The Day We Were Stalked by a T.rex

The other week I headed to Trenton, NJ and met up with a few blogger friends for a Jersey Family Fun day at the NJ State Museum. Jennifer, the brains behind Jersey Family Fun, planned a great day for everyone:

Museum tour with a surprise guest
3D Laser Nutcracker show in the Planetarium
Lunch together in a reserved room
Tour of the State House
and a “Make a Law” program for older kids.

Since the X-man is just two years old, I only planned to explore the museum, watch the laser light show, and then head out after lunch. I was excited to see the laser show because I thought X was going to love it.

The best part of the day was the surprise guest though. A visit from Tyrannosaurus Rex! T.rex was a preview of the Field Station Dinosaurs attraction which will be opening this Spring in Secaucus, NJ.

All the kids gathered to see and hear Sam, the dinosaur troubadour, sing about dinosaurs. After getting the kids hyped up with a fun song about Tyrannosaurus Rex a HUGE T.rex came walking around the corner and surprised us all!

This thing was 15 feet and the size of a juvenile T.rex. Truly, it has to be the best puppet/costume I’ve ever seen. Even though none of us really know what dinosaurs looked like I was pretty darned convinced by this T.rex. It is FULLY INTERACTIVE. It sniffs, snorts, roars, blinks, and walks. The kids were amazed (and so was I). The X-man’s survival instincts didn’t take long to kick in though and he soon crawled as fast as he could through the legs of all the adults standing in the back. See us in the background on the Trenton Times site just before X totally left me behind as dino-meat!

After I caught back up with him and he insisted, “we go now” and “I go mommy’s car now” I decided to head down to the planetarium and wait for the light show.

Next thing I know, T.rex comes lumbering around the corner again and we are essentially pinned against the wall as he sniffs and interacts with museum patrons again. As any momma would, I successfully hid X behind me as T-Rex passed and we made it into the light show without incident.

Unfortunately, I think I may have wasted my money on the light show. The show just did not hold X’s attention long enough and he was bouncing all over the place. I felt sorry for the girl sitting next to us! He even escaped once and had me chasing after him in the sold-out and dark theater. Luckily, everyone was looking up and the music was loud enough that no one said they saw me running around like a crazy woman.

I was about to give up and leave the theatre when the exit doors open up. Relief! They were conveniently located right in front of us too. But before we could get up and get out of there T.rex comes in!! We had NO WHERE TO ESCAPE since Rex and his handlers were blocking the exit. The big beast was now standing right in front of us as he tried to maneuver into the theatre and let us all know we were now in his territory.

X hopped up on my lap and was screaming and clinging to me like a scared little monkey. He was literally shaking. Poor kid. As T.rex slowly backed out and swung around he was inches from my face. And although this was a very friendly and tame T.rex, I couldn’t help but be reminded of that scene in Jurassic Park where the the giant not-so-tame T.rex inquisitively inspects the cars and looks in at kids.

Let me mention, that I once volunteered at the Franklin Institute for about a year and was there during a special Jurassic Park exhibit. I was subjected to repeating scene loops of the popular movie while I worked the exhibit and taught visitors about dinosaurs. No lie, I had recurrent dinosaur nightmares for years after that exhibit. (Can’t wait for Jurassic Park IV!)  Haven’t had a dino-mare in years but if one pops up again I am so blaming Jennifer!

After the light show, we waited a bit for T.rex to fully clear the area and then headed outside because mommy had to feed-the-parking-meter.

Guess who was outside and at the door!? Waiting to make an meal out of unsuspecting visitors, perhaps? We easily by-passed him/her this time though as others offered themselves up as easy prey.

Then we headed down the street to meet up with our group to eat our packed lunches in another building….

We just couldn’t escape even though I was truly trying to avoid the toddler-terrifying creature.

But at least I know X isn’t scarred for life since he likes to look and ROAR at these pictures. He even tries to sing the Mighty T.Rex song that Troubadour Sam taught us. Can’t wait till he gets a little older because we are so going to check out the Field Station Dinosaurs! :)

 

My Hair Dryer DIED!!!

Do you believe this? My hair dryer died! I’ve had this thing for around 20 years and NOW all of a sudden it wants to just quit on me? What’s up with that CONAIR!?

