I just gotta say…

Thank God for the birds.

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wiwords.com

When I attended primary school in Port-of-Spain I had to get up at the rosy hour of 4:30 a.m. to get ready since I live in the east and we all know how loooovely the traffic is on the “East-West corridor” between 6am and 8am. It was not too difficult to  arise from slumber primarily because of a Keskidee  which lived in the lime tree outside my bedroom window. Every morning my sister and I would hear the shrill call and response: ‘Keskideeeeeeee! Keskideeeeeeee!’ which became our complimentary alarm clock courtesy Mother Nature herself.

I currently live in an area filled with fruit trees from mangoes to ‘five-fingers’ (carambola) so naturally there are birds EVERYWHERE. Technically I live in an aviary. My alarm is the track from the Rise and Shine video which I mentioned in a previous post and which basically tells me to get up and haul ass to the gym. By some truly extraordinary event my phone was off and thus no alarm was heard. I woke up on point though and after a moment of panic-realization-hesitation-resignation, I smiled and thanked God for the birds.

Bless up

TMIDM

P.S. If you attended primary school in Trinidad and Tobago in the eighties and experienced the joy of Boyo and Carla in the Republic Reader aaaand had heavy doses of choral speaking fed to you, you would remember this poem:

I know you by your yellow vest
You little keskidee
That suits so well that clean brown coat
That cling so close to thee

The little ring upon your head
That forms a little hat
Why if you stood with all the other birds
I would know you just by that

And if for fun you hide yourself
So that I could not see
I’d know you still, you pretty thing
When you sing…
I hear you sing…

Keskidee…
Keskidee…
Keskidee…

By  OLGA COMMA-MAYNARD (1902-1998)

Random memory recall…..:)

Chuck E. Cheese’s Review

20140716_142955With a catchy slogan and visual imagery of children having the most glorious time being run consistently on cable television, it was inevitable that the gremlinz would be begging me to carry them to Chuck E. Cheese’s.  Of course my focused reply would be “Of course! Whenever we go to the States!” This would be enough to end the whining…until I realised that the franchise was headed to the shores of Trinidad and Tobago. I decided to take in front before the national ads started so I let them know coming to the end of the school term that: yes, Chuck E. Cheese’s is in Trinidad, yes, it’s opening soon, no, we’re not going if your grades don’t shine, no, we’re not going if you don’t behave well, yes, I’m telling the truth.

I was fortunate to be invited as part of the family opening today before the official opening tomorrow and I was sincerely glad because I don’t generally do well with crowds and especially crowds of children spazzing on pizza, soda, tokens and streams of tickets clutched in their little hands. This wasn’t entirely the case today so I had a really good time.

Environment: Chuck E. Cheese’s is located in Brentwood which is on the highway in Chaguanas next to the Unipet gas station. Look out for this sign:20140716_140259

Some finishing touches were still going on on the outside but I suspect will be completed by tomorrow. Parking is more than adequate and compound is completely fitted with facilities for the differently-abled.  Bathrooms are clean and were well-maintained for the amount of time I stayed there and Moms would be happy to know that there are diaper-changing stations in sanitized areas, something not often found in kid-friendly restaurants.The play-area is carpeted and a lot of children were so comfortable that they took their shoes off, my gremz included.

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Restaurant: Seating areas were located from the front window booths to the very back of the restaurant where there was more open seating close to a large stage/screen. There were also booths in the centre separating the arcade games from the ‘kiddie’ section. Each booth was equipped with the usual condiments as well as a holder for your order number. So you place the order, are shown to a seat and given the card to fit in the holder. Your food is brought to you, the number card replaced with a ‘check’ card and then another server would check on you to ensure everything was alright with your meal and then take that card. A pretty neat system. I tried to be conscientious about this weight I’m trying to lose so I hit the salad bar first. A nice array  of choices although I wish they labelled the sauces. Eventually though that resolve went with the pizza and the buffalo wings. The food was ok and the wait was about 15-20 minutes. There was also the unlimited soda supply and dessert for those so inclined.

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Entertainment: Where a kid can be a kid they said, they didn’t lie and I am sure today wasn’t even Chuck E. Cheese’s at full throttle. Games in all forms, arcade, shooting,  car racing, motorbikes, test-your-strength, football, basketball, Fruit Ninja and Temple Run!!!. I tried to keep my composure. 😀 I loved that they had a play area specifically for the smaller kiddies and a jungle gym over everything else, Mr Cheese himself came out every hour and the children sang, danced, took photos and scrambled for free tickets as they were tossed in the air and floated to the ground. The screen in the back ran music videos, stories and jokes and there was an area that seemed equipped for live activity too. Additionally there are three separate rooms for birthday parties as well!

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Son-son in Gotham

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Mam’zelle in her Barrel of Monkeys

Overall: The staff at Chuck E. Cheese’s seemed to have worked very hard to create a great first impression and they succeeded in my books. There were officials from the US who I suppose were there to train and they kept it running nicely alongside our compatriots who seemed to take a great deal of pride in their work. Special shout-out to a gentleman named Bose from Texas, he was phenomenal with patrons, staff and children AND he complimented me on my makeup so he wins twice! Smiles were all around! I’m glad I roused myself and took the opportunity to go even after my “ah stayin home!” funk from last week. I honestly hope they upkeep and maintain the standard that they have set thus far. In Trinidad once something isn’t new anymore, the effort tends to wane you know? Fingers crossed that it doesn’t happen here and everything remains20140716_143124

Visit my facebook page for more pics: Trini Mom In D Middle and of course the Chuck E. Cheese’s website for more information and bookings.

Bless up

TMIDM