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Old 10-07-2007, 05:19 PM   #151
Bill_Lin
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Day Six-Epcot

We started out fairly early this day for a change. At Epcot, we got a parking place right by the entrance. It was easy to get used to being spoiled like that. The first attraction we wanted to take in was Soarin' because we had heard such things about it. It was wonderful.

Next, we headed for the Seas with Nemo and Friends. It was really cute. I still cannot figure out how they were able to mix real fish in a tank with 3-D animation projection. It really looked like the characters were swimming in the real tanks.





At the same exhibit, we went to the Turtle Talk with Crush show.



Lysi can just be seen on the far right with a pigtail and Make a Wish hat:


Lysi got to ask Crush a question here about his diet:


This was a very personal and special part of the trip for her.

Journey into Imagination with Figment was really cute. We enjoyed the hands on activities after the ride.
No this picture is NOT upside down:


After this, we headed to the other side of Future World. Our first ride there was Mission Space. Lin and Lysi did the low impact version, while Kyle and I did the High Impact version. You know how they warn you about doing some rides if you have any heart problems. Well... I thought my heart was "all healed." On the ride, however, the G-forces from the centrifuge came VERY close to making me pass out. I had to use all the breathing excercises I had learned to keep my oxygen level high enough to stay conscious. Still... it was awesome. Kyle really got into the hands on exercises after the ride, so I took Lysi on Energy Adventure with Ellen.

This was a cool show that turned into a ride and back into a show. The dinosaurs were pretty realistic. I had remembered to give Lysi some glow in the dark bracelets and a small flashlight for this ride. It was quite dark. Just before we were done, the ride broke down because some kid jumped out during the ride. Lin and Kyle had come to meet us and were told, "The ride is broken down and everyone has already left." Of course, this was not true. It had the effect of really worrying my poor wife.

Lysi was a little tense after this and did not want to do test track. I was a little leery of it myself after my experience on Mission Space, so I took Lysi to the kids' fountain area to wait while Kyle and Lin went on the ride.



Lysi and I headed onto Mexico... after getting several sets of wrong directions from CMs. We finally found a tourist who sent us through the baby changing area and first aid station shortcut. I really liked the inside of the pyramid with its "nighttime" shopping. We did not do the ride there, but enjoyed looking at all the artwork and cool stuff for sale.






Our tour of World Showcase was pretty fast paced. We did not spend much time in the shops, but really enjoyed seeing the architecture of each region.



At China, we had a great, inexpensive meal at the Lotus Cafe. At Norway, we did the Maelstrom ride. That was definitely worth the time. At Morocco, we found Genie, who is the symbol of Make a Wish. A family from Germany was really put out that we got to cut in front of them, because the characters took a 10 minute break right after seeing us. This was the only time we saw any objection that lasted beyond a CM explanation of Make a Wish.



We also found Aladdin's home while in Morocco, but he was not in.

After this, we were in a hurry to catch the boat ride to MGM for the rest of the day so we breezed through the U.S. and France and skipped the U.K. and Canada.
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Old 10-07-2007, 06:14 PM   #152
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Day Six-Part 2-MGM

At the back, "International," exit of Epcot, we turned in our stroller and boarded the boat for a 30-minute ride/ rest to MGM.



I am definitely a boat person, so I really enjoyed this break. The boat stopped at a boardwalk area and two Disney Resorts that we would not have seen otherwise. At MGM, we went through the bag and ticket check thing, but opted to skip the stroller since the area is so small.



We headed immediately to take in Kyle's number one choice for the trip: The Tower of Terror. It amazed me that a little girl who was too scared for Thunder Mt. Railroad, Space Mountain, Everest, Ripsaw Falls and Test Track would ride the Tower of Terror. I was very nervous on the ride, but only because I was nervous about her being nervous. Lin was between us, and I could not see Lysi very well. A kid was crying and I thought it was her.. but NO.. she thought the ride was cool, but did not want to repeat it.

