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Old 09-26-2007, 10:09 PM   #121
KathyRN137
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Bill,

I'm sitting here coughing and sneezing, too, but you made my day!!

I cannot wait to hear all the wonderful details; I'm so happy for your family!

to Jason, hope he is doing better now.

Kathy
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Old 09-28-2007, 01:54 PM   #122
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Yeah! So glad to hear your princess got to dine with all the other ones at MK. Sorry to hear about the pics....looking forward to your TR.... I hope you and the other wish trippers took some group photos!

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Old 09-28-2007, 03:40 PM   #123
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YEA! I can't wait to hear the rest!!!!
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Old 09-28-2007, 04:12 PM   #124
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Hey guys! We are still sorting out our pictures too. I hung our camera case to the stroller, stroller fell over, breaking a disc in half. GKTW is trying to recover any info. off of our disks that they can. I just feel awful about that. We were having trouble with our personal camera also before this happened, and after. Our personal camera malfuntioned, I mean we didn't realize until the end of the trip that if the file cue wasn't up, the pictures didn't save....we lost so many pictures that way, they just vanished into cyberspace...whaaaaah! We still have a lot though, and our trip was amazing!!!!!!!! It was great meeting Bill and his Family, his daughter is just so vibrant and joyful, and LeeLee's children were just precious and their excitement about princesses is infectious. Lee Lee's son won a dream meeting with Cinderella and called and invited us to join them. It was a blast. Our trip was amazing. We have a crazy amount of things going on, came home to a broken air conditioner and dd and Black Ear Envy needed to see doctors. A little snag with the rental car of $500 accidentally being put on our debit card instead of the wish organizaton paying so yikes!....hope to get that straightened out..gulp. My children got to meet Zena, the princess of MLG orlando (Halo 2-gaming). DD got her songs of love song...and I plan to put the video of her listening to it on U tube...except it has her name on it. I want to find a way to block her name out.
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Old 09-29-2007, 10:06 AM   #125
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Hi to all! You know it's not funny, but it is!! Of Course I have a wierd sense of humor! O.k. Bill and WYM both had camera problems, Well on our 2nd day there we lost 1 of the disposable cameras on a bus. It was full of pics from the night before. It lacked 2 pic of being full. We had my digital and then the WISH org had given us sev. disposable cameras. This one had all the Fantasmic pics on it. I don't know what was up with us and our cameras!!! Hope I didn't jinx the rest of you!!!!
For all of you out there BillLin are an amazing family. Their DD is precious and I have some good pics of her and my son having a Water fight with their Mist bottles!! We so enjoyed getting to meet them 2x!!!
WYM is great!! I was so glad that they let us share our dream w/them. The Dream team member was GREAT!! O.k. I'm not saying anymore details We'll save that for the TR!! I'm hoping to start one soon but I've been sick since we got back. I'm feeling lots better today and now I'm going to finish unpacking and then clean my house!! A week with Momma sick is NOT good!!1 On the other hand B's surgery was rescheduled for this coming week which was a good thing considering how sick I got on Thurs!!
Bill, Can't wait to see those pics!!!!!!!!!! Give Lysi a hug for me!
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Old 09-29-2007, 04:24 PM   #126
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LeeLee, now that is funny. It's like we wish families just can't handle one more responsibility....I can juggle everything else, but that and keeping track of cameras, batteries, video cameras.....something that we aren't used to put us over the edge! I am formulating some great camera tips that should help others though. One is putting name and addresses on portable cameras so that if found, someone could mail them to you. I won't give all my tips away either....you'll just have to read my trip report. I started my trip report today.
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Old 09-30-2007, 02:22 AM   #127
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I feel like it's a holiday having you all back!! I CAN 'T WAIT TO READ THE TRIP REPORTS!!!! Sounds like everyone had a magical time and it makes it even more exciting for us. I have become addicted to the Disboards while you were all away since I didn't have your updates to read. There is so much information on here it's crazy but none of it will be as exciting as reading your TR's. Thanks guys...
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Old 10-02-2007, 12:17 PM   #128
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Bill, where are you? Is everything okay?
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Link to my TR:
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Old 10-05-2007, 11:42 AM   #129
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I am still alive

