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The Pink Samurai: Dinosaur Land

The Pink Samurai

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dinosaur Land

So Andy and I have day-jobs that can be pretty demanding and we decided a few weeks ago that we needed, what my dad calls, a mental health break.  We hadn't really taken any time off since around October for our anniversary / Halloween, so it was definitely time to take some time for us.  We're saving up for a bigger trip to California later this summer and decided that a nice, relaxing stay-cation would be the best thing.  We live in Northern Virginia, so there's definitely a lot to do even within a 2-hour road-trip.  

Yesterday, I mentioned a little bit about loving kitsch and roadside attractions.  I knew that a place called Foamhenge existed from previous road-trip research, and while looking it up again online, I found the most magical place on earth.  Dinosaur Land.  I should preface this with the fact that all I wanted to do when I was little was be a paleontologist.  Dino encylopedias crowded my bookshelves, excavation kits were pretty much the coolest thing, and I watched Jurassic Park, literally everyday when it came out on VHS.  So Dinosaur Land was clearly made just for me.

Their photos on the site just don't do it justice.  I'm not exactly sure I knew what I was expected when we drove 1.5 hours out of the city and into the snow-covered mountains of Virginia, but holy crap it surpassed everything I could've imagined.  If you're in the area, or driving through, or just have a free day to mess around in VA, I definitely recommend it.  You're instagram followers will love you for it :P

So yeah...here's an obnoxious amount of photos from our trip!

When you drive up, there's three enormous dinos already greeting you at the door!  Andy and I immediately ran over and started snapping shots.  I swear I ran around them giggling like a little girl.    I just couldn't believe the size of them!
And being a designer and type nerd, I about lost it at all the hand-painted signage.  Everything looked original and the brushwork was just gorgeous!  I mean, really?!  Look at that Blackletter!
The whole place is attached to a big gift shop, with all the dino and non-dino related goodies you could possibly imagine.  It's just the quintessenial road-side chotchky shop.
After being completely amazed and astounded by all the stuff, and having a nice convo with the lady behind the counter (the staff was so fun and friendly!)...you head towards the back and through this door...
You can crawl inside the shark! YOU CAN CRAWL INSIDE THE SHARK!!!
Just after you go passed the shark and octopus (locked in an etermal battle), there's a gravel trail that takes you through the 40 some-odd statues.  I'm not really sure what was going on with the dude on the left here, but he just looked so wonderfully derpy, I had to take a shot.
There was a whole little part of the path that depicted the ferociousness of the time.  True dinosaur behavior.  Moments...captured in time.  It reminded me of how all Jurassic Park dino toys had "battle damage".
The Parasaurolophus has been my favorite dinosaur since I was little, so these guy was definitely my favorite.  I like to think of the scientific inaccuracies as creative license haha!
This is what I call a "Golemasaurus".  He's such a creep and just wants his Precious back.
Oh yeah, and King Kong was there, too.  You can walk up a ramp and actually sit in his hand, but it snowed the day before and his palm was full of cold water and slush, so I opted for standing.  (Please note the comically small airplane in his hand.)

I just still can't get over this place.  I'm so happy that it exists and it make me wonder what it was like when it first opened.  I'm sure it was a new and novel thing that attracted one group of people, and now, because of the kitsch-factor, there's a whole new crowd that can appreciate it.  I'd definitely like to come back in the summer time and run around like a kid again.  Definitely a must see!

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