He led me down between two lines of retired cars and engines and we ended up in front of a breakdown train (a train with a crane that is able to pick up derailed cars). Gus has a toy breakdown train so it was perfect for him to see a real one. We happened to arrive just before they started their demonstration. I couldn't believe the thing still worked. The driver (?) picked up a train chasis and moved up and down and from side to side. It was actually pretty amazing. Gus was in awe.
After the breakdown train, we made a quick jaunt past all of the vendor tents. They had one set up as a shop that was full of all things "Thomas." We moved very quickly through that area. Have you seen how much that stuff costs? We spent more time in the tent full of train tables and Thomas figurines.
After we stepped out, I noticed a line forming in front of a small stage so I figured we'd just get in line and see what happened. We were only a few people deep, but by the time Thomas arrived with eyes moving, horn tooting and steam billowing, the line stretched back to the edge of the parking lot. I missed the opportunity to snap a picture of Gus's face when he saw Thomas pulling up, but it was classic. Turns out the stage was for picture taking. I sent Gus up the stage by himself so I could capture a few shots, but I couldn't ever get him to look at me for longer than a second or two. This was the best I could do.
Our boarding soon followed and we enjoyed a 20 or so minute ride in a passenger coach with "Thomas" at the helm. We went over several bridges, passed old train cars, a parking lot with several semi-trucks in it and just rolled along through the woods. Towards the end of our trip we spent some time in between the cars where we could get a better view. I wasn't sure whether or not that was permissable, but one of the conductors came out and chatted with us for a while, answering our questions as we headed back to the station.
After we disembarked, we walked around to see what else the event had to offer (notice the toy Thomas in Gus's hand).
One of the highlights of the afternoon was the petting zoo. I know, they are kind of creepy, but I decided to relax a little bit and let him explore. Although they had chickens, a turkey, rabbits, a sheep (a very hot sheep, by the way), ducks and a pig, Gus's favorites turned out to be the kids (goat babies, right?). Gus laid on them just like he does with our cats. He was so attached to them and they didn't seem to mind him at all.