a day out with Thomas (or maybe without Thomas)

There were so many precious moments all contained in this one morning.

I really enjoy watching my kids enjoy things. Now I understand why my parents took us to Disney World so many times, to stand in long hot lines just to ride some lame ride like “Dumbo”.

Thomas comes once a year to the railroad museum a block from our house. Excitement builds every time we drive past and see them setting up the big event tents, camera crews out filming the life sized Thomas that sits parked just down the street.

All day yesterday we heard Thomas’s whistle blowing and the “Toot, Toot!” of the little steam train that goes round and round as well. By the time we made it out there, they were closing down. We played in the train tent, and loaded back up in the wagon for the trek home.

It’s Saturday so we all sort of slept in (except Brent, he was at work) and took our time with breakfast. Once we decided to go see Thomas again, it took us over an hour to get ready. I had to water the baby seedlings and set them out, get the diapers in the dryer, dress myself, dress Ezra, detangle Charis’s dreadlocks, fill up the water bottle, locate some cash, shoes on Ezra, shoes on me, get my keys, open the garage to get the wagon… and it was pouring rain. I debated for a second which was worse: navigating the throngs of over-achieving parents who were determined to be first in line for everything, including parking… or walking there in the rain.

Loaded everyone up in the van, brought the baby seedlings back inside out of the rain, explained three times why we weren’t buckling all the way up just to go down the street, and finally arrived in line to park. The only spot I could find was in the middle of a lagoon. It felt like home.

Thankfully, we got a ride in a little trolly up to Thomas. We didn’t ride Thomas this year. It costs $18 per person over 2. Just for me and the kids, that would have been $72!! Did I mention that the ride consists of going backwards for 10 minutes, and then going forwards for another 10?!? We rode last year, and despite being confused about why Thomas was behind us the first half of the trip, the girls loved it!

See? They were so little last year!

{Photo missing :( }

There was so much free stuff to do this year, that no one cared that we didn’t ride Thomas. First stop was the petting zoo. Ezra really loves furry things. He didn’t get it from his Mamma, I assure you. Next up was the big jumpy thingy (I never know what to call those), which everyone loved. I stood out in the pouring rain (with umbrella) while they all jumped to their hearts content. Once the rain stopped, we were able to move on to the next thing. All three got temporary tattoos. 

Arwen got some money for her birthday and is very judicial in how she spends it. She had just $6 left, so we headed to the merchandise tent. Everything in there was so over priced! I couldn’t believe the amounts of money that were being spent on plastic toys in there! Arwen was able to find an activity book for $3.99.

We headed towards the animal balloons. Can I be honest here? Of course I can! Evidently they hired a bunch of old women to do these balloons, and they kept popping them (possibly on their really long glittery false eye lashes?). We got in line, and only got cut by one mom with four kids. It always amazes me at these types of events how parents do things like that. There as an obvious line, and this woman just marched right up and stood, out of line, behind the people at the table who were being served. Of course the old woman wasn’t going to tell her, “I’m sorry ma’am, this pregnant woman and her three small kids have been waiting very patiently and they are next.” The man behind me in line started to talk loudly to his wife, “Look honey! You don’t have to wait in line! You can just walk right up like those people did!!” I reminded him that it was hard to be grumpy with a friendly guy playing songs like “Someone’s in the kitchen with Dina” on guitar nearby.  Arwen got a pink cat. It looked more like a cross between a bunny (long ears) and a kangaroo, but lucky for her Arwen is really into “kangaroo cats” as she calls them. Charis got a dinosaur, and Ezra got a long… stick? Both Arwen’s and Ezra’s didn’t make it home without popping, but Charis has nurtured hers safely through the day so far.

We had a fun day out…maybe not with Thomas, but near him!