Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Make A Wish Trip Day 4 (Beach and Sea World)

Beach day!  We had a number of beaches we could go to, but the closest one was an hour away.  Upon researching which beach we wanted to visit, The Husband came across something about America's number one beach: Siesta Key Beach. It is on the gulf side of Florida, about 2 hours away from where we were staying.  It boasts sugar-fine sand and clear blue waters.  We figured if we were going to drive to a beach, it might as well be the number one beach!  So off we went.

In order to do the beach (with all it's included driving to and from) as well as Sea World, we knew we had to make an early start.  So we were out the door at 5am, with everyone dressed in swimsuits.  I didn't even do anyone's hair (including my own, which you will be delighted to see that picture, I'm sure) but I did make them brush their teeth.  "Awe mom!"  We told them to just go back to sleep. Which they did.  So exhausted!

We arrived a little after 7am, and after grabbing a quick breakfast (which the seagulls stole half  of out of our hands) we took a few pictures and then let the kids swim!

It didn't have crystal clear water due to some stormy weather from the past two days. The water was dirty and full of seaweed, but the sand was amazing, and we all enjoyed ourselves no matter the quality of the water.  It's a beach!  We sure miss the beach.

We kept some sand in a baggie and brought it home with us.  It was so soft and amazing.

After just a few hours, we had to turn back for home so we could wash up and do the rest of our day.  Sea World!  So after everyone showering and dressing, brushing and washing, we ate some lunch at the Gingerbread House (Kimble stole Keaton's hat again) and then we were on our way.

We got to Sea World just in time for their big Shamu show.  We all loved it.

We walked around a bit after that, taking in a few animal attractions, seeing the shark exhibit, finding bathrooms, getting ice water (it was sooooooooo hot and humid) and then we made our way over to the Dolphin arena where we settled down to watch that show.

However, we had passed by "The Manti" rollercoaster on the way, which looked spectacular. Although Kolby, Kennedy and Kimble were too short for the ride, Heath snuck away with Kamy and Keaton to ride it.  However, they didn't make it back in time for the dolphin show before the doors closed, so they missed out on that while the four of us enjoyed it.

Kimble had fallen asleep during the show (his third nap that day due to our early wakeup) and we were sad that he was asleep because right after the dolphin show, we got an opportunity to feed some dolphins (every make a wish kid and their family members gets a free tray of fish).

So with Kimble in the background, sound asleep, we all had our turn to feed the dolphins.  I even put the camera down and fed a few dolphins (yes, I touched fish!) and we even got to rub down the dolphin's body and feel how thick their skin(?) is.

 We went on one more ride, while Kimble was sleeping.  Here's the shot I took as everyone was rolling down the steep incline into a very watery splashdown.

Although there were more fun things to do there, and lots of rides to enjoy, none of them were for Kimble, so with that mentality in mind during our entire trip, we decided to go back to the village and let the kids enjoy the rest of the night doing things that everyone could do.

This included getting pretty makeup on (for Kennedy) and getting fun tattoos (all the kids loved this).

 After makeup came manicures!

Face painting made it's return again, and after all that, we had to get more ice cream!

Of course, I made them eat dinner before their ice cream (or maybe it was after).  Either way, ice cream was something they all enjoyed every day we were there, and sometimes twice a day.  It was expected, encouraged, and enjoyed.  It's a once in a lifetime trip for these kids, and GKTW makes it amazing.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Make A Wish Trip Day 3 (Hollywood Studios)

Tuesday was a big day for Kimble.  It was the day he got to have his specific wish, which was to meet Buzz and Woody from Toy Story.  We all were super excited, as Toy Story (and it's sequels) is probably the most watched Disney movie in our house.  But first...Kimble saw the carousel as we were trying to sneak him past it and on to breakfast.  "Ride!"  Ok buddy.  Let's ride the carousel!

After about 5 rides, we finally got him in to breakfast and tempted him with a waffle, topped with strawberries and whip cream. He loved it, and ate one every morning for the rest of the week.

(Please be kind with any comments about my frizzy and whacked out hair.  I couldn't keep it nice and sleek with all the humidity and heat and afternoon rain showers and rides where you got splashed and roller coasters that whooped you back and forth...)

We made it to Hollywood Studios with just enough time to ride the Toy Story Mania ride before we were to meet Buzz and Woody.  Oh, and on this day, everyone wore a shirt that we made specifically for this trip.  It says "Every heartbeat is a miracle" and it's something we truly believe when it comes to Kimble.  The fact that he is alive and his heart is growing and performing well is simply a miracle.

