Saturday, May 19, 2012

Lessons From a Dinosaur

It all started back in September 2011 with the first dinosaur sighting…..

I often spend my lunch break at the Royal BC Museum building in Victoria, but because of time restraints, I don’t pay the admission and go into the actual museum (call me cheap). If you’re not there to learn the history of British Columbia or to see the great woolly mammoth, you can visit the mouth-watering deli, buy popcorn at the IMAX concession, browse in the gift shops for Christmas and birthday gifts, use the washroom – or simply hide out from the rain.

But what has been most exciting about the museum has been watching the promotional hype leading up to the Dinosaur exhibit which opened on May 17th, 2012.

Back in September while hiding out in the museum on a rainy afternoon, I came around the corner to find these crates. Of course my curiosity forced me to keep checking back to see what was inside (I swear I heard growling from inside one of them).

And my efforts were rewarded with this – my first dinosaur sighting – with more yet to come in May!

While I find dinosaurs fascinating, I wouldn’t call myself a dino-fan. Thanks to my boys, however, I know more about them than I ever thought I would. I don’t nod off from boredom during another scientific documentary like I used to, but I don’t go out of my way to engage in deep research about them, either. I have bigger things to worry about, present day, than what lead to their demise gazillions of years ago.

The first sighting grabbed my attention, however, and I was caught up in the hype.

But as winter dragged on, the sightings became fewer. I hadn’t forgotten about them, but like I said, I had bigger things to worry about.

Until one day, just outside the main doors of the museum in March, another crate appeared. This time a man huddled inside feverishly building something (I know because I peeked through the few holes of the crate). When I asked museum staff what was going on, they denied knowing anything (ya right, whatever).

I was rewarded a few days later with this….

And so my impatient waiting and keen fascination was rekindled. I told everyone I knew about the dinosaur outside the museum, urging them to go see it.

A few weeks later – then this.

A moving truck – with STUFF! Of course I boldly asked some of the folks guarding the precious truck what was inside, and they confirmed it - Dino STUFF! Artifacts, bones, replicated statues - you name it!

Fearing incarceration given the intense security, I figured I better split – but of course I managed to get at least one picture.

As weeks passed and I continued minding my own business as I always do, I began to notice more and more advertisements around town, notably at the bus-stops. All the waiting, wondering and minding my own business was exhausting, and I began to wonder if it was all worth it.

A week before opening day of the exhibit, I was racing through the Bay Center Shopping mall downtown Victoria, when I saw this:

And I knew then that dinosaurs and I truly had something in common (aside from my ever-climbing age).

It was one thing to learn about the power of promotion and building hype, handy to have for when I have my bestseller on bookshelves one day, but it was another to learn a bit more about dinosaurs.

I know that when my family and I do eventually visit the exhibit, I will arrive already knowing one valuable thing about dinosaurs…

They like Starbucks coffee, too.


  1. Hahaha! That's awesome! Now I want to go to, and I loved the surprise ending. Thank you for sharing that, Lisa! Janelle

    1. The exhibit goes on till you never know...bring a parachute and maybe you can jump out the plane on your way here....Thank you for reading! Lisa

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  3. I was just in Victoria and somehow missed all these dinosaurs (even the ones in the mall and I was in the mall!). But I love the teasers! Who doesn't want to know what's inside a mystery box? (And love your photo of the dinosaur with the coffee cup!)

    1. Aw, too bad you missed them, Ros. You'll have to come back for the exhibit, for sure! Thank you for reading! Lisa