After this, we pulled out our G.A.C. so we could catch the last Beauty and the Beast Show. We barely made it (they recommend you show up like half an hour early or more), but got to sit in the front row, next to LeeLee2you and family. We had not seen them since AK on Thursday. That made the show a lot more special to us. I did not take any still shots, but was able to video tape all but the first few moments of the show. It was wonderful. beautiful and breathtaking. Here are a few screen shots from my video:











Of course, this was the same Belle that Lysi had seen at the Castle at Mk and at GKTW. That made the moment more special to her. Lysi was able to trade her special Tinkerbell giveaway pin with LeeLee's son had a similar one. It was a really special moment.

After the show, we went on Star Tours, except for Lin who was feeling ill again. Lysi was so cute. She saw on the pre-ride video that Ewoks were getting on the ride. She has both of the post-Star Wars Ewok movies: Ewoks-Caravan of Courage and Ewoks-Battle for Endor. She kept looking around our ride vehicle to see the Ewoks. Even after the ride ended, she kept looking around corner and down below to see if she could find some Ewoks. The Magic definitely worked for her. At the gift store, she bought a Wicket Ewok.




After Star Tours, we tried to make the Playhouse Disney on Stage Show, but barely missed the last one. That worked out well, though, because we had decided to skip Voyage of the Little Mermaid, and ended up going there instead. It was way better than I had imagined, and provided Lysi with her only chance to see Ariel. I videotaped that show. The stage is dark except for black lights and the puppets are flourescent, so you don't see the puppeteers AT ALL. Here are some screenshots:







Lysi's glow in the dark bracelets came in handy here:


After this, we took in the Great Movie Ride, which turned out to be a lot of fun. Everyone really enjoyed the animatronics and live actors.



The evening, and our theme parks tour, ended on a perfect note with Fantasmic. It is an amazing fireworks, projection, laser and character show summarizing all the Disney things that we had seen during the week. It started to rain while we were on the movie ride, and Lin was feeling ill, so we bought her a Tinkerbell Sweatshirt and a BIG Mickey umbrella, plus some other souvenirs. The lady in that store was SO nice to Lysi and gave her a Mickey Pin. I forgot to mention all of the large round pins that Lysi received from CMs. She got one for being a first time WDW visitor, and a few other pretty ones, as well as her GKTW and Make a Wish Button, she was pretty well decorated. Her GKTW lanyard was really not up to the challenge of that much hardware. I would really suggest buying a larger Disney lanyard at the Wal-Mart by the Village when you get there.

When we got to the stadium for Fantasmic, we had to put our umbrella down, but the rain stopped about that time. The show was LOUD. Lysi kept her ears covered the whole time, but she loved it. After the show, we caught the Disney Transportation bus back to the Epcot parking lot. It was a bit of a walk from the gate to the Epcot bus stop, which is the last one. The busses were REALLY crowded with some folks standing. When we got off the bus at Epcot, it was just in time to see the fireworks show there, as that park stays open one hour later than MGM.

Needless to say, we were all beat, but still felt up to ordering our free GKTW pizza for delivery to the Villa. We had done this once before, and they forgot to bring it, plus having the order all confused. This time, all went well. It sure was a nice treat. I took a quick stroll around to look at the lights again, then took another whirlpool. The Ice Cream Palace was closed when we got back.
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Old 10-07-2007, 06:57 PM   #153
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O.k. Bill now I'm getting Disney sick! Not as in sick of Disney but sick as in home sick!
I've just got to put in here that Lysi is a little doll. When she was telling me about meeting the Princesses her face was all lit up. Mom, Dad and brother aren't too bad either! I have a wonderfull pic of her and Tyler waterfighting. When we get home I'll send it to you. We are at my Moms right now while Braeton is recovering. A few extra hands help a lot and I'm only 15 min from home so that makes it easy to go grab stuff.
Braeton was looking at the pics and said Look that's the Wish girl Lees that I waterfight with. I thought that was so cute. Like they waterfight everyday!!
Now I'm going to try to at least start my TR tonight. You are making me feel guilty!!!
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Old 10-07-2007, 07:15 PM   #154
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Day Seven- The Long Trip Home

Leaving GKTW was like losing a close family member. It was so HARD to leave. We are still not really over it. Today, Lysi said, "Dad, let's go back to Give Kids the World Village. I miss it."

Although our original plans had allowed for using our unused day at Universal/ IOA, or going to the Ocean, we were too pooped to even consider it. There were some things we had not done at the Village yet as well. We slept a bit later the last day and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast at the Gingerbread House.

