African family visits Thomas
Some people traveled hundreds of miles and spent several hours in cars or airplanes to come to Baldwin and see Thomas the Tank Engine. Some even came as far away as Nevada, New Jersey and Arizona for the two-weekend event.
But one family had a little farther to travel than anyone else through nine time zones to be exact.
Bruce and Vivian Wellman and their two children, Luc, 2, and Leah, 1, made the trip from the Comoro Islands, located off the east coast of Africa near Madagascar.
"We're disappointed they didn't have an award for the longest distance traveled," Bruce Wellman joked before their ride on Thomas Friday morning.
The family didn't make the trip from the Southern Hemisphere just to attend Day Out With Thomas though.
The Wellmans, who teach as part of volunteer development work in the Comoro Islands, are in the United States on a four-week vacation, spending two weeks in California visiting Vivian's family and two weeks in Baldwin with Bruce's parents, Richard and Joy Wellman.
Bruce Wellman said it was just a coincidence that Thomas was going to be in Baldwin the same time his family was.
"When we found out Thomas was going to be here, we said definitely get tickets," he said.
Luc is the Thomas fan of the family, Bruce Wellman said. Back at home, Luc has a small collection of Thomas and Friends engines, DVDs and books.
"He really likes Thomas," he said. "We'd ask him 'Are we going to see Grandpa and Grandma?' He'd say 'No, we're going to see Thomas.'"
Luc wasn't disappointed with Friday's ride on the full-sized storybook replica, but his sister wasn't as excited.
"It was great," Bruce Wellman said. "Luc really liked it. Leah slept through it though."