Man, what a trip!
We took more than 700 pictures and I am still uploading them so I will get back to them soon.
Here's a bit more about our trip.
We arrived at the airport on Thursday at 830 am as scheduled. Everything went smoothly we made all connections and all luggage went through. YAY!
It was warm and humid in FL when we got there, but beautiful either way.
We arrived at GKTW and settled into our villa quickly for a minute, and then went across the street to the park that was a giant candy land game. SO cute. The boys ran off some steam and then we walked to dinner. The compound is large but easily navigated on foot. Or by a little motorized train that comes by every so often to give people rides. That first night was a Christmas theme complete with Santa, Mrs Claus, elves and a parade! The boys had a blast. The village is run by a few actual employees, something like 90 on staff and then they have something like 1400 volunteers each week. It's truly a magical place. We joked about the fact that all the villas were basically the same and most of them had Dodge or Chrysler minivan's parked in front of them so it was like being in some kind of weird alternate universe. ;o)
Friday was spent at Animal Kingdom. It was another warm sunny day. We went on safari, took a train to Rafiki's Island, watched the Lion King show (FABULOUS!!!) and got pics with the chipmunks, Donald Duck and Goofy.
S, D and I went on the Yeti ride, the little guys were too small so we took turns while the boys ate ice cream... or wore it as the case may be...lol
We had planned on going to Epcot that night but we were all bushed by the end of the day so we went back to GKTW for dinner and got to enjoy the Princess and Pirate night.
Saturday we went to Sea World. Saturday was HOT. We got to feed dolphins and sea lions, we watched the Dolphin shows and of course Shamu! I think Shamu was my favorite! I want to be an Orca trainer when I grow up! WOW!
We got back to GKTW about 6pm and met up with Erin's family. What a joy! Her kids just kind of took to mine and vise versa immediately. They became fast friends. S was pretty happy to have a girl to hang with that was her age, and watching E with Solomon was beautiful. They had both had such hard times at AHOPE and had been together for about a year. It was just such a HUGE blessing to see them running around together healthy and loved and in forever families!
Sunday was Magic Kingdom and RAIN... yuck! It poured most of the morning. So we did alot of running for cover. Riding inside rides and watching shows. It was alot of fun and the kids were troopers! We got to have lunch with Eeyore (my FAVORITE), Pooh, Piglet and Tigger too. Yummy! We shot at Emporer Zyrg and rode space ships. We rode Dumbo and Thunder mountain. N has no fear! He was having so much fun riding all the roller coasters!
Monday was Hollywood studios. The Tower of Terror is aptly named! OIY! The Rockin' Roller coaster is as well. SO much fun! Erin and I were front row screaming and giggling like kids...lol We then got to go see Play House Disney. And see ROCKET!!! E SO wanted to see and meet Rocket. It's the one thing that kind of disappointed me. They really didn't have anything planned for him to do anything special with Rocket. He got to meet all the characters from Little Einsteins but we couldn't get them to let him on stage after the show to pose with the big Rocket. oh well... it was still a fun day! We then got to go meet BUZZ!!! and Woody. ;o) This was Solomon's wish. He was dressed in his Buzz Lightyear outfit and was SO stinkin cute. His face was priceless. I am letting Erin write more about that and share pics. But man... it was so cool!
We ate at Pizza Planet! yum and rocked with the Block Party Bash parade. The kids got to dance in the streets and truly had a blast.
Tuesday was D's 40th Birthday. E sang daddy a special birthday song he madeup. He's so sweet!We all got up and went down to the ice cream parlor and had ice cream for breakfast. D was then serenaded by all 17 of us with a rounding Happy Birthday...Cha cha cha song. He was beaming! Then on to Universal Studios. It was packed! There were thunder and rain storms throughout the day. But we all had fun! We got to ride the Hulk roller coaster, FRONT ROW! WOOHOO!!! It was pretty warm so the kids were asking to ride water rides. We ended up just letting them play in the rain during one of the down pours (no lightening). I can't wait to post those pictures... that was so cute! Then on to dinner at the NASCAR diner for daddy's dinner. They even had Happy Birthday D up on the marquee! The dinner was grand, the company was grand and the cake was HUGE! ;o) We sang to him again and the whole restaurant joined in. He loved it!
It was a wonderful way to end the week. Erin and I stayed up late gabbing like little girls...lol
Wednesday morning we were up early finshed last minute packing and then went to say good bye to GKTW and our new family of friends! We all cried and hugged and were sad to leave. GKTW is truly magical, the people are wonderful it was so so neat to be in a place that takes these kids with life threatening illness and gives them such a gift! E was not ready to go! He just kept saying, No Home No home...lol I was feeling the SAME way! ;o) I think we all went into Henderson withdrawls... and reality illness...lol
Thank you Make a Wish...and Thank you Give Kids the World!
More pics to come soon.......