We got our luggage checked (just one large suitcase for all of us (I planned for only 3 outfits each, since I knew the place we were staying had a washer and dryer) which impressed the lady who checked us in at baggage check) and then continued on through security, and then on to our gate to wait for our airplane! The kids loved seeing all the planes coming and going and all the workers doing their thing out between the planes.
We also saw another family at the airline check-in. They were also going on a Make A Wish trip, made apparent by their Make A Wish button they were wearing. Their sweet daughter Faith was dressed in a cinderella dress, and she was so excited. It was fun to talk with them, as well as see them throughout the week at Give Kids The World and around the amusement parks.
Oh look...we were there too!
The kids loved getting on the plane and looking out the window.
By the time we took off, Kimble was fast asleep. I'll admit, I was hoping for just that. He slept the entire two hours of the first plane ride, which landed in St. Louis.
Then we had a few hours of layover, where after we fed the masses, we settled down for some "boredom" time to wait for our delayed plane to arrive.
One more succumbed to sleep...
It was almost 5pm when we finally arrived in Orlando. We had a lovely greeter who was waiting for us, from the amazing place we would be staying all week. Give Kids The World works in conjunction with Make A Wish to provide the families an incredible place to stay during their wish trips. It's just south of Orlando and is sort of a mini amusement park village where we are provided villas to sleep in, food to eat, fun things to do, swimming and games and carousel rides and miniature golfing and train rides and horseback riding and so much more....all made possible through donations and volunteers. It's incredible, and my kids loved being there more than anything else, even going to Disney World!
Kimble fell asleep again while waiting for our luggage, and stayed asleep through the transfer to our rental van, and the entire drive to Give Kids The World. He was so tired!
After a quick check in, we were taken to our villa. It's a little house that has a kitchen, living room, two bedrooms and two bathrooms and a washer/dryer. This would be "home" for the next 6 days.
After depositing our luggage and getting settled, we went back to the main part of the village to eat dinner at the Gingerbread house, then we gave the kids ice cream at the Ice Cream Parlor.
The Parlor is open from 7:30 am until 10pm and you are not only expected to get ice cream every day that you are there, but you are told that ice cream for breakfast is something you have to do at least once while you are there. The kids got to order whatever they wanted to (cone, shake, cup, sundae, etc). They loved it...and we were frequent visitors for the rest of the week.
I think The Husband kept sneaking some of Kamy's ice cream...
Then we took a ride or two (or five or six) on the carousel. This quickly became Kimble's favorite thing to do, and he learned a new word (Ride!) that he said again and again. He liked to switch "horses" every time it stopped. The big lion was a favorite, as well as the blue seahorse.
The other kids enjoyed it as well.
Then, while I went to orientation, where I got info about all the services the village offers, as well as all the tickets to the theme parks we'd be going to all week, The Husband brought the kids home and everyone got a bubble bath in the big jetted Jacuzzi tub that was in the kids' bathroom.
Finally...it was time to go to sleep. After a while, they finally wound down enough to sleep. Heath and I took a few minutes to prepare for the next day (Magic Kingdom!) and then we zonked out as well.