The Brighter Writer

MONDAY, JULY 30, 2012

Casa Bonita!

Let me first widen your knowledge about yours truly by exposing you to the gem of my childhood: Casa Bonita. Until I moved from Colorado to Kansas in 1986, where did my parents take me for a special birthday treat? Casa Bonita. Where did my big sister ask to spend her birthdays as well? Casa Bonita. Where did we bring my cousins when they came to visit and we wanted the world's funnest place? Casa Bonita. Where can you see a cliff diver, play an arcade, and eat sopapillas covered in honey and climb in a dragon's mouth? Yes, you get the picture.

This place, this glorious and spectacular diamond in the heart of the ghetto was the place to be in the 1980's. Yes, it's in a questionable looking neighborhood. Yes, the food blows. Yes, I may have it built up in my mind because I still see it the same way I did when I was 5. Regardless, I'm still in love. The last time I visited was my 7th birthday; it's been 25 years almost to the day. So when my mom came for a visit this last weekend and asked where I wanted to go for my birthday dinner, of course you know where I was going to choose.

The place looked identical as the image in my head from all those years before. It was surreal standing in line with my daughter waiting to order food as she played peek-a-boo with my hair.

We ate dinner and watched the shows that took place high above our table; cliff jumpers doing swan dives and flips from the 3 story tall water fall, comedy shows, and even a gorilla running through the audience.

Of course when a lady came through with glowing toys to offer, my mom couldn't resist buying the world's most annoying singing butterfly for Kalynn. And, true to suit, Kalynn has had it turned on as loud as it goes ever since... Noisy toys, especially the ones from Nana, seem to be a favorite around our house.


This 4 story building not only has 3 arcades, a "haunted" tunnel, "old time" photo booths, puppet theaters, and serenading mariachi bands, but also can hold over 1000 people in separate theme related seating areas.

Walking through this "eatertainment" monstrosity, even if you're not participating in all the excitement, is still pretty cool because it's all decked out like an old Spanish villa.

So if you're in Denver, stop in for cheap crappy food and an evening that will change your kid's life forever. And even though you're in the middle of a run down neighborhood that looks like you may get shot at, don't fret. The fried ice cream is totally worth it.

(Yes, the same one from South Park.)