Sunday, September 20, 2009

Day out with Thomas

This past weekend we spent the day with Thomas the tank engine. I think my mom and I were just as excited if not more than Mason. We drove up the night before and spent the night in a hotel in Lancaster. Had breakfast at Cracker Barrel then drove the few miles to Ronks, home of The Strausburg Railroad.

We arrived an hour and 45 min. early so we decided to check out the museum on site to kill time before our 11:45am ride time. In all honesty I think we all thought the museum was the highlight of the day. No offense Thomas. We got to see some pretty cool engines and even got to walk through and sit in a few. Fred talked to employee of the museum and we learned that trains had a "dead man's pedal." It controlled the emergency break and you had to have your foot on the pedal at all times. If you fell asleep and your foot came off, all breaks slammed on. Then you'd have to wait for everything to cycle through before you could start again. We also learned that before wooden ties, iron rails on stone sleepers were the only track construction. The Pullman Sleeper Car was pretty cool. In the 1920's, the Pullman Company was the largest hotel operator in the world. I find the whole idea of traveling by train so romantic. Not the love kind of romantic. Call it geeky, nostalgic, whatever. But I am fascinated by all things old and historic. Life in the early 1900's is always romanticized in movies, books and memories. I wonder if our kids will look back at the 21st century and feel the same way?

Heading across the street we look up and point excitedly. Mason look! Whose that puffing down the track? It's Thomas! Hello Thomas!

We probably hyped it up more than we should because it felt a bit like a let down. But still fun. The coach was beautiful but the windows only opened part way so it was hard to see out them. We moved at the pace of a quick crawl. The ride only consisted of us moving backwards, passed barns, cornfields and the Red Caboose Motel; stopping and then moving forward returning to the station. We were expecting a little bit more, like maybe a ride around something instead of back and forth. They did play Thomas music during the ride and Mason got to hand the ticket stubs to the conductor. It was short but sweet, and still fun. About all a three year old could handle I think.

We then had some lunch and did some shopping for Thomas merchandise. Mason is all set for his birthday and Christmas. All in all the Thomas, Hero of the Rails Tour was a success. After all we did get our picture taken with Thomas, and that is all that matters right? As I saw all the other little boys having major meltdowns all around us, I was so thankful to have the wonderful kids I do. Tired and ready to be home we packed up and headed out.

Wonder if we will be making the trip next year for Sophie. Girls can be into Thomas too. Only seems inevitable with all the train and car paraphernalia in the house that she'd take after her big brother.

Stay tuned for my post about our trip to the Outer Banks. A lot happened so there is a lot to write about. Also this is the busiest time for us. An event just about every weekend. Keep reading, I promise I'll be up to date soon.
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