So, you ever have a great idea?
An idea so epic that you know everyone will love it and it will be a huge success and your idea will go down in history as one of the greatest ideas ever to have been imagined?
I had two of those ideas, this summer.
It was called Field Station Dinosaurs.
All over Facebook, I had seen people post pictures of their children at this cool place where they had animatronic dinosaurs as you walked through paths in, what was supposed to be, a prehistoric jungle.
There were learning stations throughout so you could meet with “paleontologists” and learn about the age of the dinosaurs.
A little boys dream.
So, Real Man and I packed the kids in the car and said we had a surprise.
We got there and immediately, their guard was up.
“What is this place?”
“This looks boring.”
“I just wanted to stay home and play outside.”
But I was sure that as soon as we got inside, they would love it.
To say they didn’t would be an egregious understatement.
At one point, Monkey in the Middle actually said, “Did you bring us here to punish us?”
Yes, dear. We spent $100 to teach you all a lesson.
Real Man, Monkey Girl, Tiny and I thought it was pretty neat.
The facts that they had posted at each dinosaur were interesting.
For example, Spielberg got it wrong, in Jurassic Park, when he made the Velociraptor human sized. The truth is that they were about the size of a turkey vulture. I did not know that.
So, there certainly was a lot to be learned…IF you were open to learning it.
It wasn’t until the very last “station,” where they were trying to solve the mystery of the disappearance of the dinosaurs and a T-Rex came out and interacted with the audience and a man with a baby dinosaur puppet scared the bejesus out of Tiny, that the boys began to come around.
On the way to the car, Monkey in the Middle said “I guess that was kinda cool.”
We only have one picture of the day because none of the boys were willing to stand in front of a dinosaur.
On the way to Field Station Dinosaurs, you could see New York City in the distance.
Monkey Girl has been to NYC, but the boys have not, and Baby Monkey just kept talking about the city and how cool it must be and how much he wanted to go.
So, Real Man and I planned a day trip into the city.
It was to be simple.
Train into Penn Station, then walk to the NYC Toys R Us (Monkey Girl had told the boys all about it when she had been there and they were so curious about the ferris wheel INSIDE a building), then maybe head to the Empire State Building, back to Penn Station and home.
In and out, and home for Monkey in the Middle’s hockey game that afternoon.
The train ride was great. Everyone was excited and happy and raring to go.
Check out the eyelashes on this kid. Wish he got them from me!
However, when we stepped out of Penn Station, onto the street, immediately Monkey in the Middle was upset by the noise.
As we started walking, Baby Monkey began to complain that his feet hurt and he was hungry.
Realizing it had been awhile since we had eaten, we decided to stop into a shop and pick up a quick snack.
Everyone picked a snack except for…you guessed it…Baby Monkey.
After 15 minutes, he finally picked something (everyone else’s had been paid for and and almost eaten by this time) and we headed out to eat.
We got to the store and immediately headed to the ferris wheel, as there were no lines.
I got to ride with Baby who kept up a sweet, constant stream of chatter the entire time.
We checked out the entire store and told the kids we’d be happy to buy them each a little something, but they’d be responsible for carrying it.
You can imagine what that bit of information was met with.
So, we headed out and began the trek to the Empire State Building.
Taking several breaks along the way.
By the time we got there, no one was even the slightest bit interested in going inside, except for Monkey Girl, so she and I checked out the lobby and off we went, again.
For the kids, the highlight of the entire trip was eating at a Wendy’s in the city.
You know, because it’s not like we eat at Wendy’s at least once a week anyway.
1. Sometimes, summer is too long.
I think that by this point in the summer (very end of August/beginning of September) we could have taken the kids to Disney and they would have complained.
2. Know your kids.
I know my boys aren’t into dinosaurs the way other kids are, but I figured the coolness of the whole thing would make it more exciting.
But, my kids are my kids and they know what they like and don’t like.
It’s as if someone took me to Fashion Week and made me sit through a million fashion shows.
It would be cool because of the celebrities who might be there, but otherwise, I’d be bored out of my skull.
I’m not a fashion girl and my boys aren’t dinosaur boys.
3. Home is almost always better.
On both occasions, when we got home, the kids were back to playing in just a few minutes and having much more fun than they had on our adventures.
4. We’re instituting a bit of a moratorium on the day trips around here.
Don’t get me wrong. Lest they sound like spoiled, entitled brats, I should say that at the end of the day, they all said “thank you for taking us,” and did talk about their favorite parts (who knew they had any?) of the trips, but we’ll probably stick with the tried and true for awhile.
So, what about you?
Ever take a trip that you thought would be fantastic and it turned out to be barely mediocre or met with much less enthusiasm than you had hoped?