Ellie has been a Thomas the Train fan for a while now. She likes the show, and loves playing with the Thomas train set at Barnes & Noble after our weekly storytimes. Train tracks run through our neighborhood and whenever a train passes by, she tells me which Thomas character it is. She was thrilled to "ride on Thomas" when we first rode the Jacksonville Skyway. Basically, she gets pretty excited about trains.
So, we knew she would love this event. We drove down from my dad's house in St. Pete the morning of Saturday, March 14th, arriving with plenty of time to check out the rest of the event a little bit before actually riding Thomas.
First things first: photo ops.
Eric, Ellie and trains!
Next it was on to an activity tent, where Eric helped Ellie craft a macaroni necklace.
Real men make macaroni necklaces.
Then we stopped for a Thomas the Train temporary tattoo.
Showing off her tattoo
By then we were due to line up for our turn to ride Thomas, so we headed over to the track. As Thomas pulled in, Ellie got very excited...then a little nervous, because he was pretty loud.
Here comes the big guy himself!
Ellie was so pleased when she saw him coming!
And, then she got nervous.
We boarded the train and found our seats.
Kids on a train!
Then the conductor came around and punched our tickets.
Tickets in the back pocket!
And we were off! Ellie was so pleased when we started moving, and E.J. was pretty tickled by the whole thing, too. We rode out for a while then back, and the kids had a great time looking out the window.
Ellie's face when the train started moving
Looking out the window
After our train ride, we hopped off and hurried into line to pose for photos with Thomas. Unfortunately, this part was run pretty inefficiently and a huge crowd of people were left photo-less because they could not move the line through quick enough before Thomas had to depart again. We were in that photo-less group, but we did snag some alongside of Thomas while in line, so those will do.
Waiting for a closer look
This kid is killing me.
Family with Thomas
We then moved on to another photo opportunity, with Sir Topham Hatt. E.J. didn't love this part.
After that, I took E.J. to the "baby station," a tent that was marked as being intended for diaper-changing and nursing. I thought it was nice that they thought to designate a place for that, but once inside the tent, it was beastly hot and the only thing in there was one long folding table. A couple of folding chairs for nursing mothers and a trash can for dirty diapers would've really helped! But, they tried, I suppose. I sat on the table and nursed E.J., while Eric took Ellie to a tent where she could watch a Thomas episode and hear a Thomas story.
Eric and Ellie in the story tent
By that time we were pretty hot and tired, so after a quick walk through the gift shop madness (and a couple more photo ops), we hit the road.
It was a very fun event overall, and I think both kids really enjoyed it! It was a great way to kick off spring break!