Yes, Thomas. That loveable and helpful engine was in town so of course we had to go. It was a terrible, rainy Saturday and we didn't have tickets ahead of time but we thought that might work out in our favour. How busy can it be, right?
Apparently this is a massive deal. One of the staff told us that they get over 20,000 people through for this event over the course of the two weekends it runs. This is one of the few stops Thomas makes in Canada so people flock to it.
We managed to secure some tickets for the 3:30 train - and tickets for this event aren't terribly cheap. $25 a person gets you admission to the full event and a 25 minute ride on Thomas. There was lots going on in the memorial centre where the event was held - bouncy castles, pictures with Sir Toppham Hatt (Vivian was terrified - clinging and shaking), arts and crafts areas, storytime, a hay bale maze - they really made it a full day event for the kids.
But when it was finally time to line up for our ride, that was when the real fun began. Seeing Thomas come chugging up to all these kids was really something special. It's the real deal - his eyes move and everything. Kids are just losing their minds because OMG, he's real. He's right there - he's real! Definitely worth the money just to see the kids eyes light up and to feel like there was still some magic in the world.
The staff on the train were awesome - taking time to talk to everyone, offering to take pictures, and coming by to wipe up the rain that was pouring in some windows at this point (it was raining like crazy!). L was a little unsure about actually riding the train, but was fine once we got rolling. Blair was yelling, "All aboard!" and Vivian was waving to people on the street like she was a queen.
Of course there was a fully-stocked gift shop at the event, but we stuck with just the balloons. They had smaller ones that were just round and said "I spent the day with Thomas!" and then there were these massive Thomas blimp type things. Of course Vivian had to have the big one, while L and Blair were happy with the smaller ones. Didn't take long for Vivian to grow to hate the balloon since she didn't want it tied to her wrist and hated having it tied to her belt loops. So I end up being the carrier of the balloons. Let me tell you - helium balloons on a rainy, windy day are pretty much the most annoying things in the history of the world. And now the stupid thing is still bobbing around my living room.
The things you do.