I took JD to A Day Out With Thomas on Friday. He loves trains and even has a train table in his bedroom where he plays with Thomas, Percy, James, Mavis, Toby, Emily and all of the other trains who have names I can’t remember. Dressed in a bright Thomas shirt I found at Wal-Mart for six bucks (score!), we embarked on an hour road trip with our friends. As a single mom, it's great to do these trips with friends, since there are no other hands on deck (i.e there was someone to watch JD when I had to pee.)
The Road Trip: JD and I drove with my mom friend, Kelly and her daughter, K. Kelly and I were excited for a relaxing ride with our lattes because obviously our kids would snooze most of the way. Wrong. They were wide-awake, chatting, screaming “Blue car! Red car! Big Mack truck” the entire way. In between they feasted on pretzel sticks, rice puffs, Teddy Grahams and their sippy cups. JD dropped his Matchbox cars approximately 462 times on the way there, so I flung myself over the seat approximately 462 to retrieve them, each time, saying, “This is the last time. Next time I’m putting them in my purse so they can take a nap,” which was followed by JD, saying, “No! And I don’t wanna take a nap either.” It wasn’t all crazy though, the kids jammed to Katy Perry’s California Gurls on repeat with Kelly obsessively turning down the volume when Katy sings, “Sex on the beach…”
We Arrive: After an hour and change in the car we arrived in the quaint town of Phillipsburg, NJ (and I quickly internalize this town would be a good place to stage a twisted novel about a city girl being forced to live a more simpler life when her husband gets a new job). The first parking lot was full so we were redirected to one that was further away from the main attraction. Like over a bridge, further away. It was fine. After that car ride, I couldn’t wait to stretch my legs, feel the sun on my face and be in the open air. Well, that sun was accompanied by 90-degree heat. Good thing I packed water and a spray bottle for impromptu wet downs! We headed to the festival and first stopped at a little balloon show and purchased the kiddos a balloon, for a buck each. When the clown asked JD what he wanted, he declared, “A BIG (gween) green car!” It reminded me of the scene in Wedding Crashers where the little boy tells Jeremy he wants a bike. Jeremy made the bike, but the clown looked at me with a bit of a wrinkled, are you kidding me, face. JD got a sword, that kind of resembled a penis. Fine.
The Fun: We plopped the kids in the bouncy house next and they frolicked and fell down and got over-heated—time for a wet down! Next up, lunch. Kelly, Amy, Ed (Amy's hubby) and I all attempted to force feed our kids but it was really hot and we only got a couple of bites out of them. JD did discover fresh-squeezed lemonade and decided he loved it. I think he loved it more than the balloons, bouncy house, bubble fest, petting zoo, train ride and free-play train tables. HA!
We pushed the strollers down the hill. The kids were all smiles, pointing and “Whoa’ing!” at the blue Thomas train and black steam engine. I was feeling really hot and tired and just kept swigging water and smiling. Down on the ground, I took JD out of his stroller and gave him a closer look at the trains. When the steam train “tooted” we both jumped (it was loud and rattled us) and JD wrapped his arms around my neck. Even though it was 1000 degrees, it still felt good. Really, really good.
Main Attraction/Train Ride: I was happy to sit down once we got on the train, but quickly learned there was no AC and hardly any breeze (kind of like the NYC subway system). Fine. Made the best of it. Bottom line, JD was having a blast, so I was having a blast. He clapped and sang with me—and played peek-a-boo with his best bud K. The train ride started and it pulled backwards in a straight line for 12 minutes. Exciting. Then forwards for 12 minutes. Exciting. The whole time, cheery Thomas music played on repeat.
I deposited JD into the shaded play tent after the ride and watched as he pushed little trains on the track and made new friends. “Choo-choo, toot-toot!” he sang. His hair was wet with sweat and his cheeks were flushed. He looked cuter than ever! Three hours of heat, trains and a million kids and parents, we headed home.
The kids slept the entire way. The AC blew full blast.
What about you--Ever do a Thomas the Train day or other kiddy event adventure? (We did a Disney Cruise in January) Did you love it? Love it because your kid loved it? Hate it--be honest?