This past Saturday we were lucky enough to spend the day with Thomas and Percy. I've been looking forward to this for a few months now, ever since I first saw that the famous train duo would be in town. It just happened to work out perfectly that Ez has been giving his monster trucks a break and spending more time playing trains and motorcycles recently. Especially after a trip to the bookstore where they have a very cool Thomas tracks setup. After that we brought out all of our own tracks and trains and have been spending many of Declan's naptimes playing trains. We'd let Declan join us if he wasn't so fond of tearing apart the tracks and flinging them across the room.
So anyway, back to Saturday morning. We dressed up in our finest Thomas the Train shirts, loaded mom's purse with Thomas the Train toys, and headed off to meet Gangy and Grampa at the railroad tracks. Making Thomas's appearance even more exciting was the fact that it was combined with a Halloween party. I can't say enough good things about Roaring Camp Railroads. Each month they have special festivals and fun events for kids and adults alike, but at the holidays they really go all out and make everything so festive. Last year we went on the train ride with Santa and it was the perfect way to kick off the Christmas holidays. The same can be said for Thomas's Halloween Party.
They had a little festival area set up for the kiddos, with bounce houses, mini tractors, face painting, tattoos, cookie decorating, train sets, and even a little pumpkin patch where each kid got to pick out their own pumpkin. We arrived about an hour before our train ride so we had plenty of time to make the rounds in the festival area. After a quick tractor race we headed to the cookie station. Ez enjoyed licking the frosting off his cookie while Declan liked his cookie plain, no frosting. They make a good pair, those two.
When we came across the temporary tattoos Declan acted like he was getting his yearly shots. I actually think there were more tears shed than at his most recent round of immunizations. Who knew that a piece of paper and a wet sponge could be so traumatizing? Peeling off the paper so he could see his train was of little comfort, and he immediately tried picking it off his arm. At least there were pumpkins to cheer him up. So many just lying around waiting to be picked up and thrown. Ez was a lot more excited about the tattoo and he was so into the train theme that he actually sat still long enough for someone to paint a train on his arm. He's never done that before, so I was pretty shocked. Later that evening a kid at the playground complimented him on his trains and he couldn't contain his smile after that.
As much fun as the festival was, it was time for the best part - meeting the trains! We got pictures of both Thomas and Percy. I didn't see Sir Topham, or whatever his name is, although supposedly he was there somewhere. I don't think anybody really cares about him anyway though, right? Sorry Sir Topham. Thomas and Percy were huge stars though. Especially when I pulled out a couple of trains from my purse. Declan kept looking at the toy, then looking at Thomas, back and forth back and forth several times, then finally he pointed at the big Thomas and yelled "cah-AAAARRR!!!" Ez loves all trains, big, small, fast, slow, but he definitely understood that seeing Thomas and Percy was pretty special.
And the day got even better because we actually got to ride the Thomas train. The inside was all spooky with witch hats and bats and ghosts and spiders hanging from the ceiling. I think even without the Halloween decorations it would've been a little haunted looking because it has such an old, vintage feel with the red velvety chairs and the wood siding. It was like going back in time to the old west. We made sure to get a spot on the scenic side, along the river, and settled in for our ride.
Ez and Declan were both completely transfixed, staring out the window at the gorgeous scenery, and just taking in the fact that we were riding a real "clackety clack, choo choo" train. Not just the everyday trains we take into town to visit Aunt Anna for lunch during the week. The train tracks go up a mountain, along a river, through redwood trees and we even saw a few trees with reddish leaves which made my fall-loving heart so happy. I can't put into words how pretty it is up there. It's a real, true forest which is still a novelty to us after living in Southern California for so long. The fact that Gangy brought along some M&Ms for the ride only added to the charm ;)
When we arrived back at the depot we picked up our pictures and took one last walk through the festival before heading off for some Mexican food. The kids were so hungry from all that running around that they were almost well-behaved at lunch. Aside from Declan throwing Thomas the Train into my water glass. You know, just the standard eating out in public with toddlers kinda stuff ;)
How are we already halfway through our list? This season needs to slow down just a tad.