Thumbs down for the silly face train (as Thomas is known in our house) organizers for “Day Out with Thomas” in Lakeville, Minnesota’s Tumbleweed Express. Last year the venue was in Stillwater’s Minnesota Zephyr. Though we aren’t Thomas fans, per-say, we did enjoy the event and all it offered in scenic Stillwater.
The people that organized this event seemed as though they were not prepared. After parking, you were to walk down a road, with no shoulder. Upon reaching the front gate, a lady looked at our tickets and told us to be across the street in 15-minutes for our train. We ambled around the games and activities, which were not of the same quality and ‘professional’ staff that the Stillwater experience consisted of. We walked over to get in line for our train, where we were to leave our stroller, in no particular order, along side the road. As people got off the train before us, they had to pull out strollers and search for their own, which meant all the people in line that had strollers were now displaced. As more people added to the line behind us, people were standing in the middle of the road! One of the organizers was yelling to people to stay out of the road…as he tried to direct cars around them and the people around a bend to the adjacent parking lot.
The train ride was nice, but by far, not as scenic as Stillwater. No one ever took our tickets either. It lasted a mere 25-minutes long. Just good enough for Nishad to have his fill. As we excited, the organizers had a “new system” in place for those boarding the train. They had lawn chairs wrapped with rope around them to form crowd control lines. In addition, they moved the location of where you can park your strollers. However, when I had to step into the line to get my stroller, a few people were very quick to tell me that they moved the parking spot for the strollers. Ok people, I know it’s hot but all I want to do is pick-up my strollers as I alrady rode the choo-choo! One lady stepped on the rope to help me guide the stroller out. Then suddenly a pack of people exiting the train enveloped the people in line to make a path to their strollers. Apparently, we were one of the first people off the train. I told Ashish to start walking back to the car and I would take a few pictures of the front of the train. I was amazed at all the bickering people- in front of children! They didn’t want to pay the photographer to take a picture with the child at the front of the train so they decided to stand on the railroad tracks to snap a shot. People were upset that people weren’t ‘taking turns’- Imagine! Perhaps they need to have the adults sit down and watch a Thomas DVD on manners! It also didn’t help that the line to take a picture and the line to board the train were in the same spot.
Honestly, he wasn’t that excited this time. Maybe because he just went on a 90-minute train ride in Duluth a few weeks ago? Perhaps he’s had his fill of trains! I told Ashish today, by the time we move out of this state, we’ll have been to every train depot around as we’ve been to the depots in Duluth, Still Water, Jackson Street Round House, Bemidji, and St Croix for the pumpkin patch train! Anyway, it was great to get out on this beautiful sunny and warm day as a family. At $17.00 per ticket, I think we’ll chugga-lugga past this stop on the ride of commercialism. (Yes, by going I am fully aware we are part of the problem. ha,ha.)
We stopped over at IKEA and had lunch and bought a table for the kids. We had a cheap chair and table for them, but we wanted to upgrade. We picked out the table ($34.99) and chairs ($19.99 each) from the Kritter collection. A little spendy, but we wanted something that was stable and would last longer. It’s bright and very cute! It’s in our kitchen now and I can’t wait to have breakfast with the kids at ‘their’ table!