OK, this update, then the final one tomorrow night, then I’ll quit subjecting you to vacation photos of my kids; I promise!!
In addition to the three-day park hopper passes we received to Disney, we also received two-day park hopper passes to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Although Disney is Disney and nothing quite compares, we actually enjoyed the Universal Studios parks more. Smaller parks, more manageable crowds and some really cool playlands!
ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE: For anyone planning a trip to Orlando with Make-A-Wish, I can’t speak highly enough of the Universal Studios parks and the level of guest services we received from these parks. Attendants would see Kendrie’s GKTW button and come up and ask ways they could help make our visit more pleasant. Kendrie’s face painting was free, we got free character photos, and we got a completely private autograph session with the Super Marvel Hero Characters …. And THEY approached US and asked to do it! The Fast Pass we received at Disney was great (in fact, I think without it Disney would have been unbearable) ….. but at these parks, we showed our button and were escorted to the front of the line in person, like complete V.I.P.’s. J.-Lo never had it so good. I could go on and on and on about it, but suffice it to say that the special attention we got here was unrivaled at any Disney park. Here are a few highlights, in (what else?) pictures:
My kids, happily posing for a photo outside Suess-land, our first stop of the day. Or do they just want you to *think* they're happy ........... ???????
This is it, the photo that incited WW III ... or the moment better known as "Call Park Security --- there's a mad-woman in Who-ville screaming at some children!" All I wanted was a photo of the three of them on this cute little elephant. This whole part of the park was so cheerful and colorful and FUN! And my three kids couldn't even sit on a stupid elephant statue without getting into the whole "she's in my way his leg is on my foot move your hand I want to be in the front she's pushing me" fighting. Aaaaaaaaggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh! This is when I reached the breaking point and put them all in timeout and just yelled. And yelled. And yelled some more. Truly, it was a public spectacle. NOT a pretty one.
Well, it appears my screaming fit had some impact. The smiles might have been forced for the next hour or two, but at least they were smiling and not bitching at each other. Or at me.
Definitely the highlight of the entire day!! They were so proud of the finished product! But let me tell you that if you plan to do this with your own children, and one of your kids is an 8-yr old girl whose hair hangs in her face, there are no ponytail holders or barettes or clips and rubberbands for sale anywhere in Who-ville. Believe me. And enjoy these images now, because trust me, after we got off the Popeye and Bluto River Barges, my kids looked like Riff-Raf from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. AFTER the swimming pool scene.
I mean, really. Have you ever seen a kid cuter than this???? How scary is she, with her boots and candy necklace and growly-monster face? Never mind that all the other little girls were getting fairy princess makeup and Tinkerbell glitter. Kendrie rocked, man!
GATORWORLD: The day after we checked out of GKTW, we spent the afternoon at Gatorworld, another local attraction. I thought it was going to be pretty cheesy, but was pleasantly surprised at how much we all enjoyed it. After the attraction-heavy and ride-loading days spent at the theme parks, it was a very nice, low-key way to end the vacation.
Eeesh, this kind of gives me the creeps. I felt a little like Steve the Alligator Guy, or Jeff Corwin. Only without the bravery or jokes. These things give me the heebie-jeebies.
Someone please tell me that my children are not the only ones on the planet who enjoy sticking their heads in places they shouldn't be.
Can you believe they thought this was fun??????
And just so you don't think I'm making it all up, here's a photo of Kendrie crying and pouting because I wouldn't buy her any cotton candy from the concession stand. Doesn't matter that they didn't SELL cotton candy ..... apparently I should have pulled some out of the magic invisible purse I carry at all times.
One last day of photos (I'm saving my very, ultimate favorites for last!) and then I'll give you a respite, I promise!!!
WORST PART ABOUT HAVING CANCER TODAY:
Well, actually, today was a pretty good day. I got to play on a trampoline with my friends Sophie and Jack while my mom's friend Miss Kelly babysat me and my brother and sister ....... because ...........
BEST PART ABOUT HAVING CANCER TODAY:
My grandma is here visiting!!!!!!! She hasn't been to Georgia since I very first got sick with this leukemia nonsense and I am so happy she is here to take care of me and Brayden and Kellen while my mom is in Seattle taking care of my whiny dad. What's a little reconstructive surgery, anyway???? Well, I overheard my grandma tell my mom that she is nervous about making sure I get my chemo properly each night and to entice me (that's a pretty fancy word for a five-year old, huh?) she brought a ziploc bag FULL of quarters --- every time I take my medicine without fussing I get a quarter, and so do Brayden and Kellen. Holy crap, mom's going to be gone for almost two weeks ----- WE ARE GOING TO CLEAN UP AROUND HERE, WAHOOOOOOO!