Sunday, March 23, 2014

Dinosaurs and Chocolate

Throughout history, there have been 2 things that all civilizations have agreed are pretty much the best things ever.   Those two things are dinosaurs and chocolate.  Science has been unclear on which of the two is actually more awesome.  (Other than, OBVIOUSLY DINOSAURS!  I mean, they're giant lizards, for crying out loud!)

Truthfully, the best things ever would clearly be dinosaurs and bacon.  But if I said that, it wouldn't be a very good segway into the story I'm about to tell you where I went to a museum that had exhibits about dinosaurs and chocolate, so just bear with me on this one, okee dokee?  It did include me eating chocolate covered bacon, so there's no denying it was the best day ever.

Robyn and I went to the Natural History Museum of Utah on Saturday with my brother and his wife.  We all know that natural history includes a number of branches of history.  But my brain automatically translates the words "natural history museum" into "dinosaur museum".  So clearly I was there for the dinosaurs.  But there is a temporary exhibit about chocolate as well.

First, let's talk dinosaurs.

I've been a dinosaur nerd since I was like 3 years old.  The only reason I even consented to attend Kindergarten was because my mom said that if I went to school I would be able to read the dinosaur book by myself.  (Side note: I was very angry at the end of my first day when they didn't even try to teach me how to read the dinosaur book.  But the good news is that I have read many dinosaur books since then.)

Despite my nerdiness about dinosaurs, it turns out there was an awesome dinosaur that was native to Utah that I didn't even know about.  How embarrassing is that?

Let me introduce you to diabloceratops.
Diabloceratops was the cool kid of the ceratops community.  What he lacked in a third horn on his face, he made up for with two extra horns coming out of the top of his bony frill.

Diabloceratops was super popular with the ladies.  He was captain of the football team and most importantly, he was native to Utah.  (Note: the part about being native to Utah is true.  The rest of this paragraph is purely speculative.)

This is what diabloceratops looked like when he was getting ready to build a nest in my backyard.
You know diabloceratops was cool, because of his name.  Think about it.  Triceratops got his name because he has 3 horns.  Big deal.  Diabloceratops was so tough and intimidating, they named him after the devil.

Plus, he was pretty cool because he agreed to pose for this picture with me.
Diabloceratops and I were both disappointed that we were photobombed by other lesser ceratops individuals.
Diabloceratops may have been the biggest new thing I learned about in the prehistoric exhibit, but here are a few other snapshots of some fun experiences.

Zack and I were discussing how much of a deterrent the stegosaurus ridged back would be against predators.  Robyn snapped a pic of our nerdiness.

It turns out alligators have been around for 76 million years.  But they were even more ginormous back then.

Bears have been around a long time too.  But back then they walked around like zombies, and so did Zack and I.

In case you were wondering, tyrannosaurs had bigger feet than Robyn.  Do you think tyrannosaurs liked shoes as much as she does?
After seeing the dinosaur exhibit, we did learn some other things about Utah history.  But it clearly wasn't as awesome as learning about dinosaurs.  So I only have one picture to share with you in that section.

Zack and I are pottery masters
They had different pots that were all broken up.  It was supposed to simulate what you would find if you dug them up.  You got to put them back together like a puzzle.  The guy before us wasn't able to figure it out, but we dominated it because that's how we roll.

The last exhibit was the chocolate exhibit.  There were two parts.  There was the exhibit itself, which gave some history about chocolate.   Then they had also invited local chocolate makers to set up booths and give out samples of their chocolate.  I can't remember who gave me chocolate covered bacon, but it was surprisingly delicious.  The other best thing was fudge from The Chocolate Covered Wagon.  (You probably don't care, but I'm writing it down so that I can come back and remember where I need to buy that fudge when my heart begins to yearn for it.)

Without further ado, let's talk about the chocolate exhibit.
The most important thing I learned was that the Mayans were the first people to ruin chocolate.  That's not quite how the exhibit worded it, but it's the truth.  They made a spicy chocolate drink by mixing the cacao beans with chili peppers.  Isn't that an abomination?  Can you believe that people were concerned a few years ago that the Mayan calendar ending must mean the end of the world?  These people couldn't even make hot chocolate properly and we're concerned that they knew when the world would end?

We got to see what a chocolate tree looks like.  Look at those ginormous cacao pods.
Zack was very precious with this European lady.  Europeans were the first to figure out how to make chocolate taste good by mixing it with sugar.  I'd like to say that's why Zack was so enamored with her, but I think he was just trying to be funny because he was bored with the history of chocolate.
This was my favorite part of the chocolate exhibit.  It didn't have anything historical to teach us, but it made me imagine how awesome it would be if we could get a giant box of chocolates.  Are you with me?


  1. I do love natural history. I'm glad that somehow chocolate made it into natural history. I guess if it's natural and has a history then it is invited to the club.

  2. I would go there just for the chocolate. And robin is looking so great!!!!!


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