Our last day's activities included one last swim and frolic in the water park, miniature golfing, a train ride, sandwiches and ice cream at the Ice Cream Palace. I managed to hit a golf ball out of the course and onto the train track. We were able to snag it on the train ride later. Somehow, I still won the golf match though.



My golf ball on the tracks:



This was, apparently hilarious:



The little engineer:



We also checked out the pond and saw a HUGE soft shelled turtle. We spent a little time in the Castle of Miracles and saw Lysi's star on the ceiling. The star fairy will show you where each star is located. We also picked up a CD with all of the pictures staff had taken of us at the Village. We were required to turn the borrowed video camera in on Friday evening. When we left, we got the video disks back formatted. What a treasure they are.

After checking out, we hung around for a while, but the place was almost empty. We did have a brief prayer time in the beautiful chapel, thanking God for our trip and for healing our Little Girl to the point that she could go on the trip and live a normal life.

Our camera was FULL so we have no more pictures to share from here on.


I had gone to Wal-Mart at the light on Bass the morning before to pick up some medication for Lin's cold. There I had discovered a huge section of Disney treasures. I found stuffed animals, tee shirts, cups, caps, bags, tags, and you name it. So on the last day, we spent some time and money at Wal-Mart. From a previous trip, Lin knew about the huge indoor Flea Market just east of Bass on the highway. You go to the light by Wal-Mart and turn right, then go about a block or two. There we found a LOT more cool stuff from Disney and Universal. Kyle got a really cool pirate sword and I found a large Piglet and Shamu for Lysi. You would not believe how much stuff they have there and how cheap the prices are, especially compared to theme park prices. Lin got a really nice outfit for a price that amazed even me. We found Croc jibbets for $1 each and even bought a BIG duffle bag for all the things we bought. Our final souvenirs were purchased at the airport Sea World and Universal Stores.

We gassed up the rig, and said a sad farewell to Florida's gas prices, which are WAY less than ours. We had no trouble navigating to the airport and paying the tolls. After dropping of the rental car, we had a LOT of trouble getting to the terminal. First of all, hitting the "terminal" button on the elevator did exactly nothing. We had no idea what floor to go to. I thought maybe we were already on the terminal floor so I stepped out of the elevator. Naturally, the door closed and it finally went to the right floor. Lysi freaked out and was sure she would never see her Daddy again. I took the next elevator which had no trouble going to the right floor. From there, the directions to the Alaska check in area were really confusing. We stopped people three times to ask directions. They were all very nice. The lady at the Alaska counter was very sweet and reassuring.

Security takes a long time at Orlando, so be prepared for extra time. You really DO need 2 hours or more to drop off a rental car and get through to your gate in time for your flight. Our flight was delayed, however so we had plenty of time. Once we got to the gate, I remembered that, if we wanted to eat on the 5-hour flight, I would have to have cash. Naturally, the ATM in that terminal was broken. I had to take a tram from there to the main terminal and another one out to the other satellite to get an ATM that worked. After obtaining my cash, I rode the trams back. The neat thing about this tram tripping was that I finally saw an Alligator in the wild. This had been a goal of mine during the trip and I had looked at every pond and puddle we passed each day. This alligator looked to be about 8 feet long and was swimming down the lake at the airport right under the tram tracks.

By the time I got back to our gate, Lysi was again sure that she would never see me again. She cried the whole time I was gone. Good grief!

On our flight to Seattle, one of us, again had to be separated from the others. I volunteered. I am sure Lin wished she had either done it or sent Kyle there, because he and Lysi bickered over things until she fell asleep. She slept a good 4 hours of the 5 hour flight. Kyle and Lin mostly slept as well. That left me with the DVD player to watch a movie. I cannot even remember what movie it was, but I think it was one we were given at GKTW. We sure did receive a lot of gifts there, puzzles, stuffed toys, match box cars, a game, DVDs, snacks and other things.

It is interesting that on both of our Seattle-Orlando/ Orlando-Seattle flights, the flight attendants and gate workers did not seem to care that Lysi was on a Wish Trip. I suppose they are so used to kids taking wish trips to Orlando that it seems like no big deal to them. The contrast on our Seattle to Spokane/ Spokane to Seattle flights was dramatic.

