A daily photo-blog of my life as an American transplanted in the UK.
Saturday, 31 March 2012
Y4 - 183/365: A Day Out With Thomas
Well, folks...a day we have been waiting for has finally arrived!! Today Matt and I took Ryan to meet the REAL Thomas the Tank Engine and take a ride on The Severn Valley Railway!
The past week has been absolutely brilliant with sunshine and warmth, so while it was cooler and a bit overcast today, it didn't stop us from making our way to Kidderminster for Ryan to see one of his favourite trains. With Teddy in hand, he wasn't quite sure what to make of this "big" Thomas, but we could tell he was impressed when he exclaimed, "Wow," from the moment he saw him on the track.
Shortly after arriving at the station, we boarded the train and began looking for somewhere to sit. Luckily, the First Class sections were suspended and open to any passengers so we managed to snag a cushy cabin with another family who were visiting Thomas with their grandson. Ryan had a brief nap in the car on the way so was a bit out of sorts still when we got on the train. He clutched Teddy for dear life.
However, it didn't take long for him to slide down from the seat and have a bit of a mooch about the cabin. He could see everything passing by...even the West Midlands Safari Park.
He quickly warmed up to being a bit more social as well and began speaking with the little boy, Callum, who was a year older. Ryan was pointing out all the animals he could see, including ducks in a nearby pond. Callum didn't agree so Ryan's response was to turn to him and with a cheesy grin shout, "Quack! Quack!" This had the adults in stitches!
One of the funnier bits of this part of the journey was Callum's Thomas water bottle. Ryan was very intrigued and took to using his favourite word, "mine," when admiring Callum's water bottle. Matt and I quickly remedied the situation by placing Ryan's sippy in view so he could have a drink if he wanted rather than risk him grabbing Callum's.
The boys took this opportunity to 'mark their territory' on each of their drinks.
Although the Severn Valley Railway goes all the way to Bridgnorth, we only took it as far as Highley as that is where the Imagination Station was located. We exited the train and Ryan waved goodbye before we made our way over the level-crossing and onto the other side of the tracks. This is where Ryan noticed a small-scale train display and was wowed once again!
We had a great view of some passing trains along the way...including this one which was being pulled by Percy or Henry...I couldn't really get a good look at his face.
Inside the building we made our way up to the balcony to have a good view of the magic show that was happening while still giving Ryan a chance to have a wander if he didn't want to sit still.
From up so high it was a perfect view as well of all of Thomas' friends on display. This was met with yet another impressive, "Wow!!"
It was a lot to take in so he did have to sit and have a breather at Daddy's feet at one point.
But that didn't last long and he wanted to chatter away to Mommy about all the things he could see.
And reposition his Thomas sticker...because right-side-up just didn't feel "right."
Eventually we made our way into The Whistle Stop Cafe for a nibble.
Daddy did his best to negotiate some of Ryan's Whatsits and might have managed to snag one or two when Ryan was too busy cramming food into his own mouth.
And because it was such a special day...a big, yummy cookie was definitely in order!
On the way back to Kiddie, we made a stop in Bewdley and had a short walk down to the River Severn to see the ducks. I have been here once before and when the flowers are all in bloom in the summer it is absolutely beautiful!
We watched the ducks for a bit, especially the funny-looking fat one that was closest to us, and talked about how we should visit the ducks again and bring some bread next time to feed them.
When we boarded the train for the last time, it was a great deal more crowded so we had to sit in the main section in a small booth. Ryan didn't seem to mind and we even decided to put together his free Megabloks "toy" he received for his visit. A bit pants really...three blocks and some stickers...but it did the trick for Ryan.
By 4 o'clock it was clear that a lack of any nap all day was getting to our little man. We suggested he put his head on Daddy's shoulder and that's exactly what he did before promptly closing his eyes and falling asleep.
Once back in Kidderminster we were just in time for the final Thomas show of the day. The Fat Controller, Sir Topham Hatt, gathered everyone on the platform and called Thomas down the line. Then he called on Diesel to help with shunting, but naughty Diesel had been bumping the trains about all day and he did it yet again. Ryan got a chuckle out of this.
They told a story how Thomas wasn't feeling well and they thought he had a bit of boiler ache.
Daddy snapped a photo of Mommy and Ryan this time as we laughed and watched one of the workers catch the fish in Thomas' boiler that was giving him the "tummy" trouble.
After the show we stopped in the gift shop for a few small souvenirs and then made our way to the exit, stopping one last time at the miniature railway for Daddy and Ryan to take a ride!
This will make Ryan's first proper trip to something like this and he really enjoyed himself and behaved beautifully for not having had a nap and being just two years old. I don't think we could have asked for a better day and I look forward to being able to do something like this with my little family again!
After two and a half years in a long-distance relationship, I packed my life of 29 years into 21 boxes and moved to England to marry and be with my husband, Matt. Now I'm reveling in the youth of my 30s in Great Britain, supply-teaching in primary schools near Birmingham and enjoying newlywed life, being a mommy, and all the surprises they bring!