Sunday, May 31, 2015

A day out with Thomas!

The day started out with a long run.  9 miles with my BRF (HEAVEN).  It turned out cold and misty and windy, but I will take that over hot and humid any day.  We had a few pit stops as both my stomach and my BRF's stomachs were NOT cooperating.  Thank goodness for strategically placed porta potties on my long run route.  They are very well appreciated, and I would love to leave a thank you note to whomever keeps them so clean and well maintained.  Stella was a muddy mess by the end, taking advantage of every puddle on the road.  Thank goodness Aussies are dry and brush kind of dogs.  

 The second part of our day was spent with Thomas in Baldwin City KS.  I had heard about this event last year from one of my FB friends and WOW, it did not disappoint.  When we got there, we first got to ride on a school bus from our parking to the event.  Andrew was probably the MOST excited about this than anything else.
We made a mistake that I should mention here.  Andrew fell asleep on the way down, so instead of stopping for lunch as we had planned, we decided not to wake him up and keep on going.  Well, once you get there you will NOT be able to get your kid to sit and eat no matter what yummy food you buy (and there are TONS of good food vendors there) so EAT before you arrive. 

There are tons of picture opportunities, so bring a well charged cell phone camera or good camera with.  There are also two stations where they have a professional photographer taking pictures that you can buy, but they let you take pictures with your own camera too (not like with the mall santas where it isn't allowed to take cell phone pics).  The prices are NOT bad at all if you want to purchase the photos, and they have cute packages you can get that include magnets and photo frames and key chains (and yes I am a big sucker and am now a proud owner of a thomas key chain with our picture with Sir Topham Hatt).
There are tons of free activities in all the tents.  They give you a map that helps, and if you go to all of the tents, you get stamps that gets you a free prize in the end (and it is worth it).  One of the tents had tattoos, coloring pages, and rubber stamps that you could do at big tables with kid sized chairs.  It also had legos and ipads to play Thomas games on and a guy making balloon Thomas things.  It was a huge tent and it was very crowded, but the kids were all having so much fun that no one cared how packed in we were.  The workers or volunteers for the event were super duper nice and so great with kids.  I was amazed at how patient and friendly they all were, since this was already the second day and possibly the second weekend they had the event.  

They also had the trackmaster sets set up and going and Andrew loved that.  We had purchased tickets to ride Thomas at 2:15, but honestly we could have spent all day there with all of the events.  One word of caution though, some of the events had long lines to wait in.  When you have a two year old, this is a hard concept to explain.
Have something with you to distract your kid with.  We had nothing, so we just had to hold him and try and explain why we were waiting.  He sort of got it and was pretty good all day.
When getting on the actual train that thomas pulls, you could choose between an open car ride or a closed car ride.  We choose open car and just about froze to death, but we saw lots of wildlife on the short ride out and back, and I enjoyed the freezing fresh air.  Who would have thought we would be this cold the last weekend of May????  Thomas pushes the train out and pulls it back, so on the way back, we got to cheer Thomas on.  Andrew loved this part.  Thomas has a whistle that worked and he has steam coming out, so the kids get pretty excited to see him work and be really useful.  He also talks, but we couldn't really hear him on the train or when he came in the station.  Every time he came into the station, the announcer would make a big deal, so we had a freak out every time he came in and LOVED it.  During the ride, they handed out certificates declaring your child was a JR engineer.  Word to the wise, either bring a big tote bag to put all of the crafts and sheets that you get in or buy a thomas re-usable bag when you get there.  We did the later.  
I have to admit, we enjoy Thomas, so seeing the REAL thomas was pretty cool.
It's hard to say what his favorite tent was as everyone of them had fun stuff.  This was in the video/story telling tent.  We found out that there will be a Thomas movie in theaters this summer and Andrew was pretty excited about that fact!
Another word to the wise, bring lots of dough.  Seriously, you can drop a small fortune on Thomas stuff.  Andrew's birthday is in two weeks, and I had struggled with what to get him.  Our area stores have a very limited Thomas selection but here, every single thing you have ever wanted to get related to Thomas is all in one spot.  We are now ready for birthday for sure.  While daddy distracted Andrew with the HUGE selection of wooden toys, I picked up a thomas towel for daycare, some thomas flip flops, a new thomas shirt and a 2015 thomas car.  I also drooled over the Thomas stocking and umbrella, as well as the Thomas lego sets.  These are the items I have had trouble finding locally/online, so I am kicking myself for not doing Christmas shopping as well.  

I am very pleased with our first Day out with Thomas experience.  I can't really say anything negative about anything really. It was muddy in places, but we had heard that was an issue, so we were prepared with extra shoes and pants just in case.  They had wood chips and gravel down in the bad spots, so we thought it wasn't that bad at all. I was impressed with the prices, as I figured they would be much higher, since they know parents would pay.  Most everything there was comparable if not cheaper than what i have seen online or in stores.  As i said earlier, the volunteers/workers were very friendly and very good with kids and very helpful as there was some confusion when we got there about where we needed to go and be.  As long as the Thomas addiction is there, we will be coming back for the experience (and the shopping:).

The End:)

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