I kid, I kid. Well, sort of. Sunday was a pretty epic day in the life of my little man- because we trekked him an hour and forty five minutes to meet a big blue engine. We spent the whole week telling him he was going to go see Thomas, and he would smile and get excited, but he didn't really get it. Sunday we loaded into the car and hit the Ohio Turnpike headed for Akron to take a ride with Thomas the Train.
Once we got there, basically all he saw was a parking lot full of cars and a few tents. Nothing too impressive there. Of course we had to walk through the gift shop tent first- those merchandisers are smart people. I have never in my life seen so much Thomas the Tank stuff and those kiddos were going insane for it. Once we quickly walked through there, we realized we timed it just perfectly. The lady who was emceeing the event announced that she thought she heard Thomas coming, so we headed over to the fence.
He was thrilled, to say the least. We told him we would ride on him in a little while, and spent some time seeing what else they had to offer. We watched videos, heard a story teller, colored and played with trains with more pieces than he had ever seen in his little life. Then we stumbled upon the diggers and trucks that the kids could play on. He had a blast- and that was just all the free stuff!
Once it was time to board our train we headed across the street to the depot. In all honesty, it took FOREVER to get the train unloaded and then loaded- so many a child was melting down by the time we actually got ON the train. It was probably a good 35 minutes of standing in line and getting on the train before we started to move. That's a long time to do nothing for a 20 month old, but he held out like a champ.
Pointing and yelling THIIISS- because he knew where he wanted to go, we just couldn't go fast enough.
While waiting to board the train, he amused himself by picking up every rock on the deck and putting it back in the gravel. My child likes to clean up.
Finally on the train!
He got pretty restless waiting for the train to start moving, but Momma whipped out a bag of M&Ms and that kept him (and the little guy across from us) entertained.
Once we were moving, he was amazed pointing out everything he saw.
Now the ride itself is only about 25 minutes, and to be honest he could have cared less about the ride. Im not saying I think the ride wasn't long enough, because all of the kids seemed to get restless around that time so it was a good length of time to keep them cooped up. He spent most of the ride asking where Thomas was, because he didn't get the concept that he was ON Thomas. To be fair, the 2.5 year old across from us and the 4 year old next to us didn't get it either. They all would have been pleased as punch to just watch Thomas chug on by, and we wouldn't have had to pay $20 bucks a ticket.
He was pretty impressed with the certificate they gave him.
After we got off, we stood in line to have our picture taken with Thomas. Grayson could NOT take his eyes off of him.
Now they do take a professional picture with Thomas for you, then you can take one with your own camera. They also take them inside the train. A piece of advice? If you get a decent shot- save yourself the $15 dollars for the photograph. Honestly, its not any better than the ones you take except it costs money. Lets not forget you still have to walk through the souvenir tent to leave- spend your money wisely.
The nice guy in front of us took this for us after I took one for them- I love finding likeminded cheapskates in line!
Overall- he had an AMAZING day. My Mom went with us, and she made sure he left with a few Thomas souvenirs so he could remember his day. That Nana spoils him rotten and he knows it.
Here is my advice for anyone thinking of going. First, its free to walk in the tent and see all of the stuff like the coloring and story telling. You only need a ticket to actually ride the train. If you have little ones that wouldn't get it, save yourself the cash and do all of the free stuff. Stand in line to get the pictures with Thomas and Sir Toppom Hat- but only shell out the $20 if you think your kid would get it. The lady at the ticket counter told us they always have a few extra tickets, so if once you're there you decide you want to take a ride you can always check it out. Also, if you get motion sick this is not the ride for you. The train started out going forwards and I was okay. Then the stupid train backed up, and I thought I was going to die. Seriously, there is not enough Dramamine in the world to help in that situation.
Overall, it was one of the greatest days in Grayson's little life. When we got home and he was getting ready for bed I asked Grayson if he had the best day ever and he leaped into my lap, threw his arms around my neck and said "YES!" That alone made the whole almost tossing my cookies worth it. At least for that night he thought he had the coolest parents ever, and hopefully he remembers that feeling when he thinks we stink.