Well.... my DW Lin had gotten a chest cold while we were on the trip. She did a good job trying to minimize it and kept going like a trooper. She started dragging on Friday, but seemed a bit better on Saturday. Unfortunately, she gave it to me. It hit on Monday when we got back to Washington. I was pretty much doing okay on Tuesday at work, but Wednesday was worse. We had my work's annual retreat starting that evening. I took a bit of a rest at home before going up to the retreat (in the mountains near our ski resort). It really hit me when I was on my way up a high tree on the ropes course. It felt like someone hit me in the chest, but being a stubborn Scotsman I was not about to come back down until I finished. I was on a foot wire 50 feet up and had to cross to another tree. The guy down below kept saying, "Bill, are you making good choices here," but I finished.

Needless to say, I spent Friday through Sunday flat on my back in bed. It kind of hit my heart. Monday, I managed at work, though was bit slow. Tuesday and Wednesday were scans at Children's Hospital. That is always stressful and wearing. Lysi did Great and her scans looked good. She is still growing too fast (which ironically could limit her height in the long run). All the cancer scans looked clear though. Our housing assistance in Spokane has dried up for families of cancer kids. The Rypien Foundation (which had helped us in recent years) ran out of money. The local hotel chain the used to help a lot has cut way back, and Ronald McDonald House was full and overflowing. There really is a huge need in our area. Fortunately, we had enough money on hand to pay for a discount room at a hotel across from the hospital.

I have most of today off to rest, and will rest on the weekend, but wanted to get started on my report here. I am sorry for the delay.
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Old 10-05-2007, 11:51 AM   #130
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Glad to see you're still around, Bill! Get better soon, looking forward to your TR!
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Old 10-05-2007, 11:52 AM   #131
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Last Minute Change of Plans

I had two friends, one from the Christian community in our town and one from work tell me, "Something will happen to throw your plans out of whack, just go with the flow and live in the moment." Well they were sure right. The day before we were to leave for Grandpa's house in Davenport WA, Jason, the 26 year old announced that he was hurting too much from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy and might not make the trip. This really stressed everyone out, including Lysi. We told him to rest and wait and see, and reminded him that he could be in a wheel chair the whole time, or just hang around at Give Kids the World Village if he did not feel like going to a theme park. He did not want to try this. The rest of us, Bill, Lin, Kyle 13 and the Princess Elysia left for Grandpa's. The next day was Sunday. Jason called to say he would not be coming. We debated rescheduling the trip, but decided that was not fair to Lysi. With a cancer kid, you cannot just assume things will always be all right. There was no guarantee Jason would be better at a later date anyway. It was uncertain about scheduling time around my work as well. We decided to go without him.

Poor little Lysi really felt bad about it that day, but she bounced back the next morning when it was time to fly out. She never once mentioned it on the trip and it did not spoil things for her at all, thankfully.
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Old 10-05-2007, 12:38 PM   #132
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Glad to see you Bill_Lin......I think we were all starting to worry just a bit about ya! I can't wait to read more trip report!!!
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Old 10-05-2007, 12:42 PM   #133
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Day One- the Arrival

At 3:30 a.m. PDT we got up to head to the airport. Grandpa drove us in his minivan for the 45 minute drive to Spokane. There was NO traffic on US Highway 2 at that hour and the stars were bright. Everyone was too excited to sleep in the van.



We had no trouble checking in and met with Kathy, our Make a Wish Coordinator.



We got on the first plane to Seattle, armed with a Leap Pad and my buddy's DVD player with extended battery. Lysi spent most of the time staring out the window to watch our plane arrive or other planes take off. It was her first time flying.



The flight attendants welcomed Lysi in a special way and gave us each a set of stick on wings. Before Jason cancelled, we had a row of three seats together and two in a separate row. Alaska Airlines explained, when we cancelled Jason's seat, that they could not give one of us his seat to make two rows of two seats. One person would have to sit alone in the odd seat. I did this for the flight to Seattle.

