Saturday, July 11, 2015

Our One and Only Visit to Tweetsie Railroad

Thomas the Train was coming to Tweetsie Railroad in Blowing Rock, NC and our little man E is the perfect Thomas-loving age (2 1/2). We packed up the gang and headed up the windy, narrow and  beautiful roads to Blowing Rock, NC for a visit with Thomas and to experience the adventures at Tweetsie.

We rented a cabin called Almost Heaven,  it was clean, spacious and comfortable  - and had everything you could need for 3 families. The only negative was the drive way, we bottomed out when we arrived as it is very dipped, but there were other parking spots and we would definitely stay there again (we brought the high chairs).

We scheduled one day at Tweetsie and arrived around 9am a little after it opened on a warm June morning. Our ticket to ride Thomas was at 10am. We organized our large group of 6 adults and 5 kids (ages 6, 3, 2.5, 1 and 3 months) and headed up the hill to the Tweetsie entrance, where they had one person taking tickets. We waited about five minutes to enter with anxious little ones chomping at the bit to get in. Once inside we decided it was best to spend about 30 minutes waiting for the train so we could sit further back from the engine. There was lots of soot that came out of the train's smoke stacks and we didn't want to be directly in the wake of the cloud of black. Then it was our turn to ride and the kids were excited as we hurriedly gave them all another coat of sunscreen and loaded into the cart. We steamed forward and were able to see the lush green scenery. About half way through the ride we came upon their train show, which was pretty awful. The actors seemed to have already given up by 10am and may as well have just been rolling their eyes as they gave their lines in a monotone voice. The kids didn't notice, but we were disappointed in how poorly these "actors" acted out the script. 

Then onward we steamed for the rest of our 30 minute journey on Thomas. We headed out to grab some lunch at Sparky's Southwestern & BBQ and felt the food was reasonably priced and tasted better than we expected. 

Finally it was time to hit some rides, and what I mean is wait over an hour for each crappy carnival-like ride in the hot blazing sun. But first, time to climb another big hill while pushing the double stroller. I didn't realize that Tweetsie is actually on the side of Mount effing-Everest!  I've been to Disney World more times than I can count on my hands and I've never waited this long for a ride before. Once we had spent far too long to ride the turnpike cruisers and ferris wheel we had a shorter wait for the carousel and Tornado.

Then we hoisted the kids up yet another much larger hill because the chair lift wasn't working. Once we arrived at the summit of Tweetsie and tipped my husband the sherpa, the toddlers enjoyed going on the boats and planes - which were too small for our 6 year old to ride. We watched the magic show, which was actually quite entertaining, S got picked to be his assistant and score - we were in the shade! Then the kids and grandma and grandpa waited about 30 minutes to ride the mouse mine train while the dads went to wait in line for 15 minutes to get us water. 

In summary, Tweetsie was a mountainous hot mess with rides we could have experienced at the local carnival. For now this "blast from the past" will be kept in our past. 

After our long hot day we enjoyed an awesome meal, with what my husband proclaimed to be the best fried chicken he's ever had, at The Daniel Boone Inn. Honestly everything was delicious and the servers were outstanding, a must try for the area. You'll want to get there early because the line got quite long after we arrived at 4:00PM on a Saturday, and they don't take reservations. 


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