A Day Out with Thomas!


We just had to be there.

We made a trip to Fillmore, CA to see the “real-life” Thomas the Tank Engine. Ann and I had known about this event for some time now and at first were debating on if we should go. As the tickets began to sell out, we decided we should get in on this. And we’re glad we did.

The tickets entitled the bearers to a 20-minute ride lead by Thomas himself, although I seriously think the locomotive at the end of the train was more or less the real power behind the train, Thomas being more of a caboose than anything.

Basically, the train backed out from Central Park station in downtown Fillmore, went for about 10 minutes, and then headed back with Thomas leading the way. Not exactly a tour of wine country, but Anthony didn’t care. In fact, upon our arrival to the event an hour ahead of time, Anthony’s first glance at the bright blue engine elicited one loud reponse: “WOOOOOOOWWWWW!”

The rest of the day was spent enjoying the activities: temporary tattoos, coloring, food, and more. Fillmore is definitely not a big city and it shows. The people were kind, the atmosphere relaxed. One indication that I was no longer in the city was when we were riding the train. At one point, there was the strong smell of cilantro and tangerines coming from the fields that were as far as the eye could see.

Downtown Fillmore reminded me a lot of downtown Fullerton (CA), another city made famous for its railways. Fillmore, however, hit me as being more authentic as it still is a small town. Fullerton’s downtown district now just seems to be a backdrop for the non-stop traffic that clogs its narrow streets. This event probably brings in more traffic than the residents care to think about.

We went to a panaderia and bought some bread. Awesome stuff. After talking to my brother about our trip, we’re convinced that someone should make car air fresheners in a “Panaderia” scent in the shape of the gingerbread pig. If heaven smells like anything, it’s a panaderia.

Another fun part of the trip was eating at the Bob’s Big Boy in Santa Paula. Granted, the burger wasn’t as big or as good as I remember, but for nostalgia purposes it definitely worked. And I got my picture taken with the Big Boy himself.

For Digital Documentation, click here. (Note: those images are from the 2007 trip, not 2006.)

We spent lots of money. We ate at the Big Boy. But we just had to be there.

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