I spent this last weekend doggy sitting for my cousin, as I have enjoyed in the past, but this time there was an extra hitch. I had to babysit my cousin’s boyfriend’s granddaughter til her mom got off work. K left $60 for me to tote Brooklyn to Chuck E Cheese for lunch. J was astonished that I did it, but Chuck E Cheese was a place I’d enjoyed often as a child and I hadn’t been in ages so I wanted to see what it was like. It wasn’t very crowded because we went at lunch time. If K had wanted me to take Brooklyn for dinner I’d have said no.
After our visit on Friday, I can safely say that some memories are best left to our minds where we can enjoy how they were and not be disappointed by the reality of how times have changed. What I remember from Chuck E Cheese (and its counterpart Showbiz Pizza) was a dining room with audio-animatronic characters singing and goofing off while all us kids stuffed our faces with pizza. Then we’d race off to a separate room to play the games. Nowadays, probably for safety’s sake, one-quarter of the dining tables are actually scattered throughout the gameroom. I guess even in the 80s, kids were safe enough to be in a completely separate room from their parents playing the games. Hell even when we walked in, both Brooklyn and I were stamped with something just above our wrists to identify us as being together. Guess they didn’t want me stealing someone else’s snot nosed brat. LOL
I don’t know if it was this particular location that I was at, but compared to the Chuck E Cheese of my youth was a lot bigger than the one I went to on Friday. The one I remember had a fairly large dining room, a game room and a play room. All separate. Things were all crammed together in the “new” CEC.
So after eating a bit of pizza and letting Brooklyn blow through 90 tokens faster than I could think, we went home. I think K was surprised we didn’t stay long. I wasn’t about to give Brooklyn the chance to whine for more tokens. She thought all $60 was for her. She even dictated to me that we should get a small pizza so there’d be more money left over for her tokens. She didn’t win on that score…
It’s a shame, though, that there aren’t more family oriented or kid oriented restaurants anymore. There’s only one Chuck E Cheese now near my house. All the others I knew of – either Chuck E Cheese or Showbiz – are gone. 😦