 3d glasses were super fun to wear, for all the kids.

(Dad included)

We also enjoyed meeting an Army Man.  He was very patient and kind to the kids, interacting with each one.  I have no idea how he managed having his "mask" on over his face with the heat and humidity, but maybe he was more use to it than we were.

 We love Pixar Studios!

Time to meet Buzz and Woody!

 Once again, I thought Kimble would be timid, but he was pretty great.  Buzz and Woody are very tall compared to him (especially Woody) but he gave them hugs and handshakes and asked questions like "What's'at?" to Buzz with all of his buttons and doo-dads.

 Family picture!!
Thanks Buzz and Woody! You guys were awesome!

Once done at Pixar, where we bought Kimble some cool Toy Story cars to play with, we headed over to watch a Little Mermaid show, which was partly human actors and partly screen actors and partly machine.  We all liked it, plus it got us out of the heat for a while!

Then we headed over to another part of the park, where we saw (duh duh duh) The Tower of Terror! 

I love that ride.  (sigh)

We also saw a Beauty and the Beast show, which was really great.  Afterwards, the kiddos were hungry, so we went looking for a place to eat.

The Husband, Kamy and Keaton ordered these huge burgers (and yes, they ate them all).  I had a turkey sandwich, which I shared half of with Kimble, and then Kolby and Kennedy had some chicken nuggets with applesauce.

We went on Star Tours next, which was a great ride.  Once again, those 3d glasses were cool!

After a few other things, and letting the boys build and buy their very own light sabers, we went in search of more activities for Kimble to do.  We ended up at the Honey I Shrunk The Kids play area, where everything is giant size and you play amidst the leaves, plants, trees, etc.  We had just gotten going, and were following Kimble around, when he went down a tiny slide (with no end in sight) and by the time I ran down the stairs to the bottom of the slide, he was gone.  We all split up and searched for him, but it was a big place with tons of stairs and pathways to explore.

At that moment, the rain started pouring down and drenched us within seconds.  They told everyone to leave the play area due to the dangerous nature of slipping, but we still didn't have Kimble!  As a matter of fact, I didn't have anyone! I was searching and searching and couldn't find  any of my family members.

It took about 10 minutes before we all found each other (Kamy had found Kimble right away, thank goodness) and we all reconvened where we left the stroller (I happened to put a plastic covering over it, right before we went to play, thinking it might sprinkle.  Good thing I did!).  At that point, we were all completely soaked, so more rain didn't matter.  We took off down the road to find something else to do.

Many rides were closed at that point, so we wandered into an Indiana Jones shop.  Keaton immediately went towards the cool hats that Indiana Jones would have worn.  They were hugely expensive, so I told him he couldn't have one.  Oh, he was so sad.

The girls played outside in the rain...

 Kimble and I were wet, but happy, and we played in the rain too.

I thought about the hat, and how much Keaton would wear it (he longs to be a cowboy, and I knew it was the perfect hat for him), so I sent him and The Husband back inside to buy it.  He was so happy...and a bit shocked that I would let him have it.

Then, because there wasn't much more to do that Kimble could do, we decided to leave that park and head back over to the Magic Kingdom, to finish where we left off the day before.  While we were waiting for a shuttle bus, the boys practiced their light saber skills.

We took the ferry boat across  the way, this time, and while The Husband had a little nap, the other kids enjoyed the view (and Kennedy held her bladder...that kid had to go every half hour, I swear.).

We took the little train across the perimeter of the park, back to Fantasyland.  Kimble loves trains, so we knew he would be happy with that choice.

Kimble took every opportunity to take Keaton's hat from him.

We rode the Dumbo ride, which he loved.

The other kids loved it just as much.

We did the Peter Pan ride, and It's a Small World, and ended up at Mickey's PhilharMagic show, which was another 3D show and it was Kimble's favorite. He loved it so much, and kept grabbing with his hands, to catch the 3D actions that were coming towards him.

After that, we were planning on staying for the parade and fireworks, but after waiting for 45 minutes, I started to feel major claustrophobic.  I just couldn't take the crowds of people anymore, and with The Husband feeling the same way, and the kids not realizing what they were about to miss, we headed back to the village where we ordered a few pizzas from the pizza shop and went to bed.  It was a good, but long day.