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saying goodbye to the lawrence hall dinosaurs

I’m feeling weepy about the end of an era in our lives.

The six month occupation of the Lawrence Hall of Science by the Dinosaurs Unearthed exhibit.

We were there from the first day, on May 28th, when we stumbled upon the opening by accident. We had no idea it was coming, and we never could have anticipated how it would have shaped our lives for the next half-year.

Not only in the fact that Jonah visited the museum on average twice a week for most of the entire run (either with me, another family member, or his nanny share) but also in how we completely immersed ourselves in the dinosaur encyclopedias and then the Dinosaur Train TV show, how we can recite the entire dinosaur alphabet (with one or two flubs on the more obscure ones).

I learned today that the exhibit originated in China and travels continuously around the world, stopping in each location for 3-6 months. We’re lucky we got six.

I knew virtually NOTHING about dinosaurs six months ago. Lawrence Hall, you changed my brain.

We’ll go back again when the new exhibit opens in February, but I doubt any subject will capture our hearts as completely as the dinosaurs did. “Digging up” the bones in the pretend sand, visiting the REAL ACTUAL crumbling Triceratops skull in that strange hidden alcove under the stairs on the lower floor, which wasn’t even roped off from curious hands the first few times we viewed it. The hundred and one times Jonah refused to enter the dark room where the majority of the dinosaurs were housed; the four or five times he did. Especially the last two visits with me where he deemed the room less dark than it had been before. And one of the early visits when I tried to convince him that his ear-flap hat would protect him. And one of the more recent visits when he explained to me that he did not believe that the animatronic roaring beasts in the dark room were NOT going to eat him. The visit where he got to “excavate” a toy dinosaur from a small block of clay and we both took a turn wearing an electronically-driven pvc-pipe-constructed dinosaur tail that moved when you walked.

And how, even today, he insisted on taking the door furthest from the Tyrannosaurus when we went out in the back garden, and only at a dead run, while covering his ears.

The memories tour, starting at the front entrance:

And, into the dark room!

Outside (and from far away)

Downstairs:

Also downstairs and my favorite part of the whole exhibit:

And a video of Jonah wearing the “tail”:

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