Yesterday we went on a Thomas outing -- a completely different kind of Thomas outing than the one that I described in my last post.
We drove to Baldwin City, Kansas, a town located Somewhere at the End of the Earth, where they had a real train with a life-sized Thomas "engine" attached to the front. Check it out:
We got to take a 25-minute ride on the big train, and a guy dressed like a conductor even walked by and punched our tickets. WCK couldn't get enough of waving out the window. She had a good time, but before we even got to the train ride, we rode on a shuttle bus -- A REAL SCHOOL BUS, PEOPLE -- from the parking lot to the railroad depot. I think this might have been even more exciting than the train ride. WCK could not stop smiling through the whole bus ride. In the future, maybe we need to find more events that use school-bus shuttle buses, and we'll simply ride back and forth to the event area for free, instead of actually paying for a train ride.
After the ride, we wandered through a big tent containing every Thomas-themed product you could ever want. WCK picked out a Mylar balloon that's as big as she is. We made the mistake of purchasing the balloon before lunch, and then trying to eat hot dogs in the wind with a three-foot balloon. While Jay and I were wrestling with Balloon-Zilla, we heard a cry from WCK: She'd plucked a jalapeno off of Jay's nachos and discovered that it was not, in fact, a pickle. I've never seen her drain the sippy cup so fast.
The best part of the day was that WCK received a certificate announcing that she is now a "Junior Engineer". This is a HIGHLY OFFICIAL certificate, signed by Sir Topham Hatt himself. I know Topham Hatt has a very rigorous screening process. I imagine he only takes the best of the best, like in Top Gun. I think we should carry this with us at all times. I mean, what if we're on a train someday and the engineer keels over? A panicked cry will go out: "Does anyone here know how to drive a train?"
"Yes!" I'll exclaim, waving the certificate in the air. "My three-year-old daughter is a Junior Engineer!"
The passengers will heave a collective sigh. WCK will save the day.