We love the North Carolina Transportation Museum! You probably know that... but I'll say it again! We all love it there. Last weekend, they hosted a Day Out with Thomas. Thomas and Friends is a popular British television show on PBS in the US - about Thomas (a train engine) and his friends at Tidmouth Sheds on the Island of Sodor. Luke, Will and Matt all enjoy the show.
I was pretty psyched when I found out that there is a true to life sized Thomas the Train that travels around the United States for Days Out. I has no idea how popular it would be though...
Nate's mom (Grammy) came down from New York to spend the special Thomas weekend with us. We arrived at the museum a little later than we'd anticipated, and were shocked that our typically sleepy museum had completely full parking lots and a traffic cop! There were people everywhere. Through all the hustle and bustle and excitement, we managed to get our tickets and into the train line on time.
Each train museum that hosts a Day Out with Thomas uses their own passenger cars for the ride - we are again grateful that the NC Transportation Museum has a railroad car equipped with a handicap lift and special wheelchair tie downs inside.
We settled into our seats, tied Will's wheelchair down, and enjoyed some Thomas music as the rest of the train passengers got onto the train. I can't imagine how many people took train rides on that day we went. There were sold out rides leaving every 45 minutes throughout the day, and there had to be 6 or 7 passenger cars on the train. All the boys were excited so they didn't mind the wait... even Matthew, whose patience that day was compromised on account of his right ear having been some spider's snack overnight. It was red and swollen, but after a dose of Benadryl, he was doing alright.
Finally, the train left the station. It didn't matter to Luke, Will and Matt that they'd been on basically the same train ride less than 6 weeks ago. This was a Thomas train ride - and one to share with Grammy!
After the train ride ended, we walked around the grounds to see some of the other Thomas related stuff they had. Of course people were taking pictures with Thomas whenever he was stopped to allow passengers to board. But of course, there was a long line for that and a professional photographer that you had to buy your pictures from. So there are no pictures of the boys with Thomas because I didn't feel like waiting in line or paying for a bad photo :)
But they didn't seem to mind not having that picture. They were too interested in playing with the Spencer fire engine, figuring out which vendor booth we should get drinks from, convincing me to buy train souvenirs from the humongous Thomas souvenir tent, and testing out a train table. It was a great time!
Will's favorite part of the day was taking a quiet moment with Grammy, away from the high energy, loud events in the roundhouse.
Luke honed in his cornhole skills - playing a Thomas bean bag game outside of the souvenir tent.
Matt recovered well from his spider bite... just in time to scare the crap out of all the parents of little kids, standing around a Thomas themed bouncy house. This is supposed to be a slide that he is going down. I don't think that was thrilling enough for him. That's a good three feet of air between his rear end and the slide.
I'm sure we'll be back to see Thomas again next year!!