The Eclectic

Time moves in one direction, memory in another. – William Gibson

Memoral Day weekend

Posted by David Leslie on June 4, 2006

Friday:

Battle the rainbow jell-0 until 3 in the morning
Saturday:

  • Took Jean to work
  • Packed the van
  • Got John breakfast
  • Finished the Rainbow jell-0
  • Picked Jean up at work

At this point we met Wendy and Kerri for the picnic. They took us to the Washington Township's Homestead park. I had never even heard of this park let alone been there but it was great. Different kinds of playgrounds plus fishing lake with a romantic bridge and amphitheater. We had some yummy chicken saliad before watching John 'fish' with the pole they bought him. Next we hit the playground to let John burn off some energy before the drive north to Cleveland.

Once in Cleveland we get to visit the new little Shull, Joshua Kent. From there it was off to supper at Station 43 which is just up the road from Jean's folks

Sunday:

Today is "A Day out with Thomas".

Jean couldn't tell who was more excited about going, John or myself. Keep in mind that John tells us that Gordon is waiting for us and that if we don’t hurry, we’ll miss his express train.

As for me, I once spent 23 on different Amtrak trains as part of my visit to see my girlfriend at the time who was living Maryland. I took a bus from Columbus to Cleveland, a train from Cleveland to Pittsburg changed engines in Pittsburg heading into the Horseshoe pass before we became commuter train into Philly. From Philly I hit the Northeast Corridor train to Baltimore.

Now when we first heard about this, the review wasn't all that good. The ride was 10 minutes going back then 10 minutes going forward for $16 per person. But we were told, the only thing requiring a ticket was the ride, everything else was free. So the plan at first was to just go and hang out but not ride. This didn't sit well. If anything, Jean was right, I wanted to ride and I knew John would too. So I purchased tickets ahead of time to avoid "the mother of all meltdowns".

Now I was expecting a small train for this event. What we got was a full size working steam engine. As we drove to the station, we watch Thomas cross in front of us and he was pulling 7 full size cars. The eyes even moved from side to side as Thomas worked his ‘branch line’. John wanted so bad to get out of the car to see him up close. My ticket call was the right one.

One thing to note was that it was HOT. We had brought snacks and drinks and the drinks were going down quick. John was like a kid in a candy store but the heat and the fact he was near nap time made him cranky. He also found the Lego play set in one of the activity tents. So he had a mini meltdown since he wasn’t ‘finished’ with his building.

Given the heat, it was a good thing that when it was our turn to ride we were welcomed by the fact the cars were air conditioned. Parents thanked whoever it was they thank for this tiny respite. We had taken with us John cousin Terri since she was free being under two. The little lady was not doing good between her cold and the heat. So the A/C also very much welcomed for her sake as well as ours. Another things happened with Terri, she loved the ride. She had this big grin on her face the whole ride as she pounded on the window as the park went by.

At the end of the ride, we got some photos of John with Thomas and then made our way to the gift shop. We had told John that he could get one toy and he stayed true to that since he really wanted a Percy train for his set (John loves to sing the ‘Percy song’ from his Thomas song book). John opted for the self powered Percy and I picked up a Percy book for him that looked fun.

While Jean took the things to the van, we let John play with the Legos some more which lead to a pre-nap meltdown. Yet by the time he was strapped to his car seat, he was reading his Percy book while starting to doze off.

I should also note something about the ride. You might thing, 20 minutes for $16 bucks, that a rip. Let me tell ya, right about that 18 minute mark, the kids started to get a bit antsy. It was at this point Thomas pulled back into the station. Had the ride gone on much longer, it wouldn’t have been pretty.

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