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[personal profile] kathygnome
Today is Nora's birthday and she's now sick. Yesterday we took a trip to Edaville Railroad aka Edaville USA aka Thomasland--as in Thomas the train. (The timing was picking the day with the best weather forecast.) This is a real classic Olde New Englande sort of thing to do. It started off when a guy bought a narrow gauge train to service his cranberry bogs which slowly morphed into a tourist railroad, mostly known for it's huge display of Christmas lights. In more recent years, they added a few "small child" amusement park rides and a couple of years ago, they did a big expansion into Thomas-Land aka Thomas the train. Again, all aimed at little kids rather than trying to compete with Six Flags.

Before my family ran into a brick wall, my parents took me to it when I was around Nora's age and I remember it pretty fondly. The other place we went to a very few times was a little amusement park called Jolly Cholly's. It was a lot like what Edaville is now, with rides mostly aimed at little kids. I remember little cars, all of them sort of 50s styles and already out of date. I didn't care, I was four or five. I was charmed.

And that's pretty much what yesterday was like. Charmed. They definitely have some "better" rides, including a roller coaster, but it's all small scale and fun. And there's a whole lot of retro stuff there including a "space" ride build around what are clearly meant to be Mercury program capsules--so probably 59 to 61 as I'd guess once the Gemini spacecraft was revealed in 1961, they'd probably have used that.

What's great is the atmosphere is perfect for little kids. There are no teenagers here trying to impress their dates. I think it gives some of the older younger kids ie, the 9 and 10 year olds a little more permission to enjoy what might get overlooked as "little kid" rides. And even for Nora, there was only one ride, a scrambler, that she was too small to ride, Though we told her she was too short for the rollercoaster and a couple of others that we thought she (or I) would freak on. She did freak out on the tilt a whirl, which she loved the last time we went. I'm guessing that's because it was towards the end of the day and she was getting tired and probably a little dehydrated.

Another nice aspect, is they don't care if you bring stuff in. So we had our water bottles and some trisquits to eat. We also got a couple of sodas along the day and had lunch at one of the official places, so we paid our pound of flesh. The $4 they lost in forcing us to buy a bottle of water was more than made up for in goodwill. Plus, really, you gotta let the little ones have their water bottle or their snack or whatever the heck it is that they want. They're, well, little.

One thing I have to give Nora is she is not a commercialized child. She glanced into the Thomas gift shop, but never pushed to go in. The only item she actually even asked a little about was a Thomas balloon. She was there for the experience.

As an odd "holy crap" sidenote, the "Thomas" train is actually just a prop and the train is really powered by a small red diesel switching engine behind Thomas. A tip toe through wikipedia and a few other sources informs me that the red switching engine was originally built for The Whitin Machine Works, which was the the mill in the Decaying Mill Town where I grew up.
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