Day Out With Thomas 2017

Maverick is obsessed with all things that have wheels–cars, trucks, motorcycles, bikes & especially trains. So when I found out that the Midway Railway was hosting a Day Out With Thomas, I knew it was a family outing we had to do.

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From our house, the Midway Railway is about an hour away. We figured we could leave first thing in the morning, ride Thomas the Train, do ALL the activities and be back on the road by nap time. In theory, it was a really great plan.

We hadn’t told Maverick that we were going (mainly because I didn’t want to listen to him asking 800 times an hour all day, every day leading up to it), so when we woke him up that morning, we just told him that we had a special day planned. Lucky for us, he’s still at the age where he doesn’t question where we are going when we get in the car. Plus, he was totally content with an hour long drive, thanks to some QT donuts!

Baldwin City was a great host to Day Out With Thomas. They have clearly been doing this awhile because as soon as you pulled into town, there were signs everywhere directing you to the free parking lots. I had read online that shuttle buses ran every 10 minutes to take to you the railway. Now, I’m one of those people who don’t like to feel rushed. It makes me anxious and as luck would have it, the second we parked, the bus pulled up to take us to the railway. Since we hadn’t even gotten out of the car yet, Shawn & I were scrambling to get everything & everyone together and we were hot messes. I still don’t know why we didn’t just tell the bus to go ahead & wait for the next one, but we didn’t & in the mad dash, we left behind necessities–snacks, water cups, Maverick’s hat, sunscreen–but we made it on the bus.

Maverick still had NO idea what was happening, but he was so excited to be riding a school bus. I mean, really, we could of just skipped the whole Thomas part & rode the bus all day and he would have been just fine.

Anyways, we pulled up to the railway and after unloading, we told Maverick that we were going to go ride Thomas the Train. Shawn was recording Mav’s reaction on his phone in hopes of having the next viral video and of course, Maverick responded with, “Okay.” Kids, I swear.

Rushing to get on the bus, threw us off and when we entered the railway, the announcer was calling to “board Thomas” so of course, we ran to get in line. We were hoping to get one of the open cars, but they were full so we settled for a closed car. We boarded our train car & the whole thing was decked out in Thomas the Train decorations–complete with the Thomas soundtrack playing. At this point, Maverick’s excitement kicked in and thank God, because it was 100 million degrees inside that old train car & I was going to be really pissed if he wasn’t LOVING every minute.

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As we were waiting for the “All Aboard,” Percy passed us on the railroad.

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Maverick loved waving to Percy & the passengers on the train. We didn’t get tickets to ride Percy too, but I think in the future, we definitely will.

Percy & Mav

While we sat there & I collected my nerves, Shawn looked at me and goes, “What time is our ticket for again?” I said, “11, why?” When we purchased our tickets, you have to select a train departure time. Shawn looked at me and said, “It’s only 10. We are on the wrong train!”

At this point, I couldn’t help but laugh. Our perfectly planned morning had been nothing short of a disaster & we hadn’t even left the train station yet! We had been running around, forgetting things, hustling the children about & we were a whole hour early! I was just praying that nobody would notice because over my dead body was I going to drag my train-loving 2-year-old off that train without it leaving. Can you imagine the meltdown?! Thankfully, nobody noticed (or cared).

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The train ride was 30 minutes long & on the way back, we had to help Thomas get back to the station by yelling “Pull Thomas Pull.” All the children were rewarded a Junior Conductor Certificate for helping and clearly Maverick was VERY pleased with himself.

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He’s excited, I promise.

After we got off the train (and saw everyone lining up for the 11:00 train…oops!), we got to enjoy all of the activities. They had train tables for kids to play with, a petting zoo, train cars to play on & a movie area to watch Thomas the Train. Maverick was most interested in playing at the train tables & watching the movie. Shawn did take him to meet Sir Topham Hatt though.

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I snapped this picture seconds before Maverick realized who was next to them and started screaming. He was terrified of Sir Topham Hatt. Poor guy!

We ended the day in the gift shop tent, because of course, we had to buy another train while we were there. While I walked around with Kennedy, Shawn patiently waited with Maverick while he examined EVERY train they sold before settling on Connor–who he calls Thomas.

The bus took us back to our car and our already cluster of a day ended with me nearly breaking my ankle by taking the short cut to the car through the uneven grassy terrain. I was fine, but it was really the icing on the cake. Now I can laugh about the whole day & really the main thing is that Maverick had no idea that most everything went wrong & Shawn and I are MUCH better prepared for next year.

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Memorial Day in Ellis

Does anybody else feel like they are still recovering from their long weekend because I sure do?! I know it’s already Wednesday, but my goodness I need a vacation from my vacation.

We spent Memorial Day weekend in Ellis, Kan., which is where Shawn is from. It’s a very small town about 4 hours west of Kansas City. We left Friday afternoon, around nap time, so the kids would sleep in the car and only had to make 1 stop the whole drive! Kennedy woke up from her nap outside of Salina, Kan., so we stopped at a gas station for diaper changes & snacks.

This trip was the first Brack Family Road Trip in the new minivan and words cannot describe how much I love this car! Not only did we fit ALL THE THINGS that my 2 tiny people require, but I had feet space in the front seat & nothing was blocking Shawn’s view in back! Plus, when Kennedy lost her shit with about an hour left to go, I just jumped in the 3rd row so I could entertain her (and clean up the entire Starbucks cookie that Maverick let melt everywhere).

The main reason we traveled to Ellis for the weekend was because it was Shawn’s 20th High School Reunion! On Saturday, we went to the reunion lunch and I got to meet Shawn’s old friends. It was so good to hear stories of high school Shawn (spoiler alert: nothing has changed in 20 years) and finally meet some people that I only knew through Christmas card exchanges.

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Ellis High School, Class of 1997

There was a reunion dance that evening, but at last minute we scraped those plans & decided to take the kids to the races with Shawn’s best friend, Christy. It was cold, the cars were loud, the track was muddy & Maverick LOVED every single second of it.

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He kept saying, “Fast cars. Very fast cars” and when 2 of the cars crashed (very minor crashes), Maverick got excited & kept saying, “Crash.” He was very into watching the Jeeps tow the crashed cars away.

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Kennedy had not napped all day (shocking, I know), so I put her in my Tula for the races & strapped some headphones on her. It was so loud, even when we sat far away & I was worried about her little ears. I don’t know if it was the muffled noise or being strapped to my chest, but Kennedy had the best nap of the entire weekend while we were at the track.

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Sunday we spent the day with Shawn’s mom. We went to eat lunch at one of Shawn’s local favorites, Taco Shop, and we had to check out the new snow cone shop in the mall. I will say, those snow cones were some of the best we’ve ever had. They were the perfect ice to syrup ratio. After naps, we finished off the day at Shawn’s grandmother’s house for dinner & some outside play time.

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I love that Maverick & Kennedy get to spend time with their great-grandparents. It’s something I never got to do & I know it means the world to Shawn.

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And it’s pretty cool to see 4 generations of Brack’s together.

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Overall it was a great weekend, but we were all very excited to home. There’s just nothing like sleeping in your own bed, you know?

Hope everyone had a great weekend too!

xoxo