It is not often that we get a visit from J’s Aaji (Grandma, Nana). That’s because she lives 3000 miles away in India!
But she is here now, albeit for a very short time. And the idea behind her visit is to spend time with her only grandson, play with him and bond with him.
In order to make the most of this bonding experience, we decided to take her to the one place that J loves more than most. Thomas Land!
Now my mother is no adrenaline junkie. But she is open to a fun day out with her grandson. So she donned five layers of clothing and braved the cold winds of England to spend the day in Thomas Land and Drayton Manor Theme Park.
J wanted to take Aaji on all his favourite rides. They started the day at Sodor Classic Cars. My son was so pleased to drive his Grandma around in a real car! I have a feeling she was rather happy to be driven around by her five year old grandson.
Next up, a ride in the train pulled by none other than Thomas the Tank Engine. We boarded at Knapford station and were taken across to Farmer McColl’s farm. J showed us what a driving pro he is at Terence’s Driving School before taking Aaji’s hand and leading her in to see the Thomas and Friends exhibition.
A quick lunch stop, a look at flamingos and ostrich, and it was time to head back to the excitement of the remaining rides in Thomas Land. Grandma managed to pose with Thomas the Tank Engine for a quick photo before joining J in the queues.
That’s frankly my only grouse about our day in Drayton Manor. We happened to be there over the Fireworks display weekend and the place was heaving with people. The queues for most rides ran well over 40 minutes, sometimes even an hour.
The only exception was the carousel, where we got to ride within minutes. My mother surprised me with the agility with which she climbed atop this cockerel. She was all smiles and a tiny bit nostalgic as the carousel spun round and round. It has been years since she last visited a fair ground, let alone a theme park.
We found time to ride the Big Wheel in Drayton Manor Park before heading over to the main lake for the fireworks display. It was one amazing spectacle. Set to a Star Wars theme, it was exhilarating to watch the night sky over Drayton light up in a dazzling display of colour. Not just Grandma, all of us were bedazzled by the gold and silver orbs that sparkled overhead.
Overall, we spent some lovely family time together as we ticked off all the must-do things in Thomas Land.
Getting home, well that’s a story for another day. It suffices to say that M will need some convincing before he decides to head off on the M6 again. I am keeping my fingers crossed, for J and I do so want to go back to Thomas Land for their Christmas celebrations. I will let you know how we get on.
Disclosure: We had free entry to the theme park as part of our role as blogger ambassadors. All opinions are my own.