Our flight from Seattle to Spokane was VERY delayed so we could wait for a plane full of Washington State University Soccer Ladies flying from Las Vegas. Their flight had been forced to land elsewhere for a medical emergency of some kind. Waiting in the airport taught me that people who fly a lot tend to get very territorial about who gets what seats in the waiting area. We had to guard our seats like hawks to get to stay together. Putting a bag on or in front of your seat did nothing to reserve it. I guess I have gotten too used to small-town politeness.

The flight attendants on our final flight made a big deal about seating us before anyone else on that BIG, FULL plane. The pilot came back to meet Lysi and gave her a set of wings. One of the flight attendants stayed close to Lysi and talked to her almost the whole flight. Just before take off, the captain announced on the p.a. that there was a V.I.P. on the flight, Elysia and that she was on her Make a Wish Trip. Everyone on the plane clapped.

When we reached Spokane, Grandpa helped us load everything into his van. It was the first time I had checked luggage with Alaska Airlines through Seattle to Spokane that I actually got my luggage the day I arrived. I was very grateful because so many of our trip treasures were in those bags.

We spent the next day resting up at Grandpa and Grandma's place in Davenport, WA before heading home in the late afternoon.
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Old 10-07-2007, 07:25 PM   #155
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I have enjoyed your TR. Lysi truely is a . She is very brave. I am sure she makes everyone proud. I am sure her older sister is looking down at her smiling at her.
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Old 10-07-2007, 07:46 PM   #156
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REALLY good TR, Bill! to you and your lovely family!! Lysi looks awed by all of it, and so happy! The nice thing about these MaW trips is that there is so much to do, each family can customize it to fit themselves, and each Wish trip is different.
Did I see Lysi with a Pal Mickey in one of the pix? Did you buy it or did she get it at GKTW?
Also, I didn't see where you got the GAC. Did you get it at the parks at Guest Relations or did you get it at GKTW?
Hope all goes well with you guys, both Lysi and Jason too. Thanks for sharing your adventure with us!!
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Old 10-07-2007, 08:21 PM   #157
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I love your report! Glad you enjoyed yourself. Michael also constantly wants to go back. I briefly considered going to Disneyland for our next trip but I think Michael would just loose his mind if we didn't get to see GKTW again. Gotta love that place.
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Old 10-07-2007, 09:03 PM   #158
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Wow, I feel like I did the parks (all of them) in 20 minutes. Your thread is great. It really looks like you all had a great time. Lysi is beautiful as is the whole family. You posted my favorite thing to look forward to: Festival of the Lion King. My wish is to get a picture of Alize with Pumbaa. Karen
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Old 10-08-2007, 10:37 PM   #159
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Wow, such a fun trip report! I wish I could go this fast with mine.

Here is the picture we took at our unplanned meeting. What happened was Mayor Clayton was riding with our daughter on the carosel and I had just sprinted to the car and back (NEVER NEVER NEVER go to breakfast without your camera at GKTW!!!!) to find that....I missed the cutest picture ever. Mayor Clayton was sitting across from dd and they were holding hands and swinging their arms on the carosel. A while after this, I ran into Bill and Lynn as they were getting ready to leave for the airport, I believe? Someone offered to take our picture together. This pic saved because the camera had been on for a while. The cobblestones you see us standing on is just in front of the gingerbread house and the castle of Miracles on what is called the Avenue of Angels. Many of these pavers have the name of an angel who has helped make GKTW possible. The paver can be engraved with a family name or the name of someone that you wish to honor the memory of and are available from GKTW for $200. http://www.gktw.org/how/paver.asp

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Old 10-09-2007, 09:41 AM   #160
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Thanks for the Picture

I really appreciate the picture. I think we took some the night of the Christmas Party on Lysi's camera, but the driver for it does not work so we cannot retrieve the pictures. I went on line and found that everyone else who bought a Vivitar Mini Digital Camera has the same problem.

I would really appreciate it if you would post a picture of your whole crew here. We really enjoyed talking to you guys after the Christmas Party.
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Old 10-09-2007, 10:22 AM   #161
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Back Home

I came down with whatever bug Lin had after I got back home, only I had it in the super size version. I am still struggling with it.