On a more serious note, the hoarder inside me wants to keep this broken thing. You can still see part of where my mom wrote my name on it from when I took it to school or somewhere. She died 7 years ago. :( She’s the one who bought it for me too. If I remember correctly it was a Christmas gift and I think it was MORE than 20 years ago.

So help me pick out a new one and say goodbye to my Conair ProStyle 1250. Should I go with Conair again since I had such luck the first time around? Or are there new and better brands out there now?

4th of July, 2011

We enjoyed an old fashioned 4th of July celebration on the grounds of the Mercer and Fonthill Museums.

The day started with a decorated children’s bike parade. With well over 100 children in the parade it had to be one of the cutest parades I’ve ever seen! Everyone rode over massive sheets of bubble wrap. We were towards the back of the parade and had no clue what all the noise was … it fun surprise for the kids! Afterwards, the museum gave out lots of awards to kids with the best decorated bikes. We didn’t win any this year but just wait to next year cause we are so gonna BRING IT! :-D

After the parade we enjoyed potato sack races, an obstacle course challenge, a watermelon eating contest and more. There was even a tent filled with old fashioned toys and musical instruments that the kids were allowed to freely play with.

NEW Night Time Parade at Sesame Place

Sesame Street is one of the first TV shows I allowed my toddler to watch. Since I grew up on the show like most of America it was an easy decision. I knew it was wholesome entertainment that’s occasionally amusing to adults – True Blood parody, anyone?

My son quickly grew fond of Elmo, Abby, and many of the other characters on the Sesame Street. And amazingly lucky for us we are not too far from Sesame Place, the children’s theme park based on the classic television show.

This weekend we were invited to explore the park and watch the debut of their first ever night time parade!

We arrived in the late afternoon and almost immediately ran into Oscar the Grouch hanging out in his trashcan! Shortly afterwards, Liz from SixYearItch spotted us walking down the main street through the Sesame neighborhood. She and her daughter were checking out the fire station that’s part of the life size recreation of Sesame Street.

We moved on to the rides. Big Bird’s Balloon ride was the most anticipated ride of the day for X. He also loved the Sunny Day Carousel and for the very first time he stayed on a horse for the whole ride instead of on the bench seat!

In between rides, we caught a couple of shows. First was Elmo’s World Live which is wonderful live recreation of the Elmo’s World you see on the TV show. The ‘episode’ that plays at the park focuses on the art of dance. Kids and parents are very much encouraged to get up and dance throughout the show.

We found an easy and fast dinner at Elmo’s Eatery. The food is moderately priced, and even better if you get the 30% off season pass discount, considering kids’ meals come with a cute souvenir plate and cup. But this is where my only real (and maybe silly) gripe of the day happens. This is our 2nd time visiting the park, the first being very early in the season. I was looking forward to getting a 2nd matching Elmo plate. Unfortunately, they’ve since changed the souvenir plates and we now have 2 different Elmo plates that don’t stack well. I also like the look of the 1st plate better. Bummer! I do appreciate that the 2nd plate specifies that it is BPA free on the back though.

Finally, it was getting closer to the debut of the parade. You could tell everyone was excited because despite the parade not starting till 9PM families were staking out their spots along the parade route as early as 8PM! We were invited to the VIP pre-parade character meet & greet so made our way to that area. Meet & greets are generally reserved for Big Bird and Super Grover season pass holders only. With only a dozen or so families there, this made the meet-and-greet experience more intimate and less overwhelming.

X was immediately excited when the first characters started trickling out. He desperately wanted to give Telly a hug and a high five. He had his arms open and ready to go… until we actually got up to Telly at which point he decided we were WAY TOO CLOSE and that he wanted nothing to do with this monster touching business. After our quick photo, he cheerfully chirped, “Bye Telly!” and waved as we walked away. A similar scenario played out with the rest of the characters! But we had fun nonetheless and got to meet so many characters, including: Murray, Elmo, the Count, Bert & Ernie, Abby Cadabby, Grover, Cookie Monster, Rosita, Big Bird, Prairie Dawn and Telly.

 


After the meet & greet it was finally dark and the night parade kicked off with lots of fun music and lights along the entire way. All the kids loved it and it was just the perfect length for holding little people’s attention. Not too long or short!

We can’t wait to be able to go again. Thanks so much to Sesame Place and Girl Gone Mom for inviting us and letting us share in this fun day and evening!

(Sorry for the blurry cell phone pics, next time I definitely need to bring a real camera)