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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Amara's 8th Birthday on the Wizard's Train

For Amara's birthday she wanted to ride the Wizard's Train, a Harry Potter themed train ride on the Heber Valley Railroad that departed from the depot in Heber and made a roundtrip to Decker Bay (what I call the far side of Deer Creek Reservoir) and back.

Watch a google created story slideshow of it by clicking on this link: Wizard's Train Birthday Story

You may remember from my post about Lily's birthday earlier this year that Lily and Amara had struck a deal regarding the way they would be celebrating their birthdays.  Lily agreed that Amara could choose where Lily would celebrate her birthday if Lily could choose for Amara's birthday.  Amara chose Chuck E. Cheese for Lily's birthday, so that's where we went.  Lily chose the Wizard's train for Amara's birthday.  
Lily loves the Harry Potter series of books and has read them over multiple times.  Amara, not so much.  She hasn't cracked open that series on her own, although her dad did start it with her, she just hasn't had the interest.  So when Amara's birthday came, she wasn't thrilled with Lily's choice of  birthday celebration.

We did, however, have a little picnic for Amara at a park in Heber beforehand, and she got to choose what we ate.  Her only request was hotdogs.  That surprised me and Steve because every time I've made hotdogs, she turns her nose up at them and usually just ends up eating a bun.  Initially, Steve and I tried to persuade Amara toward a different food, bringing up the fact that she doesn't ever eat hotdogs when we have them, but our persuasion was just making her feel bad, like her choice wasn't good enough,and like we didn't approve of her menu planning for her birthday picnic.  I could see her holding back tears.  "Amara, I think hotdogs are a great idea.  Let's do hotdogs.  It's your birthday and you can have hotdogs!"  That made her happy again.

So, a hotdog picnic it was!  Amara loved her picnic.  Her Aunty April, Uncle Spencer, cousins Devon, and Tommy were there, as well as her grandma and grandpa Christensen and Uncle Matt.  Her grandma and grandpa Mapother came later on and wished her well on her train ride.  Along with the hotdogs, we had chips with homemade salsa, and fresh sliced peaches.  Her cake was a masterpiece.  I stacked 3 texas donuts on a plate and filled the center with mini teddy grahams and mini oreo cookies.
Then it was off to the depot, to meet Hogwarts characters and board the train.

The first characters we met were Hagrid, Dumbledore, Hermione, and Dobby.  Devon was freaked out by Dobby and wouldn't go take a picture with him.
The train does not have air conditioning, and it was a hot day, so we all sat and sweated as we waited for the departure.
Steve and I snapped photos while we waited for things to get going.

Then, when we began to move, the Harry Potter characters came around with the sorting hat and determined which "house" everyone belonged to.  Grandma was sorted into Slytherin, as far as we can remember.
The scenery was beautiful outside.
Steve was sorted into the Slytherin house.
Lily was Ravenclaw, I was Hufflepuff, Amara was Griffindor, and I don't remember everyone else.
After we were sorted, we just enjoyed the scenery and company while we waited.

Then, they came around with chocolate frogs.  They were melty chocolate goodness!

And Dumbledore came around with Bertie Botts every flavor beans and used a little spoon to dish one out to each person.
Amara got lemon cream pie, I got blueberry, and Lily had something gross.
Grandma was very hesitant to try her bean, but Lily said she could tell she had something good and wished they had switched.

Then they came around with pumpkin pastries and butter beer for everyone.  Some people thought the foam on the butter beer was yucky, but I thought it tasted good.  Too bad it was pure sugar or I would've swigged mine and everyone elses.

The ride was memorable, and I enjoyed it.  I think Amara will likely choose something much different next year, but I'm glad we got to try this train experience.  If I do one again though, I think I'd wait for cooler weather in the fall.

Incidentally, on our way back to the train station, there was a huge fire on someone's property not far from the train station.  The fire department was putting it out when we drove by.  Eek.  I think some wicked wizards were meddling in the dark arts and made a mess in our muggle world.


Doralee said...

What a fun experience!

Amanda Lauret said...

This looks so fun! I wish we could have been there. Jaxon would have loved it. I loved Amara's awesome "cake" and I agree with Devon-- that Dobby was pretty creepy! Haha!