PICTURE YOURSELF... standing near some train tracks in a beautiful verdant setting (though not too near, of course). You hear the wind in the trees, you hear the bushes rustle, and then, around the bend, you hear a train on approach. You expect to see a traditional engine, perhaps something old-timey and puffed with steam, and then... Thomas shows up. That Thomas. The celebrated and beloved-by-tots-everywhere Thomas. As in Mr. the Tank Engine. (Serious question: Is "the" Thomas the Tank Engine's middle name?) Seeing his smiling blue visage and happy eyes, wouldn't you let out a small blurt or exclamation? Because it isn't every day one sees a train with a face round the bend. Only on television, right? Well, yes, except for a few special weekends a year in a handful of lucky spots. One such lucky spot is Felton, which, yes, is home to Roaring Camp Railroads, and those special weekends? The final weekend in July and the first weekend of August. Get ready, Thomas buffs, because a beloved toot-toot-er will be wending his merry way through the redwoods near Santa Cruz.
THE THRILL OF THE RIDE TOUR 2014: Thomas the Tank Engine has called upon Felton before, but here's the big-big-BIG news of this go-around (seriously, we meant that "BIG" in all capital letters): The tank engine will be able to talk to people. He'll greet visitors and kids'll hear his Thomas-sweet voice. Nice and magical, yes? Yes. Other favorites'll be back, like Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway (kids can actually meet and say hello to him) and jugglers and tunes and live storytelling. Oh, and a ride with Thomas, too, which lasts about 25 minutes. Ready for some sweet fairytale-ish-ness before the school year hums back around? Is this a lovely bookend to summer vacay? Get your Thomas ticket info here, train buffs.