Chattanooga: Day Two

Thursday, April 30, 2015
Last Sunday was a day we have been waiting and dreaming for for quite a while. Our trip to the Tennessee Valley Railroad to take a ride on Thomas. It was the "Day Out with Thomas" event where Thomas travels around the country. We knew our Thomas loving little boy would have a blast.

We were up early because we had tickets for the first ride of the day. Which on a Sunday was at 10:00 am. Looking back this was the best possible decision for a number of reasons. First it was much cooler in the morning and by the time we were leaving after lunch it was getting really hot. Second it was much less crowded earlier in the day. And third we had more time to take pictures in front of Thomas before our ride because he was sitting there waiting for us instead of being out on the tracks.

So photos with Thomas were the first order of business when we arrived about 45 minutes before our scheduled ride. Then we meandered around a little bit and Perry enjoyed the super awesome bubble machine that was pumping out bubbles by the thousands. Bubbles are such a life saver when it comes to entertaining toddlers.

Before we knew it it was time to board one of Thomas' coaches for our 30 minute ride to no where. We were in car 4. I tried to do all kinds of googling ahead of time about which car is best to book and I never really found any good advice. And the reason being it really makes no difference. They are all the same. The tickets are all general admission within your car. We were pretty far back in line to get on but had no trouble getting seats together. P actually had two seats to crawl around on. 

The ride was simple and fun. Everyone yelled "all aboard" and the conductor came around and punched your tickets. Perry had fun looking out the window and naming the things we passed...road, tree, house, pond.

After the ride we went to go try to meet Sir Topham Hatt but his line had just been cut off for the hour so we went and grabbed a bite to eat at the concession stand. The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is huge and has a whole indoor concession area and seating. 

Then Andrew went to go stand in the Sir Topham Hatt line while P and I did a little more walking around. Perry got his first tattoo. A temporary one of course. He had lots of trains to choose from for his tattoo and he picked Salty. He was so proud of his Salty on his hand the rest of the day and was then very confused as to where it went after his bath later that night.  He kept saying "where did Salty go?"

Let's get real. Sir Topham Hatt in person is pretty scary looking, large and emotionless. Perry loved the idea of meeting him but when it actually came time to run up and meet him he froze right in his tracks. In my arms he was ok getting within two feet of the guy. It was still very cool though. How many kids can say they have met the controller of the Sodor railways himself.

Before we headed out Perry got some lessons in mini golf, because you just can't go to a railroad without playing golf. And we checked out the gift shop and Perry brought home Henry for his train table collection, the only one of the main Thomas engines we were missing.

We headed out early afternoon right as things were getting really hot and really crowded. And made the 1.5 hour trek back home. Perry was one happy kid and loved our train weekend adventure (note his Salty hand tattoo). Mom and Dad might have enjoyed it a little bit too.

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