One the Tuesday after our trip, I felt really weak at work. When this happens, I try not to think it could be my heart, because I want to believe that my heart is "fine" now.

On Wednesday, I was a bit worse, but my office was hosting our Agency-Wide staff retreat near my town. Although I had planned to help set up, including decorating the main meeting room, I took about an hour at home to rest instead, and came up to the retreat later. I am sure my female coworkers were glad to have me miss the decorating session, since that is not my forte'.

I did fairly well that evening and went to sleep early at the retreat center. I should add that this location is at a high altitude near a ski resort. The next morning we had a ropes challenge course to help with team building. We had three options from which to choose, and had pre-selected these a few weeks earlier. The choices were: 1) A non-physical mental challenge indoors. 2) A medium-level challenge course at ground level. 3) The high ropes course way above the ground with significant physical challenges.

Because I wanted to keep the attitude that my heart was "fine", and on the evidence many months of building my endurance up by walking to get ready for the wish trip, I had chosed option #3. Even though I was feeling sick, I did not want to "wimp out" on this choice so I stuck with #3.

I did fine until I had climbed 50' up the tree to reach the high wire. I did not quite make it to the wire, when I felt pressure in my chest and sudden weakness. A sensible person would have backed out at this point, so naturally I refused to quit. I yelled down to the facilitator that I was feeling chest pressure. He asked what I was going to do, so I said, "Take the next step." Then he said, "What about after that?" I answered, "Take the next step after that." He asked if I was making good choices, but I ignored that (since I obviously wasn't) and pressed on. Once I got my feet on the cable, I was determined to cross to the other tree. By the time I made it across, I was shaking like a leaf (and not from fear). I felt to bad physically to be able to think about how high up I was. I could barely stand when I got down to the ground.

My condition began to deteriorate after that, so I think I must have overstressed my heart due to the respiratory infection. See what my wife has to deal with. I spent from late Thursday afternoon until Monday morning in bed. I made it to work the next Monday, though I was quite weak.

On Tuesday, we went to Children's Hospital in Spokane for Lysi's twice-yearly cancer scans.
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Old 10-09-2007, 10:54 AM   #162
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At Children's Hospital

We live about 60 miles from Children's Hospital, so commuting is not really an option for two full days of scans and other medical tests. The Mark Rypien Foundation, or West Coast Hotels had been able to help us with housing in the past. Both of these sources of help had dried up, but we were able to get a medical discount at a hotel across the street from the hospital. We actually had the money to do this for a change, so we were quite thankful.

I felt a bit better, and was no longer coughing, so I figured I was not contagious and could go to the scans. Lysi was a trooper during her I.V. insertion, although this is always traumatic for her. She got pretty agitated and tense, but did not even cry. While waiting for the I.V. she distracted herself by operating EVERY possible lever on her hospital bed. We knew there was one nurse there who would not stand for that, but we just kept a lookout for her. I felt that it was helpful for Lysi to keep her mind occupied.

Next, she had her isotope injection. In the past, this has always made her immediately throw up, but this time there was no problem. During our waiting times she drove her Piglet and Pooh (from the Wish Trip) and her Starbaby doll (who has been with her at every scan and surgery since birth) around in a little toy car or wagon. We also watched bit of a Winnie the Pooh video about Piglet.

Although our clinic had scheduled Lysi to have both a CT scan and a MIBG radiation scan the next day, we were able to take an open spot for the CT that day. It is really hard for Lysi to lie still for two back-to-back scans. The CT went really well. She loved the fact that they use Mickey Mouse's voice to tell her when to hold her breath. We had to wait around until after 4:00 to get her CBC back so she could have her IV out.

After this scan, we headed to Taco Time to eat, since we had not eaten for about 8 hours. Then it was off to the hotel, and free popcorn. There was no pool (Lysi loves the water) and Lysi was really bummed when she was told she was too young to use their exercise equipment. She was allowed to go in with Lin and I to check out the exercise room, though and was allowed to do the sit up map. We sat in the hotel parlour for a bit and enjoyed the view out the window of autumn colored trees blowing in a strong wind. Then it was off to our room to watch TV and rest.

