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Sunday, July 8, 2012

day out with thomas

we planned this year's vacation around day out with thomas.  we took george there when he was wee and with freddie nuts over the little blue engine, it was a natural choice for a vacation.  i thought thomas was only on weekends, so i picked a friday visit.  here he was at the station all week.  if we do this again, i'll plan on a train ride midweek - i'm sure it would be less busy.

the day was hotter than blazes, and we had to park a mile away from the train station (school buses shuttled visitors back and forth).  parking was in a farmer's field, with waist high grass, always fun to walk through spesh with waist high kiddies.  we left the strollers behind becos i didn't want to tote them on the bus.  the station was crowded, there was little shade and barely any seating.  i spent $10 on bottled water becos i didn't think to bring water from the car.  

the train ride was fun but short;  we sat in the open car which had a great breeze.  we thought freddie would be ecstatic about riding thomas, but he seemed more perplexed than anything.  we then waited half an hour to get the kids' picture taken with thomas.  at least we were standing under a tarp during the wait.


there were activity tents with games, tattoos and merchandise but it was so hot and crowded that we bagged them and left after maybe an hour.  freddie has all of the boy's thomas toys, he has half a dozen thomas shirts, and there's not a lot of girly thomas things for petunia (she plays somewhat but not to the extent of freddie).  she did find some princess figures in the air conditioned thomas shop; i found a couple of cars that freddie didn't have.  i think it was the cheapest thomas bill i ever spent.

by now it was early afternoon and we were tired, hot and hungry.  there was an isaac's restaurant down the road from the train station.  we had to sit at two booths becos our group was so big (7!)  i was so sick from the heat and my sugars that all i ate was a double portion of fruit salad.  the kids were wound up and tired and we couldn't wait to get out of there.  nice restaurant.  awesome sandwiches.  too bad i didn't have much of an appetite to partake.  

we drove to our hotel and checked in and settled in for a comfy stay.  supper that night was sonic.  the closest sonic is an hour from us, so eating here is a treat.  we took our food back to the hotel and ate in the dining room.  then we rounded out the evening with swimming in the pool.

the strasburg railroad is one of the best railroad operations in the country.  they run regular rail excursions on a daily basis (we chose not to do that this time becos of time but it's a wonder 45 minute trip).  the railroad is across the street from railroad museum of pennsylvania, an enormous affair with dozens of engines and cars and other historical train exhibits.  we missed out on this as well due to time but hope to take a day trip with the kids in the future.

a neat tidbit about the thomas train - a man who goes to my old church knows the fellow who designed the "thomas" outfit which fits over an engine.  when thomas is not working, supposedly he is housed at a town not far from where we live.  small world, eh?

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