Friday, March 28, 2008

The Star Wars Gene

My kids have become obsessed with STAR WARS and there isn't much anyone can do about it. You see, Star Wars blood runs in my wife's side of the family. My brother-in-law is a huge Star Wars fan. He's been one since he was knee-high to an Ewok. My step-son Joey is also a huge Star Wars fan, and my two nephews are also huge Star Wars freaks! So, it was inevitable that no matter how much Disney I force fed down their throats, it was all going to take a back seat to Star Wars.

It all started shortly after Christmas. My nephews, who are slightly older than my kids, got a Playstation 2 for Christmas. Being the huge Star Wars fans that they are, they got a game known as LEGO STAR WARS for Christmas also. Lego Star Wars is a video game version of the Star Wars films all rendered in the style of Lego building blocks and with the violence and tone watered down for little kids. While Elias and Tanner were at their nephew's house one day they watched their nephews play Lego Star Wars. That's where it all began. For the next few days, Elias begged me to go to Aunt Karen's house to play Lego Star Wars. He kept asking me all kinds of questions about Star Wars and was just trying to figure out any way at all to get to his Aunt's house and play this video game. Tired of hearing about this game all the time, I figured we'd just go buy it and then it would all die out in about a week or so. That's where I was wrong, and that's where I made a great mistake!
The instruction booklet to Lego Star Wars has been carried all over this house as if it were a security blanket. "Dad, can we play Lego Star Wars now?" is uttered at least three times a day. The power of the Lego game has not died out. I've kept the video game time to a minimum but the Star Wars obsession has spilled over to toys, books and of course the movies.

They now make Star Wars figures for preschoolers. They are small chubby little figures, just the right size for little hands and they don't have parts that easily break. And yes, they also sell a line of spaceships for the little figures to fly in. And of course there's the lightsabers. Elias wanted some new lightsaber that changes colors real bad. He asked the mall Easter Bunny for one and it turns out the Easter Bunny is a big Star Wars fan and pretty much promised the kids all kinds of Star Wars stuff for Easter. So, we passed on all the candy and had a VERY Star Wars Easter at our house. The boys both got new lightsabers and they each got a ship with some figures. (In case you're wondering, Elias got a Podracer and Tanner got the Millennium Falcon.)

It the library we discovered that they had a whole shelf of kids Star Wars books. Needless to say, I've read "Luke's Fate" and "Anakin's Race For Freedom" about 50 times each in the last week. And there's the movie, which Tanner saw once and Elias has seen a handful of times. Elias is already quoting it and talking about things in the movie that only people camping outside of a movie theatre should know about.

Here's an exchange after a discovery at his cousin's house:
Elias: Did you know Burger King had a Star Wars Happy Meal?
Me: Yes
Elias: Why didn't you take me there to get one?
Me: Because they had it before you were even born.
Elias: Well, you could have got me one and saved it for me.

With a new Star Wars movie set to come out this summer, I'm sure the Force will be strong in our house. In fact, the new movie hits theatres the week before Elias' birthday. Guess what kinds of paper plates and napkins I'll be buying?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Flintstones Resort

I've never even heard of Melia All-Inclusive Resorts until earlier this week but now that I have, I'd like to visit there very much. I'm sure eating and drinking until your heart's content is nice, and laying out by the pool under the tropical sun is great. But at Melia (with resorts in Caribe Tropical, Cozumel, Azul Ixtapa, Puerto Vallarta, and Turquesa) you can hang out with the Flintstones! Seriously, I'd travel half way across the globe for live Flintstones action!
Now most of this stuff is designed for kids under 13, but who cares! First of all, most kids under 13 don't know who the Flintstones are. At the Beaches chain of all-inclusive resorts they have a Sesame Street kids program, so I guess this is Melia's answer to the competition.

They have a Bronto Breakfast with Fred and Dino. There's also two kids eateries, Betty's Kitchen and Fred's Bronto Burger. Then they've got all kinds of games and activities for the kids in three different age groups. It all sounds pretty cool and very creative. Look at the next picture down below and you'll get an idea of the bright and colorful way the preschool area is decorated:

I only found two people on Flickr that had uploaded pictures from a stone-age trip to Melia. Here's someones random photo of their baby with Mr. Flintstone. (That's a great costume, by they way!)

As if the whole idea wasn't cool enough...check out the beach chairs! That's worth the price of admission alone...

