Chili’s restaurant and high speed rail … who knew?

on Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chili's activity bookSo there I am sitting down to dinner last Friday night at my daughter’s favorite dining establishment, Chili’s. Our hostess presented my girl with her menu, which doubles as an activity book. I’m not sure how often Chili’s changes the activity book theme, but this was the first time I saw this one on transportation.

Chili’s recurring characters all took charge of a mode of transportation. Hal flies a jet that uses a rocket engine, Sunny drives a solar car, Pepper explores the ocean in a deep-sea submersible, and Chip is the engineer of a super-fast train.

Kids love trains, so the choice was not surprising in and of itself. However, the public still seems to think kids only like/understand steam trains, even though most railroads haven’t run a steam engine in 50 years (yes, I know they operate on tourist railroads, etc. — I’m merely referring to the general perception).

Inside the activity book is a game called Tic-Tac-Train. The instructions read: Super-fast trains carry lots of people very quickly. Soon, they may criss-cross the country! Many cities plan to build them to reduce traffic, pollution, and energy use. Use the criss-crossing trains below to challenge a friend to some super-speedy tic-tac-toe!

Chilis Chip the engineerCan you believe it? I was thrilled to see the concept of high-speed rail being introduced to kids. Chili’s succeeded at writing something succinct, positive, and optimistic. My daughter reminds me to turn the water off while I’m brushing my teeth, to turn the computer off when I’m through using it, and to shut lights off in rooms I’m no longer in. (I’m not sure who the mom is here, and I’m pretty sure I’m paying the bills.) So, putting the environmental spin on high-speed rail really speaks to her, as I’m sure it does to other kids, too. By the way, she also got a matching kid’s cup featuring Chip in his super-fast train, which came with her meal. Cheers!



Chili's cup train 

























Chili's tic tac train 

















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