Once a year Thomas leaves the Island of Sodor and ventures out across America. Families all over come to get a glimpse of the Very Useful Engine, ride on the railway, meet Sir Topham Hat, and generally enjoy their Day Out With Thomas. This year Bob the Builder even made an appearance.
We purchased our tickets back in August. Thomas doesn't come to San Diego, but he does go to the Orange Empire Railway, which is about an hour away. Then, as we explain each year, he has to return to his home and the Island of Sodor, where the rest of his friends are waiting for him.
The kids are big fans of Thomas. I personally don't think he's a very nice engine to his friends-- and what they call "cheeky," I frequently think of as downright mean. But maybe that's my American perspective talking. Thomas was created by a Brit, after all (which explains why Casey kept saying he was cross instead of mad for the longest time!).
This year we got in line, rode a caboose at the back, which Thomas pushed and pulled, saw Bob the Builder and Sir Topham Hat from a distance, took pictures with Thomas (eating lunch in line because Casey insisted he could not wait until after lunch to get his photo), ate ice cream, played on some rail lines, and wandered the Thomas Store (realizing that the Totally Thomas store near our home has pretty much everything Thomas you could ask for).
Here are some photos of the kids-- we rode up with my brother Bryan and his son (the kids' cousin) Joey.