Call me Thomas, but despite my 37 years on this planet, for some reason I’ve never really actually believed that there were indeed dinosaurs on this planet. I’ve seen them in Ice Age, I’ve watched (and adored) Jurassic Park, Night at the Museum, even the Dinotopia TV series, but something about the whole T-Rex thing just hasn’t ever seemed real to me. I’ve never thought to myself that they weren’t real, per se; it just never sank in that they weren’t just Hollywood creations.
I met someone called Dippy, and he stopped my super-charged son in his tracks.
On Tuesday last week we traveled (bravely) on the tube to London (well, some of the way; some of the way we drove as firstly it was cheaper and secondly the thought of Baby Dragon on a rampage through one of British Rail’s most crowded vehicles wasn’t one that filled me with desire to extend what were twenty five minute journeys into 2 hour twenty five minute ones).
As our reason for being in the capital wasn’t starting until 4.30 in the afternoon, we decided to take in the sights at the Natural History Museum. Discounting the lovely Black Country Museum in the Midlands, I’d never been to a museum before. Dadda of course had (this one too) but in any case, this was our first trip as a family.
After queuing outside in the snow for 45 minutes, we finally breached the doors of the museum and there he was. Dippy. The smile on my face could have popped my frozen cheeks onto the floor. He was colossal. Jensen was in awe. If you were there that day and you heard some lady repeating, “Those are REAL dinosaur bones” over and over in varying degrees of disbelief, that was me.
|Dippy…. I saw his face, now I’m a believer…|
We tried in vain amongst the throngs of people to get a photo. It got pretty amusing.
Me and my boys grabbed a photo too, under Dippy’s tail. We only have a 50mm lens at the moment and so the tail was about all we could get in. One day we’ll have a zoom lens. One day.
Before we went any further, the boys headed up the stairs to meet Charlie. Baby Dragon decided he was a man about town and led the way.
Up we went…everyone under their own steam,which made me smile considering the exhibition we were heading to. Crawling, walking holding the rail, walking independently…and me walking and photographing.
We made it! Charles Darwin. He looks just as he should. Now I know where Dadda gets his love of beards from.
After a million people passed and I managed to get one shot, we promptly headed back down the stairs for more dino-love.
This one below reminded us of one of the naughty dinosaurs in Ice Age that wanted to eat everyone… I looked at it head on and tried to imagine what it would be like to have that swimming towards me. I like to scare the pants off myself like that, you know, stock up for my nightmares….because I just don’t have enough marine dinosaur terror in my life.
Our Little Adventurer had meanwhile found something else to enthrall him…
He was pretty impressed. He’d found a…
CROC! An Australian dinosaur croc! I’d told Jensen that crocodiles were like the last dinosaurs on Earth and here was a really old one to prove it. He was impressed to say the least and we tried to count his millions of teeth. Our Little Adventurer was keen to point out that this croc might know Tick-Tock’s family.
We moved into the huge dinosaur exhibition hall at this point, and up some stairs. Naturally it was at this point that Baby Dragon decided enough was enough and it was time for a tantrum. Given that we were about nine feet in the air on a mezzanine, and given that Baby Dragon has more strength than any baby should have, it was camera away, and lock down on Lyoto time.
We managed to get a few little photos before the rampage started.
|Can you tell what it is? Jensen knew straight away.#mommapride|
This little chap was wiggling about up top.
At the end of the exhibit bridge, the big guns came out. That one everyone is waiting for but pretends that they aren’t.
All I could do was jaw drop. The size of this head is just unthinkable. The teeth, the bone structure…the dinosauriness of him. We stood frozen, imagining him live. I just couldn’t get my own head around the fact that this was an actual skull. A real skull that belonged to a real, meat chomping tyrannosaurus rex.
In the next room was an animatronic t-rex that seemed to have mood swings.
|Calm, happy t-rex…|
After Baby Dragon was safely on the ground, we took in some of the exhibits and then headed for the coffee shop.
|Baby Dragon inspects the lichen…|
On the way out, we met another t-rex head…
Dadda decided to cheer Lyoto up. The crowds were laughing and Baby Dragon loved being the centre of attention.
|Momma snaps away as Dadda feeds our baby to a dinosaur.|
Upon reaching the coffee shop, we had tea (of course), fruit and cake…and sweets in cute containers.
|It would be so wrong to have coffee in here.|
The prices were the same as our local garden centre, but the view was much more impressive…
We still had an hour to go and after Lyoto was full with milk and dropped off for his much needed nap, we loaded him into the BOBA and headed as fast as we could to the Mammals exhibition. Dadda made me stand here for a photo, just for his own amusement.
Jensen found Perry! We shouted “Blast you, Perry the platypus” about a million times.
Next up was a lion. Sadly (or rather, happily I probably should say) this is the closest we’ll ever come to a lion. He was beautiful.
We still made Jensen roar though.
We found a polar bear. They’re even bigger than I anticipated. And those paws, ohhh, those paws.
We decided that the expression on his face was probably not the face he died with.
We also saw Diego (Sabre Toothed Tiger from Ice Age)…
and then we headed off to see this guy…
|The Mammal of my Nightmares…|
These two were amazed. I was horrified. Whales scare me. I probably would have been more scared had it been a skeleton of a blue whale, but to see the sheer size of it was mortifying enough for me.
I never knew they has a hand-like skeletal structure. I learned something else!
This, above? Yep. That scared me.
We looked at footprints of hippos and faces of boars…
…and I found a moose! Sadly it was in a ridiculous position and reflected every imaginable thing in the window of it, but Dadda tried to get a photo nonetheless.
Lastly on our way our, we decided to investigate the cocoon full of bugs and scientists. It wasn’t particularly child friendly except for the ramps that were highly entertaining.
At the bottom of the ramp, we said goodbye to the bugs and bid farewell to dippy as we headed back to the tube and off to South Bank for our afternoon appointment. Hopefully we’ll be able to see more of the museum next time.