

“You were in my heart the whole time we were gone,” David said in a video voice-over. “Thanks to your little toys, hopefully you enjoyed this video. This is a souvenir for you that you’ll be able to look back on, maybe long after I’m gone. It’s just a little sign of love that I have for you and your little brother.”

“Yippee!” said the girl.

David didn’t notice the toys until he dug through his belongings on the first night of their trip.

“Our initial reaction was that (Lisette) wanted to come so bad, that she (gave us) her toys,” Tanya Zielke, who is Lisette’s aunt, tells TODAY.com. “If she wasn't able to go, well then, the toys had to go on this adventure."

"We had to keep the toys safe because if one went missing or didn’t come back, we would be in big trouble," she says.

The family decided to keep the toys with them at all times and video record their adventure, part of which Tanya shared on TikTok in a video that went viral.

Ready for a swim, guys? David Zielke staged photo shoots featuring his granddaughter's
Ready for a swim, guys? David Zielke staged photo shoots featuring his granddaughter's

“You guys want to see the sweetest thing? So my niece took her favorite toys and packed them into my dad’s luggage,” "she said in the video, which has more than 11 million views. “He has been making this story of all their adventures for her and he’s going to play it for her when he gets back.”

The video not only shows the toys living their best lives, but David as cameraman, delicately staging shots in exotic locations: On a whale-watching boat, laying on the beach, and enjoying a fine dining experience.

“Don’t go too far out in the middle,” David cautioned the pigs as they floated on their backs in a pool. “Now, we’re going to sunbathe while we dry off,” he said, after placing the figurines on a lounge chair.

The footage also showed a family meal where the toys served as centerpieces. “We are having a fancy meal here,” David said in the video. “We better be on (our) best behavior — don’t drink too much!”

The pig family takes a refreshing swim. (Courtesy Tanya Marie)
The pig family takes a refreshing swim. (Courtesy Tanya Marie)

David carried the toys in a special black tote bag.

“At first, it was kind of embarrassing because as adults, we were randomly pulling them out during activities and sometimes there was a language barrier,” Tanya says. It wasn’t long, however, before people understood the endearing assignment.

“You could see the smiles come across everyone’s face as soon as they found out what was going on,” she says.

The pigs even checked into a fancy resort where Tanya and her family stayed to attend a wedding. “It was very much an all-inclusive experience,” she says. At the wedding reception, the pigs were positioned on the dinner table and met the bride and groom.

This week, Tanya shared a vacation update. “So I did not know TikTok was going to go this hard for my dad,” she said in a video. “He is so overwhelmed by the comments.”

After their dip in the pool, the Peppa Pig toys sunbathe in Mexico. (Courtesy Tanya Zielke)
After their dip in the pool, the Peppa Pig toys sunbathe in Mexico. (Courtesy Tanya Zielke)

Watching her parents become grandparents is special for Tanya, who is pregnant with her first child.

“My dad is a goofball and he doesn’t care what people think of him,” she says. “He had no shame in pulling out those toys.”

At the weekend gathering, the family will wear Peppa Pig T-shirts and Lisette will receive a Peppa-printed dress while she and her 3-year-old brother are getting Peppa stuffed animals.

The kids will visit an aquarium and In-N-Out restaurant.

"My dad is excited,” says Tanya. "He is getting older and I hope my kids can experience him for a long time."

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This article was originally published on TODAY.com