Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Part 2 - The Journey to Florida!

Up, up and away we go!
Jenelle's first flight on an airplane!

Window seat for her first plane ride!
Family is ready to fly!
Part 2 of Jenelle's Wish Trip:

So yes, we have never flown with Jenelle on a plane.  I must admit, I was a bit nervous - especially when Jenelle's neurologist provided us with a letter for TSA stating that "in the event of a seizure emergency during flight, the plane should continue onto it's designation (i.e. not make an emergency landing) as parents are will monitor patient after Diastat is given."  Actually, getting through TSA was pretty easy as they allowed us extra time given Jenelle was in a wheelchair. 

Jenelle did really well on the plane and we were fortunate to have a non-stop flight.  The only glitch ... changing a diaper in mid-air in the lavatory!  Well, call me flexible, but when Jenelle's diaper leaked, I couldn't leave her in wet pants (especially with a stranger sitting next to us) so I changed her diaper and clothes in the itty bitty airplane lavatory.  She was a champ and giggled the whole time.

Jenelle enjoyed sleeping with her head on my lap, and was really calm during our flight.  As we started to descend for the landing, she fussed a bit probably because of the ear pressure, but was a real champ.  

Once we arrived in Orlando, we were met by a volunteer greeter from Give Kids the World - the special village that would become our home for the next 7 days!  Unbeknown to us, a second "Make a Wish" family from Hawaii was on our flight (instead of leaving home at 5AM like we did, they left Hawaii at midnight!)  They had two adorable young boys who faired well on their very, very long flight.  We had the same greeter who helped us get our luggage and help get us situated with our rental car.

Jenelle being greeted like a celebrity!
After locating our rental car, we were on our way to Give Kids the World Village.  GKTW is a non-profit, 70 acre (and expanding) storybook village located in Central Florida within minutes of all the theme parks and only available to families via wish granting organizations.  I encourage you to check out the website about the founder Henri Landwrith, and this amazing volunteer organization.  Our experience echos many - we were treated like family and the experience of staying at GKTW was a once in a lifetime adventure for all of us!

Jenelle and JD in the lobby.

When we checked in, we were treated like celebrities once again.  Our friends in Colorado - Randy, Linda and Holly Vose, made sure we received welcome gifts courtesy of Boston Market!  (Randy works for Boston Market corporate, and they handle all the food at GKTW village.)  Upon arrival, we were met the chef who gave us a box of freshly made gingerbread cookies and a Cinderella Gift Basket for Jenelle!  Jenelle also received a Mickey Mouse doll from the volunteers, and JD got a Shamu whale, which he named "Donkey" because the donkey from Shrek was on the ceiling looking down at us! ;)

Meeting the Boston Market head chef - thank you Vose Family!

Daddy & JD are very excited for cookies!
We lost 3 hours on our trip to Orlando, so after checking in we arrived at our cottage around 7:00 PM.  I quickly attended a parent orientation where we were given information and tickets to the local amusement parks and meal times at the village.  Our cottage had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, washer & dryer, a jacuzzi tub, a living room area with small kitchen and dining area.  All the amenities of home!  
View from our cottage.

JD decided that the cottage was the perfect Southern California representation - purple roof for the Lakers, blue and gold windows for UCLA, and orange trim for the Anaheim Ducks! (Just missing some Angels red!)
 The best thing about GKTW was the all you can eat ice cream parlor - open from 7:00 AM to 9:30 PM.  You can have ice cream for breakfast or dinner if you want (and JD grabbed a scoop each morning!)  It was amazing.  All of the meals were free, and we had lots of choices.

JD enjoying the first of many bowls of ice cream!
The first night we ordered in pizza and talked about plans for the next day.  We finally went to bed around midnight after unpacking and settling in.  Sleep never felt so good!  And that is where I will end "Part 2"... next part... Epcot!

Gifts from the GKTW "Gift Fairy"

Thank you again to Make a Wish and Give Kids the World for this amazing adventure!

1 comment:

Celia said...

I really enjoy hearing about your Disney World adventure.