Friday, September 7, 2007

Day Out With Thomas

Have you ever seen a few hundred kids with eyes wide opened, jaws dropped, and speechless? Neither have we, till we brought our two sons to a event.

He's a really useful engine

When we arrived at the in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, we thought we were early. We were wrong. It looked like we had stumbled onto a minivan convention. A man flagged us to the back of the parking lot. They had to open a new lot! Andrew was so excited he could barely get a word out. Alex was barely 2 months old. As we ambled towards the station, I was stunned to see so many children at this gathering. We felt like Gulliver at Lilliput. Everyone was talking about Thomas and craning their necks to look at the tracks, hoping to catch a glimpse of Thomas. We were in the presence of a Thomas cult! As we walked further to the front of the station, lo and behold there was Thomas the Tank Engine with his coaches! Andrew’s eye lit up, just regular coaches, not Annie and Clarabel he corrected us. We hurried to the front where kids were having their pictures taken with Thomas. Of course, Andrew was thrilled to be this close to Thomas. When it was his turn to be with Thomas, Andrew couldn’t stop staring at him. Thomas stared back at him with his big eyes and his cheeky grin.

Thomas and his coaches

After picture taking, we got ready to purchase tickets to ride with Thomas. Andrew was disappointed that there was no Annie and Clarabel. That’s fine though, he will be sitting in coaches pulled by Thomas! Even we adults were excited to be in the coach. The ride took us from the Strasburg station to the next station (which was about 15 minutes ride one way) and back. During the ride, you get to glimpse the Amish countryside. Alex didn’t even utter a sound during the ride. His eyes were soaking up the many new things to see. Everyone was enjoying the ride.

Alas, many good things must come to an end. It was time to go home. Before heading home, we had to visit the Thomas souvenir shop. They had more Thomas stuff then you could shake your wallet at. Andrew got a couple of Thomas things. He was grinning from ear to ear. What a trip! “Thanks mom and dad, this was totally awesome!”

Canadian National No89 at Strasburg

The is a tourist railroad that operates pretty much throughout the year. Across the street is the , which houses an impressive collection of locomotives and rail cars. Lancaster County is an easy day trip away from Washington DC. Throughout the year, Thomas shows up at many different spots around the country, you’re not limited to just Strasburg.

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