On the flight from Seattle to Orlando (which was boarding when we arrived in Seattle) Linda took the odd seat. She tried to get the man on the aisle to trade with her so we could all be in a row, but he wanted the aisle seat. This was funny, because he never got up once to use the restroom in the 5 hours of flight, but had to keep getting up to let my DW or the other lady in the row get out. This time on her own was kind of nice for Lin though as she had a break from Mom duties and could rest. Lysi and I had a lot of fun with the Leap Pad and Kyle used the DVD player to watch Spider Man 2. Lysi finally ended up sleeping for much of the five hour flight.







At Orlando airport, Philipa, from GKTW met us with a nice sign welcoming Lysi.



She watched our things and the Princess well the rest of us gathered luggage. She whisked us off to Avis to get our vehicle, an Olds Uplander (kind of a minivan-SUV-Suburban cross). It was brand new. We headed out, following the excellent directions provided at gktw.org and arrived at the village in good time. Although it did feel humid in Florida, it was nothing like the build up we had gotten from the internet research I had done. I noticed a very different smell the whole time we were there, but it was not unpleasant. It was fun seeing all the palm trees. The toll roads were a bit odd for us, as we do not have such things where we live.

At the House of Hearts, we met with a really nice older man from New York who was very sweet to us. Lysi kept staring out the window or looking at the scale model of the village. She was enthralled. She got a big Mickey Mouse and we headed to our villa. I drove the "rig" following a golf cart.



Our villa was number 299 but it is the first one you come to. It was right across from the Gingerbread House. A nice basket of goodies was in our room, with little gifts for the kids, the GKTW version of Candy Land, Fudge, Pringles, comic books and crayons.

At the Gingerbread House, we were received with great kindness and friendliness by the volunteers. The food was very good and PLENTIFUL.

Mayor Clayton and Ms. Merry came to the Gingerbread House. Lysi immediately ran up and hugged them. She had ZERO fear or nervousness around characters. Meeting characters turned out to be her favorite part of the trip. That really surprised me as she is normally very shy around new people or new experiences.




After dinner we rode the carousel and checked out the Castle of Miracles. Kyle loved the animation creator, and Lysi dressed up in Princess clothes that they have there.





We had been strongly urged to attend a Safari Double Dare event that night in the Theater, so I took the kids there while Lin went to orientation. That was a big step for me, to send her to orientation since I had been the information and research guy all along. Lysi was able to get me in the face with a whipped cream pie, so the kids loved it.







Lin and I took our first or many whirlpool baths to soothe our already sore muscles. We slept great in the HUGE bed. Kyle and Lysi slept in the kids room beds.

Last edited by Bill_Lin; 10-07-2007 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 10-05-2007, 01:18 PM   #134
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I'm sorry you have been so sick. I'm gald it hit you after the trip and that your wife was able to be such a great trooper (we usually are!! ) when she didn't feel well.
I am loving your report- you are doing a fabulous job, as I knew you would. We met with our wish granters on Wed. and it made the trip feel so real. I have spent some time in your neck of the woods and have flown in and out of GEG and SEA airports so it's fun to add my own visuals to all of this.
I'm looking forward to more!!
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Old 10-05-2007, 01:38 PM   #135
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Day Two- Sea World

We figured that our first day should be a short one. One thing that I drastically underestimated in my pre-trip planning was how long it would take to get everyone up, fed and on the road each day. For one thing, we were tired each morning. For another thing, there were often characters at GKTW when we had breakfast. I ended up figuring that it saved time in the long run to see them at the Village instead of trying to find them at the theme parks.

We took the time to ride the carriage ride around the Village with a nice family from Greenwich, England. It was a good way to check out the layout of the Village.



This was Tuesday, September 18th and Sea Word Day.




I keep telling my wife that we didn't actually get lost that morning, we just could not find a way into the parking lot for Sea World. By the way, the GKTW directions let us down here. Do NOT turn left until you get past the light by the parking lot, as the only entrance is past the light.

We started off with a character greet. We NEVER had to wait in line to meet characters at any theme park. Only once did I hear a family complain about this after the CMs explained about Make a Wish, this was a German family at Epcot, and we happened to arrive just before Jasmine and Genie's break time.



Lysi really liked the kid rides at Shamu's Happy Harbor.




Linda's favorite part was the Shamu "Believe" show.



My favorite exhibit was the Manatee Rescue area. The manatees are so peaceful and serene.



