There really are no words to describe how incredible this trip was. It was more than just a cool vacation--it was an escape, a time to build memories, a way to instill confidence, a chance to let kids be kids...it was awesome!
So, let's start at the very beginning...a very good place to start!
I kept a detailed journal throughout our entire trip so that I wouldn't forget things that happened. So much occurred over the ten days that I knew I'd need things written down in order to really be able to write about them. So I'll be relying heavily on that journal as I write all of these posts chronicling our journey!
Our limousine arrived at our house at 9:30 in the morning on the 8th. Jesse, our driver, was really sweet and loaded everything into the car. We had a lot of luggage!!!
My parents, my sister and brother-in-law, and my niece Lucy had come to send us off and take some pictures.
Outside of our limo (it was really sunny!)
The kids were thrilled to find that there was candy in our limo!! (Their only frame of reference of limos came from Descendants. Since they had candy in their limo...they were certain ours would!)
The face of excitement!!
We watched The Lego Movie in the car, which was a big hit. Since we flew out of DC, we were able to watch the entire movie before we got there.
Once we got to the airport, we took advantage of the curbside luggage check-in that Jet Blue offers. We said an excited goodbye to Jesse and got in line for security.
I'd been dreading security for a while, having heard so many horror stories about going through with a special needs child. Since we had to declare lots of medical equipment, feeding supplies, and medicines, I was expecting it to take a while. I didn't mind it taking some time--I just didn't want the people to be rude. Thankfully, we had a very kind and respectful TSA worker. I did have to be patted down (I really don't understand why--she said because she couldn't open Abby's Pediasure, she had to pat me down...not sure how those go together, but ok...), but it was fine. I'm glad it was me and not one of the kids! It really went as smoothly as it could.
Once we got through security, we got some lunch and watched the planes landing and taking off.
When it was time to board the plane, the kids couldn't be more excited! Jet Blue has small TVs for each seat, so we plugged in their headphones and they were good to go!
Neither had flown before, but they did really well! They loved looking out the window, and especially loved the snacks.
Caleb's reaction to take-off
It was pretty bumpy, but they were fine and didn't know any different! The flight there really couldn't have gone any better (YAY!!).
When we got to Orlando, we were greeted in baggage claim by a representative from Give Kids the World. She held a sign with our name on it and showed us where to go to rent our van. The cool thing was that she used to teach at the middle school I went to! She is a friend of a friend, who called her and told her we were coming. She signed up to be our greeter! So fun!
After about a half an hour drive from the airport, we arrived at Give Kids the World. This is a 79-acre resort JUST for kids on wish trips to Disney World! The villas are all built like storybook homes, and everything is decorated straight out of a fairy tale page. But it deserves a post all to itself (or more!!), so I'll save GKTW for another day!