Reincarnated As A Mother

Monday, November 23, 2015

Kean's Make-A-Wish (Part 1)

We got home this afternoon from an absolutely incredible vacation--
Kean's Make-A-Wish trip to Orlando.
I'll never be able to tell you all the wonderful details.
Let me just say we have been ruined forever for any other trip-
we were that spoiled.
 Make-A-Wish sure does it up.
They sent along a letter to the flight crew on Delta--
not only did they announce that Kean was on his big trip
but they invited all the kids into the cockpit.
 It was great until it was time to leave.
Kean wanted nothing to do with exiting the cockpit.
 Kean surprised us all with how well he did on all 
four legs of the flight (to and back).
When we got to Orlando, the kids were excited
to have someone there with a big sign (with Kean's name)
to greet us.
 As part of Kean's wish, we got to stay at a place called Give Kids the World.
It has to be nirvana for children.
It was started over 30 years ago by a man named Henri Landwirth.
He was taken prisoner by the Nazi's during W.W.II
and somehow miraculously escaped Auschwitz.
He came to America with 20 bucks in his pocket and
no knowledge of the English language.
He started out on the bottom rungs working for the Holiday Inn, 
worked his way up and eventually bought his own little hotel
in Cape Canaveral-- just before NASA and the astronauts
became household words.
He started Give Kids the World (a village/resort for
Make A Wish children) after a little girl contacted him years ago
wanting to meet Mickey Mouse.  While the arrangements
were being made, the child passed away.
Mr. Landwirth vowed this would never happen again.
He went to Disney and Sea World (Universal wasn't built yet),
secured three million in seed money and started to build the village.
From what I understand, builders, plumbers, electricians-- you name
it, donated time, talent and building materials.
For those who were not skilled, they showed up in the droves
with shovels, plants, trees and flowers and got to work.
Get this, they have approximately 1500 volunteers every week!
At the on site spa, we met the cutest mom and her daughter 
who came all the way from Houston.
They are spending their Thanksgiving week at GKTW.
They take care of everything for you-- and I mean everything.
In fact, the volunteers won't even let you carry your own food to the tables!
 GKTW has a huge talking tree, two swimming pools
(one has a huge pirate ship and stage), parades,
shows or parties every night, rides, horseback riding,
and a life size "Candyland" game for starters.
 From my count, they have about 150 villas to house
the families.  This was ours.
 One of our regular haunts was this place-- the ice cream shop
that was open early and open late.
 In fact, we had breakfast there on Sunday morning.
Yes, we had eggs and waffles-- but topped it off with
mandarin ice cream with chocolate sprinkles-- exactly
the energy food one needs for a day at Universal, eh?
 There were so many sweet little touches--
the "Gift Fairy" visited our villa every day while were
were out and about.
 The children came home with their bags bulging with
stuffed animals, treats, Disney swag and this little Candy Land
game that has each of the GKTW landmarks instead of the standard ones.
Oh, and did I mention, they have a carousel that Kean wanted to
ride every chance he got-- which was a lot!!
And if we weren't spoiled enough at the village, you should
hear what happened to us at Disney World, Universal Studios
and Sea World.
Let me put it this way, we have been ruined for any future trips
to any theme park.
(But you will have to wait until later.  I'm exhausted and off to bed).