Dinosaurs… OH MY!

In Kindergarten, when I first encountered dinosaurs, I wasn’t too sure about them.  I mean, they looked a lot like lizards to me.  But, if I had to pick a favorite (and I felt as though I did), it was the Stegosaurus.  Not quite sure why.  He probably seemed somehow under-represented to me.  I mean, everyone liked T-Rex.  Stegosaurus was clearly the underdog.

Apparently, the love of T-Rex has carried into the adulthood of the creator of the T-Rex Cafe.  Maybe he feels sorry for the T-Rex because it has small arms?  I just think T-Rex is kind of a bully.  But whatever.

We met up with friends at the restaurant.  I would like to say that it was their 6 year old daughter’s idea to eat with the dinosaurs.  But, if they hadn’t suggested it, Monkito would have.  In fact, Monkito tried to strong arm me into having dinner at T-Rex for my birthday.  But I nipped that in the bud.  This time, however, I was clearly outnumbered.

I try to go into situations void of expectations that would skew the actual experience.  But I would be lying if I told you that I didn’t expect to be eating the equivalent of fossilized dinosaur poop for dinner.  Food in theme restaurants doesn’t have a reputation for being more than barely adequate, after all.

Even if the food had been bad, I would have been so distracted by all the stimuli that it wouldn’t have mattered.  There were moving dinosaurs.  Dinosaurs that move!  And they are huge.  They roar!  The EXTINCTION gets dramatized with flashing/dimming lights (when the meteor comes close to (hits?) the Earth).  The Ice Cave dining area changed from blue to pink back to white (and it did seem colder in there than in other parts of the restaurant!  Authentic details!).  A prehistoric octopus dominated another dining area, as jellyfish bobbed above diners’ heads.  Woolly Mammoths, baby Brontosauri and all varieties of other prehistoric creatures milled about the restaurant in the underbrush, waiting on a timed cycle spring to life.

Being with kids totally made the experience rad.  The movement and the lights mesmerized the baby (9 months).  The 6 year old rattled off some dinosaur information in my direction, then drug me to meet her favorite dinosaur, Roxy (the baby Brontosaurus).  Then we were off to dig for dinosaur bones and sift sand (or limestone or something) for fossils.

The whole expedition can be overwhelming for adults (well, unless you have Monkito’s spirit of youth and all), but it was a great atmosphere for kids to be who they are (no need for volume control… you can’t hear them over the roaring).  Believe it or not, I would go back… but Monkito and I would have to borrow a kid or something.  My pride just can’t handle trying to take myself seriously while I eat with a dinosaur breathing down my neck without a kid to blame it on.

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