We recently drove out to Union, Illinois, to the Illinois Railway Museum for a Day Out with Thomas. It was a little odd to see a full-sized Thomas the Tank Engine. His eyes moved, he whistled, and he puffed steam. (And while he was putting on a good show at the front of the train, an engine at the other end did the hard work of moving the passenger cars.)
We took one twenty-minute ride, soon after we arrived. Eleanor then spent the rest of the day asking when we could go again. Every time Thomas passed by, she was equally excited. “Hi, Thomas!” she yelled, waving her little arms at him. August was into it too, though his enthusiasm is more expressed through grunts and gestures. (Dude, learn some new words already.)
My sister, Ashley, came with us for the day.
The old trains were amazing. I felt so small next to them. Barn number 9 housed all of the big steam engines, and Eleanor was afraid to go in. Too scary, she said. (They were imposing.) Ashley and I took August in while E hung back with Brandon.
Aunt Ashley got a little bonding time in with August, and an arm workout.
Cool old signs. (Climax! Tee hee! I’m twelve.)
The day was train-centric (obviously), but there were a few other things to do. Eleanor and Brandon played a round of mini golf. (Bran was proud of his hole-in-one shot.) There was a fire engine there, which is August’s OMG favorite thing in the world, and I thought the kids would have been more into trying on the firefighters’ hats. Don’t they look thrilled?
Also, Eleanor met Sir Topham Hatt. (Or “The Fat Controller”, depending on which Thomas story you’re reading and how flattering it is toward him.) E carried a rock.
They really did have a great time though! The grown-ups, too. I imagine we’ll be attending for the next few years.