We just might have to skip Disney World one year and get our Flintstone on!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

May The Cake Be With You

For whatever reason I do the things I do, I was looking online today for images of Star Wars Cakes when I stumbled across a few other cool cakes like this Super Mario Bros. wedding cake. First of all, how cool is that!? Second, I hope this dude realizes how lucky he is that he got his wife to agree to a wedding cake based on a Nintendo game. I'm sure that's not the wedding cake she dreamed about all her life.

My wife and I kind of kicked around the idea of having a Flintstones wedding. If we had actually gone through with it we might have had a cake like this...

Sunday, March 16, 2008


My brother knows a good potential blog post when he sees one, so he picked up this set of Flintstones scratch-off Lottery tickets from his home state of Texas and sent them to me. They are very cool although it's a bit unusual to use cartoon characters to sell lottery tickets. But I guess since kids today don't know who the heck the Flintstones are, it's fair game! These tickets are cool however, with each featuring art inspired by the classic TV show. All you have to do is scratch off the numbers behind the clubs and match one of your winning numbers. Nice bonus touch: find a bone and you win a prize instantly.

Of the five tickets, the Wilma and Betty dancing ticket won us two bucks! That would be like winning five dollars in the Flintstones time!

Anyhow, thanks for thinking of us Chuck!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

International House of Seuss

I simply love a good restaurant movie tie-in. Or should I say...

I would drive 26 miles to the nearest IHOP,
to order these pancakes topped with pink and blue glop.
There here to promote the new Dr. Seuss movie,
you might find it gross but I think it's kind of groovy!
The folks who made ICE AGE have a new movie out
HORTON HEARS A WHO is what it's about.
They call this breakfast Who-cakes
and that's green eggs with spinach flakes

Why do that think kids will want to eat eggs with spinach?
They'd much rather do their homework to the finish.

But those Who-cakes look good
I'd eat them right up!
No, seriously...I would totally order that! Those pancakes look outrageous! But if I drove 26 miles to the nearest IHOP just to get Dr. Seuss pancakes I'm quite sure my wife would clobber me with a thirty-nine and a half foot pole!

Check out details on the whole promotion at IHOP's website.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I Like Puppets

Just got back from a 4-day visit to Sin City USA - Las Vegas to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary. Five years ago we ventured out to Vegas for the first time, and tied the knot in a simple ceremony at The Little White Wedding Chapel, the very same chapel (and minister) that would later be a part of Britney Spears' infamous first brief marriage. We had a good time on this recent visit. We ate some great food, won a little on the slots, and saw some wonderful sights and shows. We saw a topless Burlesque review and we even saw Howie Mandel in concert the night of our anniversary. But the highlight of the trip for me was getting tickets to see The Ronn Lucas Show.

I saw the ad for this show when we were in town five years ago. I didn't really have any idea who Ronn Lucas was, but I was familiar with his dragon co-star Scorch. Scorch was the star of a very brief 1992 sit-com. And when I say very brief, I'm talking February 28 to March 13th of the same year. Even though it only ran for three weeks, the show stuck in my head all these you may know I have a thing for puppet-based sit-coms! So anywho, my wife finally caved in and agreed to go to the show this visit.

They have this new thing in Vegas where you can go to these ticket sellers on the strip and get discounted tickets for shows that same day. It's a really good deal, and it you're going to Vegas and seeing some shows you should check them out as an option. We got tickets to three different shows from them and got crazy good prices on seats. The Ronn Lucas Show is an afternoon affair, starting at 3:00pm. We got our tickets at around 12:30 for something like $17.00 a pop. We had awesome seats, 3rd row - dead center. It was great!

The show was fantastic! Ronn and Scorch start things off and are later joined by Billy Bob, a cowboy puppet and Chuck the punk rocker. One part of the show, Ronn got someone out of the audience and made them look like a dummy. Get It! The show closes with Mr. Lucas taking off his sock and slowly transforming it into George the Turtle. There's a couple of other unusual characters that pop us as well throughout the performance. The whole show was great, and I know my wife laughed a lot harder than she thought she would. The really cool part was after the show when we got to meet Mr. Lucas and chat with him for a few minutes. Of course, I brought up the Scorch sit-com which he was surprised I remembered but was happy to reminisce about. We not only got this cool photo taken with Ronn and a plush Scorch ($35) but he also autographed a DVD for me. I'm a sucker for the simpler things in life like puppets and DVDs and having a puppet DVD signed by the puppeteer. The whole experience was really the highlight of my trip.

If you've got plans to go to Vegas anytime soon you should check out The Ronn Lucas Show at the Luxor, afternoons at 3:00pm. And get all your Vegas tickets from Tix 4 Tonight or your paying too much for tickets!

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