New Year’s Eve in the ‘Nati

What could possibly happen on New Year’s Eve with the Turtle Man (age five), Sloane (age nine), Miss Madison Jr. (age ten) and the Skipah?  How about one of our impromptu road trips to add to the Skipah’s Travelling Road Show adventures that’s what!  Armed with McDonald’s Gift Cards (stocking stuffers I hate the place), a voucher from a kick ass deal Miss Madison found on Groupon, and Clemson Tiger gear, we were off to the Buckeye state to take in a day of fun and entertainment in the Queen City of Cincinnati, Ohio.  Sorry Ohio State fans after that beat down on Saturday I had to mention it.  Unfortunately, Miss Madison couldn’t join us for our epic journey (a small oversight that I may have regretted as the day wore on), but she was with us in spirit the whole time.

If we had the time I was planning on visiting the WKRP studios!

Unlike Kid Rock in his quest to be a cowboy we didn’t head west, but instead had a course correction of due east to find if the rumor of the world’s largest model/miniature train display was accurate or not.  Per the internet, Entertrainment Junction boasts such a lofty claim, but my sixth sense told me that you can’t believe everything you read on the internet.  I have no idea if it is or not, but I can tell you this:  It’s the biggest damn model/miniature I’ve ever laid eyes on!  To quote Harry Caray (that one is for you Nancy) “Holy Cow” if there is anything larger someone let me know and I’m maxing out the company credit card to go see it pronto.

Let’s do this!

Upon arrival, it feels like you are walking into a train station, since I’ve never been to a train station just take my word for it, I’m an expert.  Once we arrived at the ticket booth I whipped out my super-duper all access voucher and immediately all four of us had wristbands to walk around like we owned the place.  Our first mission was to see what exactly the Bachmann boys and their crazy Atlas relatives had configured.  Evidently, the Lionel family tree had been axed from this train party years ago, I will just let the pictures do the talking on this one.

The Coney Island recreation stole the show!

After seeing the “train” section of Entertrainment Junction it was off to see what exactly the entertainment portion of this trek would entail.  Evidently, the staff at this facility lives by the credo of “Christmas isn’t over until New Year’s” because they were still passing the Santa shtick off on everybody.  No big deal, the kiddos were now in sensory overload anyway.

Apparently, they spell amazing differently in Ohio!

There was a mirror maze, some kind of kooky clown exhibit, a curtain maze because why stop at just one maze, and this sci-fi weird stuff that acid junkies would still be lost in.  The only bump in the whole road (literally) was the Turtle Man learning that running at light speed is probably not a good idea in a mirror maze, but now gets to brag at school how he got the ginormous goose egg on his forehead.

I made sure the Turtle Man didn’t channel his inner Josh Baskin!

A quick trip to the gift shop, that doubles as a front for the Lego conglomerate and we were out the door.  I’ve now got a model train buddy for life (and a budding eBay addiction) and two girls that think I might be partially insane, but that can’t wait to come back.  Normally I would say this would be more than enough of a power-packed day and head back home to get ready for the New Year’s Eve festivities sponsored by Mariah Carey, but why do the normal?  Normal is boring!

When your daughter is upset that there isn’t any Joey Votto Lego figurines for sale you know you are raising her right!

When in Cincinnati, OH and particularly the West Chester, OH part of the city your vehicle will start to feel a gravitational pull.  No, it’s not that alignment you’ve been putting off or a tire out of balance, it’s a natural phenomenon that locals have been trying to explain for years.  Swedish engineers figured it out a long time ago and that is why they put an IKEA palace there.

That’s right Mr. Skipah thought the kids should learn some international flare and a trip to IKEA is cheaper (usually) than going to see the Mouse Mafioso headquarters at the EPCOT park in Disney.  I also wanted to get one last brownie point with the “Father of the Year” panel before they hold their top-secret meetings in San Diego next month.  One man and three hyped kids were off to tackle the land of “build it yourself.”  This might have been the second dumbest idea in the history of the world.  Not even I can top the stupidity of the first human that though outrunning bulls in Pamplona, Spain was a smart move.

Luckily I survived!  The girls have picked up on their mothers’ habits of touching anything fabric and commenting on it, and the Turtle Man I’m sure tried out every piece of furniture in the place.  What started out as a quest for an $8.00 backpack turned into two hours of memories, fun, and me learning various ways to cringe when I thought something was about to be destroyed.  We got out of there for under 30 bucks and nothing was damaged so, all in all, it was a great day in the ‘Nati!

Once we were back home and reunited with Miss Madison our New Year’s Eve party was off the charts bonkers.  When it was all said, and done, we had visits from the police department, neighbors threatening us with “bad intentions” if we didn’t stop jamming out to Ariana Grande, and the mayor calling us up to warn us of property taxes being raised for 2017.  You think we care?  We are the Madison Bunch, we have fun no matter what the situation is!

Future party animals!

About it for now, my weatherman must still be drunk from his New Year’s soiree because he is predicting two inches of snow in my area.  You must be from southern Indiana to know what kind of mass panic is about to ensue!  Sounds like I better get to the store pronto, or otherwise, it could be days before we have any eggs, bread, or milk at our house!

BJ’s wholesale website -
Send Skipah Sailing!


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  4. The Joey Votto figurines had to be sold out from the Christmas rush. Got to give them a chance to reload Gary! Had to be under every tree in the Nati. Sorry to hear you have the milk, bread and eggs panic when an inch or two of snow is forecast there. In the Philly area everyone races to the store before the storm to get those “essentials” and then races back after the skies clear just to make sure the store restocked. Pretty unusual weekend here. We got two inches come Friday morning and then another inch or so Saturday. All this with wind chills south of zero at times. Pitchers and catchers in a little over a month…Party On until then!

  5. Epic adventure, Madisons! <3

  6. Am really suprised at the LOW cost of leaving the store of only $30! My father can not get out of a Sam’s store with under a hundred or so in un needed purchases! And he only has one of his 3 kids at home with him these days.

    Hope the purchases were for Mrs. Madison’s benefit. Great way to make bonus points in the relationship department!
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  7. We have the same weather issues in Georgia, where we’re expecting 2-4 inches tomorrow night and I understand the bread and milk (and toilet paper) are in short supply.

  8. A party of four gets out of IKEA without spending more than $30?!

  9. My Little loves Entertrainment Junction! It’s right in our current neck of the woods. 🙂

  10. Looks like it was a fun trip Gary & the tonic you all needed 😊 Have shared your post, of course!
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  11. Wow, you certainly know how to make the best of any situation. Always fun to read about your adventures.
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  12. Aw, you guys are all so cute! Glad to hear of your epic family time. the kids are well-behaved despite your descriptions 🙂

    • That will be the first and last time I’m at IKEA with three kids and no other adults LOL. I kept waiting to hear security holler at me on the intercom to come and claim one of them. Every time I would turn around that empty feeling of missing kid would hit me.

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