The next day, we did not have to get up very early (because we had moved the CT to the day before). Because the Nuclear Medicine unit was backed up, we had quite a while to wait for Lysi's scans. We met a family in the waiting room whose daughter had the same kind of cancer as Lysi. They had been on a Make a Wish trip to Disneyland, so we compared notes. Lysi really hit it off with the girl's 4-year-old sister and they pulled each other up and down the long hall in a little wagon.

My middle Son, David, who lives in Spokane and attends college in a neaby town, came up for the MIBG scan, to keep Lysi company. She loves seeing her big brothers and sisters who live on their own. For this scan, Lysi has to lie still (without any sedation) for over an hour while a scanner runs around her. At many points it is only a few inches from her face. She tried really hard not to wiggle, and was a trooper. We did not see anything showing up on the scans. After this, we went to the oncology clinic. The doctor said that her CT looked fine, as well as her blood work. She explained that the MIBG results would take a few days but that there seemed to be no cause for worry. Lysi had grown more rapidly than they would like. This is due to her having no adrenal glands. She takes shots to slow down this precocious development because it could seriously limit her long-term growth and her eventual stature.

We were told that we would have scans again in six months, but that after that, we would only need to have brief annual check ups without scans. After that she would be officially considered to be in remission. We were very grateful for the good news and breathed a sigh of relief.

We took David out to a late lunch at Taco Time again, then headed home to Chewelah.

Although I have had some problems with breathing and have had to resort to Albuterol, I seem to be gradually healing up. I am so glad that I did not get sick on the trip.

Lysi was back to Kindergarten last week, and this yesterday, started full days at school for the first time. She threw up last night, though so she may have to miss school today. She says she thinks she had too many jelly bellies when she went to the youth center in town where her brother is a director.

If you would like to read more about Lysi's condition, Lin wrote an article on line about Lysi and the family history of this disease: http://***************************/art...e_disease.html

Last edited by Bill_Lin; 10-09-2007 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 10-09-2007, 11:12 AM   #163
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Thank you to all

Thank you everyone for your insights, encouragements, tips, comments and wonderful posts that help to make this Trip of a Lifetime so special. I still get chills just thinking about how wonderful the experience of visiting Orlando was. Even after all of the wonderful stories we heard and our high expectations, I was still surprised by the joy, beauty and warmth that surrounded us during this trip.

I can still remember the unique Central Florida smell and the feel of the warm humid air. It seems odd not to have to watch for lizards on the sidewalks everywhere. Where is all of the free ice-cream to which we became accustomed?

It is odd not to have a theme park to plan for and look foward to. I think I will have to keep posting on people's trip reports just to get my Disney "fix." I wear the Mickey Mouse hoodie that I bought at Wal-Mart near the village any chance I get.

It was really fun compiling, editing and posting our trip pictures on this site. We also have a LOT of neat video footage. Maybe I can post some of that on YouTube and paste the link here.

If there is anyone out there who is planning a Wish Trip and would like help, I would REALLY enjoy helping you out.

Did I mention that I LOVE Walt Disney World.

Bill
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Old 10-09-2007, 12:06 PM   #164
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Bill I think we must have all gotten this "bug". I'm so glad ya'll are all feeling better. OH Thank God for Lysis good report!!
What a wonderfull article Lyn wrote. She is such a strong couragous woman. I'm so glad I had the privilege of meeting ya'll while in the World. Wish there would have been more time to visit, but am glad for the 2x we did get to meet!!
And Bill I think you need to mention how much you Disney World!!!
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Old 10-09-2007, 02:49 PM   #165
Momof2wCF
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 133

Yay for Lysi!! Glad to hear her report was good!
Now you, bad man need to take care of yourself!! 50 feet up a tree with chest pain?!? I ask you what you'd think if Lin did that!
Ahem..sorry, Mom mode overtook me. But seriously, BE CAREFUL, okay?
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Kirsten

DH- 43, DL 2x
me- 38 DL 8x
DS- 17 DL 4x
DD- 8 DL 4x (Wish kid)
First Trip to WDW October 21-28 2007!!!

Link to my TR:
http://www.disboards.com/showthread....2#post21543422
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