This weekend we had a lovely day out to Drayton Manor in Staffordshire, home of Thomas Land!
This was our second visit, our first being to celebrate Lilly’s third birthday last December, when Thomas Land does a special Christmas themed Winter Wonderland.
I had the day booked off work on Friday, and we noticed an offer on Facebook that adults could get in for £10 when they wore pink, and we decided to go for it.
Once again Lilly absolutely loved it, and went on pretty much all the rides in Thomas Land, her favourites being Jeremy the Jet Plane, Bertie Bus, Harold the Helicopter and Diesel. She also went on the river rapids with daddy – and was enjoying that until right at the end, when an unexpected rapid caused her to bump her mouth on the middle of the boat, leaving her with a mouthful of blood… not so good!
As we didn’t get round to a ride on Thomas himself last time (it was about minus 2 when we went and we were frozen solid after a few hours!) we made that the first priority and took a little ride down to Farmer McColl’s Farm where Lilly had a go at Terence’s Driving School – basically a pedal operated tractor around a little track. There were some parents there taking this very seriously – shouting to their children to “straighten up the wheel, turn to the left, straight on, right a bit, etc etc”! (It’s not a real driving school, y’anno!”) But I must say, Lilly did much better than we expected… last time she went on something similar, at a fairground in Bournemouth, she only stayed on a minute before saying she’d “had enough” and just got off, leaving the car running!
Once again, Lilly demonstrated her thrillseeking side – for a girl who still hesitates at the mere thought of a “tunnel slide” at soft play, she certainly likes her white knuckle rides! So much so that we decided to risk taking her on the Troublesome Trucks rollercoaster ride… which was a bit of a gamble, because, you know, once you’re on, you’re on.
Tony decided to take her on while Isla and I watched. I felt a little bit nervous. But then they emerged, sitting on the middle of the rollercoaster which was ascending before its first drop… Lilly looked happy enough… “Oh God,” I thought. “She has no idea what’s about to happen!” Then, down it swooshed…. after a few seconds the ride swung back into view and there was Lilly… laughing her head off!
I have never ever seen such a sight as my baby girl riding a rollercoaster! And I don’t think I will ever forget it (which is just as well as I was far too shocked to get my camera out in time to capture this moment on film!)
Unfortunately, Isla is still a little way behind in the bravery stakes. She just about broke her heart crying on the Thomas train ride, which was white knuckle enough for our delicate little bubba. She did enjoy doing plenty of walking around the park though, thanks to her new reins which allow her to roam wherever she likes (or so she thinks!) without having to hold our hands (which she hates!)
We did manage to take both the girls on the Ferris Wheel right at the end of our stay, which Isla quite enjoyed… until the ride stopped and the brakes made a rather loud and unexpected noise which started off the screaming again!
After our last visit, and the huge traffic jam on the M6 during our return journey, we decided to spend the night in a nearby Premier Inn… Lilly’s FAVOURITE hotel in the WHOLE WORLD, apparently. Thankfully both girls went to sleep reasonably easily and slept all night – in fact until almost 6.45am, which is a record! Tony and I were also in bed super early – about 8.30pm – Thomas Land is pretty tiring for grown ups too, you know!