We ended up skipping the Dolphin "Blue Horizons" Show, but already were beginning to realize that we would not have time to do everything, so we should pick and choose and try not to be in such a rush that we should fail to enjoy each moment as it came.



We had a lot of unexpected "turns" and setbacks during the trip, that seemed like a big deal at the time, but in hindsight were minor frustrations, or even funny. To understand this first story, you have to get some background on me. I have an uncanny habit of, in perfect innocence, saying the right thing at the wrong time. I particularly have a history of dwarf comments. Please understand that I am only 5'5" myself and come from a family of very short stature.

When my youngest son, Scott was young, he was pretty small (though he is now 6' tall). I had a very large friend who liked to call Scott, the Dweebo Dwarf as a nickname. That name kind of stuck in Scott's early years. On a long road trip, my family stopped at Taco Bell in The Dalles, Oregon, to use the restroom. We were all standing in the hall waiting. I had my back to the men's room door, but everyone else could see it over my shoulder. There was a broom closet in the hall. Scottie asked what it was. I said (again in all innocence and ignorance) that is the dweebo dwarf closet, but you can't go in there, there is already a dweebo dwarf in there. Just as I said these words I saw everyone's eyes get very wide. The hair on the back of my neck stood up. Looking over my shoulder, I saw that as I said the immortal words, "You can't go in there, there's already a dweebo dwarf in there," a dwarf had walked out of the men's room. To make matters worse, when I saw him, I could not help laughing; not at him, at myself. He shook his head. I can only think he must have thought, "Who are you to talk buddy?"

If this is not enough, when recounting this story to a friend as we entered another Taco Bell in Spokane, Washington, another dwarf walked out of the restaurant. On still another occasion, I was window shopping with Lin in Leavenworth, Washington. There was a Seven Dwarves theme that summer in many of the shop windows. As I said, "Oh look Lin, there is another dwarf," she said, "Bill you have done it again." I said, "You've got to be kidding." She said, "Look around the corner," and sure enough, there was a dwarf. Now, I think you will agree that God has a sense of humor and is trying to keep me humble. Sadly, I have said a lot of other stupid things at the wrong time.

Because of the above events, my wife simply HAD to forward to me a story she read on the internet about a woman who accidentally rear ended another car driven by a dwarf. When the man got out to confront her, he said, "I am not happy." For some reason this struck her as funny and she said, "Then which one are you."

All of this is background to what happened at Sea World. We had found a really nice sit down restaurant that served a variety of food including fish. When I tried to pay for the meal with one of my pre-paid debit cards, it was refused as expired. I had already spend three hours on the phone with Netspend to activate and straighten out my cards. They were terribly disorganized. The person I called from Sea World could barely speak English. He seemed unfamiliar with the English names for numerals. This made giving him by card number rather interesting. I immediately asked to speak with a supervisor, but only got as far as eternal hold. I hung up the phone and walked into the restaurant. I said to Lin, "I am not happy!" She immediately started shaking. When she does this, I know that I am about to be laughed at hysterically because she cannot help herself. Suddenly she blurted out, "Then which one are you?" I about choked to death on my now-cold hamburger, but it sure snapped me out of a bad mood quickly. See why I love her so much? She is really good for me.

I had to include this picture because I really thought the native birds, such as this Egret, were awesome.



At the end of the day we picked up some cool souvenirs. Kyle bought a necklace and Lysi got a Princess purse with Dolly the Dolphin in it and a little Shamu. Sea World was very nice. We bypassed lines for rides, although the park was not crowded, but did not try to get privileges for show seating. We got soaked as it was. I have some video footage from the GKTW video camera we borrowed. You can see a wall of water coming at me, then my hand covering the lens as I protected the camera. We all loved the Wild Arctic simulator ride. Lysi thought Journey to Atlantis was too steep and too wet. It was a bit like Splash Mountain on steroids, but Kyle and I liked it. He loved Kraken.

Lysi got to feed and pet the dolphins. Free feeder fish were provided to her. She was given special treatment and help in meeting the dolphins. She also got free fish to feed the seals. It was a wonderful day.





Back at the village we had dinner, then hit the water park and pool. Lysi went RIGHT to sleep at the end of the day.


Last edited by Bill_Lin; 10-07-2007 at 02:35 PM.
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