Hey everyone! I'm doing a trip report for a Disney trip forum I belong to, and I thought I would also post the reports here...that is, if everyone doesn't mind. It might get pretty detailed, since that's the trend on the forum. :) I'll cut out some of the stuff that's not really important though, so they are a little shorter.
Before I post though, I just want to mention that I took Mason in for a sedated hearing test yesterday morning...which it turns out, he wasn't scheduled for. I'm not sure what exactly went wrong, because I clearly remember the phone call I got where the appointment was scheduled for yesterday. Somewhere along the way they changed the appointment to next week, the morning of his next inpatient treatment, and didn't tell me it was this appointment they were changing. Poor Mason didn't have his feeds all night, and for nothing. :( Frustrating.
I also had to have a security guard at PCMC jump-start our car that had died somewhere in the ten minutes we were inside the building. As you can see, the morning was pretty awesome.
But on to better news...here is day one of our trip!
This picture is blurry, but I included it because it kind of shows how much stuff we brought. We each have a backpack and a suitcase, we brought a blanket for the plane, and had already dropped off our two checked bags and two booster seats. We totally over-packed, and ended up not using a lot of what we brought.
We got to the airport three hours early because we weren't sure how long it would take to get through with Mason's feeding and medical supplies. One of our carry-on bags was full of just medical supplies. TSA had to scan each and every feeding can, medicine bottle, and bag of thickening gels. It took somewhere around 15 minutes for us to get through security with all of his medicine, and that's because they let us go through the family entrance, which took us right to the front of the line. Security was very nice about it all, and sent us off with wishes for an awesome trip. I love Utah. :)
This is the part where I gloat a little, because as we were watching the plane before ours get ready for take-off, it started snowing. I was so relieved to be leaving it behind!
These two were awesome on the plane! Mason was conveniently asleep for both the take-off and the landing, and when they were both awake, they watched TV or a movie, and had fun reading the safety pamphlets. I pictured a complete nightmare on the plane ride, but it passed us over and instead settled on the family in front of us. ;/
When we got off the plane we were greeted by Jay, a volunteer from Give Kids the World. He was the nicest, most helpful guy! He gave us directions to GKTW, explained the toll roads and where NOT to get gas (you wouldn't believe how many gas stations will cheat you out of your money!), and then took us to get our rental car. We got to pick our car, and Jay showed us a very nice van that we didn't know we could pick. We picked it. He was our first view of the awesome people of Florida.
Here we are all decked out in our rental, seeing Florida for the first time. BTW, that camera in Moses' hand was out of pictures before the first day was over. It was camera number three. :)
A note on the rental company: Alamo and National provide the cars for all wish families who come to GKTW. Their deal with GKTW, is to have the families use the car for free, and to bring it back as empty as possible. When we brought it back we were given a receipt of the charge for the week, and told that GKTW would take care of it. But even their charge was a hugely discounted price. I was in awe, and this was just the beginning of many companies we would see, who donate well above and beyond.
Our first toll booth! I have no idea why I find this so important. I guess it's just cool to see something we don't have back home.
Arriving at GKTW! (This is a stock photo) When we first got here we went and got checked in, were able to walk around a little, and then were taken to our villa.
They thought this was so cool. Mason said: "Take a picture of me with the tower of coookies!"
This is where we stayed for the week! I meant to take pictures of the inside, but forgot to do it. The boys had their own room with twin beds, and a train border which Mason noticed the second he walked in (someone must have planned that!). You can tell the focus is on the kids, because they had a nice, huge bathroom with two sinks, a shower, and a jacuzzi bathtub. The other bathroom was smaller. :) The villa was very nice though, and by the end of the week, it really felt like home.
Despite the fact that we left at 10:00 am, our plane didn't arrive until 4:30 pm Florida time, so there wasn't much we could do on the first day. There was a pool party/dinner going on at GKTW, so we changed into our swimsuits and went. Mase and Mo barely ate anything because they were so excited to finally go swimming in warm weather. We didn't actually get in the pool that night; they were having too much fun in the splash park. (These water pics were taken with my phone, since I didn't bring my camera).
One adult had to attend an orientation that night where we would get our park passes and other information we would need for the week. We decided that Latu would go, since she would remember all the things they told her. If I had gone, we would have been completely lost. If you know me, you know this. ;)
Latu left early from the pool to go, and me and the boys walked back to the villa when it got dark. We sat on the porch talking because Latu had the room key and we thought we were locked out. When she got back 20 minutes later, she let me know that the meal card I had worked as a second room key. Hahaha, whoops. Exactly why I didn't do the orientation. ;)
(Really not a good picture.) We had a little time left that night and everyone was too excited to stay in, so we drove to Downtown Disney and planned to ride in the hot air balloon. When we got there, they had closed because there was too much wind blowing that night. We watched the last balloon trip, then walked around a little before going back home.
We didn't ever go back to ride it again, but if you plan to do this, I suggest doing it in the morning since the wind was blowing almost every night, and I think the heat would be terrible mid-day. Also, downtown Disney gets suddenly crowded as soon as Magic Kingdom closes at night. There was a flood of people just after we got there, which was about 20 minutes after MK closed.
That's day 1! The next day was our first visit to Magic Kingdom!