Jul 30, 2013

A Day Out with Thomas the Train

Technically, Thomas only pulled us for the second half of the journey
On Saturday, we got up early and made the 3-hour drive to Felton, CA in Santa Cruz county to go to Roaring Camp Railroads. Why make such a trek to ride a train when we have perfectly good ones here in Sacramento? Because this train was going to be pulled by none other than Thomas the Train! London's friend, Evan's mom had suggested the outing and we booked our tickets a few months back. We were able to pick which time and car we wanted to be in via the online service. 

Evan & London - so happy to see each other
London in the parking lot pulling the imaginary train whistle - Chugga Chugga Choo Choo

At the time we started discussing the trip I had started to record the show for London but she wasn't a huge fan (Sydney loved the theme song) so I stopped recording it. But when we told London on Friday night that we were going to ride Thomas the Train the next day she got real excited. And when we arrived at Roaring Camp, every train she saw she called Thomas! We quickly worked on correcting her that only the blue engine was Thomas, and while she didn't get a huge kick of seeing the actual engine, she did love the "tattoo" she got of Thomas. Evan got a Percy tattoo and London knew enough by then that she had Thomas and Evan had Percy.

Some white powder was added to look like steam. It lasted all of 5 minutes!

The temporary tattoo is still somewhat present. It's coming off in bits and pieces.
The event was ok. They had activities like bubbles and bounce houses set up, along with an area to play with wooden train tracks and toy trains. And it was nice that the Bouce houses were set up by age. The only problem was, London was the target demographic for the event so the line for her bounce house was a bit too long. They also had a few areas set up for viewing episodes of the show and people singing kid songs or Sir Toppem Hatt speaking at various times throughout the day. And of course, there was the temporary tattoo tent. 

Sydney all bundled up. It was a bit chilly compared to home.

We arrived about an 1 1/2 before our train was to depart and really just let London and Evan run around until it was time to line up and wait to board. Any thing to get excess energy out of kids before making them sit for even a 1/2 hour is a must. 

The kids had a fantastic time riding the train, even Sydney. We even tried to get some good pics with Sir Toppem Hat:

Notice London picking Sydney's nose?!

I can't really say we would do this again unless London really got into Thomas the Train and we were able to make it a full weekend away. The reason was didn't was mainly because Gibson can't be boarded yet.

Plus, we have plenty of good train rides right here in Sacramento. But, since both girls did thoroughly enjoyed the train ride, we are looking into a membership with the California Railroad Museum so we can go for rides whenever we want much closer to home and we're looking into getting tickets to the special Polar Express train ride in December. The membership would allow us to purchase tickets in advance of the general ticket sales opening, and I have heard each event ride sells out every year. Getting advanced opportunity to purchase would give us a better chance of being able to go on the day and time we really want. Plus, the view in Sacramento includes the Sac River over forest and a river way down below the train.

We also weren't too impressed with the amenities at Roaring Camp. For one, to use a credit card, they pulled out the old machines that you place a piece of carbon paper over the card and swipe it back and forth. I don't think I have seen one of these since the early 90s! And most bathrooms were port-a-potties with no changing tables. There was one physical bathroom location but Cameron said the men's room had only 2 stalls in it so my guess is the women's was the same with a changing table in there. I never tried to go in there though. The line for the women's room was always 10-12 women deep and moved like molasses. Cameron went into the men's room once, and only to take London when she really needed to go. She wouldn't go for me in the port-a-pottie and we did have her in a pull up but she insisted on using a rest room (which we are very proud of). Cameron wasn't the only dad doing this for his daughter either! When he exited with London, there was another dad waiting with his daughter. This set up just doesn't bode well for a children's event. Kids don't like porta potties - they are scared of falling in and they smell bad! I think most adults prefer a real toilet too.


  1. looks like the kids had fun.
    Eww port a potty .. i don't blame her.

  2. What a fun day! Your family is so cute. I can't believe how big Sydney is getting. Yay for rides with Thomas!