despite the fact that sam's got trains at home he had a great time driving around on the train tables once he could finally find an abandoned engine (and this took a while, let me tell you. he was EXTREMELY patient, and i was mighty proud of my sam standing there watching carefully for his turn and not having a tantrum because there weren't any engines free for him to play with. sometimes it's just as well to have a somewhat reserved three year old.)
there was a forklift and a few other small vehicles that they were letting kids get into and pretend to drive (also a hit). and after we ate a bit of lunch (so glad we packed something healthy rather than relying on what i can only assume was highly overpriced junkfood), we finally boarded thomas for our ride.
the trains were nice (as in air conditioned and quiet), and the ride was just long enough so that sam saved his fidgety sillies for the last five minutes. i can only say that this part was definitely geared to the 2–6 year old thomas fanboys (sam knows about thomas and enjoys watching the show occasionally, but he's FAR from fanboy status.) still, he liked the ride and had a good time.
afterward we walked around and saw the miniature train displays, rang a big train bell, perused the bouncy houses (sam refused to go in alone), and sam got his temporary tattoo.
at this point we were all feeling a bit hot and tired, but sam was keen on revisiting the forklift and buggy, so we went back over and sam played around a while longer. we probably should've tried to make a graceful exit at this point, but instead we pushed our luck and sam ended up face down in the gravel with another bonk on the head (a small cut on his left eyebrow—that left side of his head really takes a beating) and a scraped up knee. he was clearly way past "done". we found the first aid tent where they cleaned and bandaged up our boy (and where i proceeded to get entirely too dizzy to stand), and then quickly made our way to one last stop at the porta-potties and then home.
sam was out like a light within minutes of getting back in the car, and he didn't protest leaving until he woke up at home a couple of hours later.
some more photos from the day:
though i'm not sure we'll do the thomas event again, we did have a good time. we'd actually like to try going on one of the non-thomas rides sometime in the near future.