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The last day of Abby's dream-come-true trip finally arrived. It seemed like two weeks passed in a few seconds.
A couple of important things to note:
- The reason why some of our last few posts were loading VERY slowly (or not at all for some folks) was because of the amount of photos on the page. We had SEVEN posts showing on the home page of our blog, so each day a new post with 30 or so pictures was making it harder and harder for the blog page to load quickly. I've changed our blog to show TWO posts now AND if you want the pics to load even faster for any given post, click on the title of that post and load only that one single post with pics.
- A lot of future Make A Wish families read our blog and we need to be VERY clear that our Make A Wish trip was only the first 7 days. For liability reasons, Make A Wish can not and WILL NOT extend the trip. We extended our trip on our own at our own expense (or more accurately, at Darron and Tracy's expense who graciously made it all possible). The Oklahoma chapter of Make A Wish provided only the first 7 days only of our trip.
Evidently, back in our beloved Tornado Alley, storms were pounding Texas and Oklahoma. We were flying American Airlines which goes to the Dallas hub. We beat it back from the beach in plenty of time, packed up early and got ready to go only to be notified of the first of many delays. Over the course of the day we would sit and wait in the airports surrounded by tired and disgruntled travelers, all of whom had seen their day stretched into the black hole of flight delays. It would be 1am that night before we would walk through our front door.
That evening, we finally boarded the plane in Orlando only to find, joy of joys, we had been packed into the first row of the bulkhead... you know, those tiny little 16" wide seats where the arm rests are otherwise known as "hip vices" which do not raise up, move or give way AT ALL.
Let's do a math story problem together: If Johnny gets on the airplane after eating ice cream every day for two weeks, and finds that his seat is only 16" inches wide, what percentage of butt cheek should Johnny expect to permanently disfigure? What is the total dollar amount Johnny will spend on Ibuprofen divided by the number of passenger snickers? What geometric shape will Johnny's butt be formed in to during the three hour flight? Finally, how many pounds per square inch will the Jaws of Life have to be set at in order to dislodge Johnny from the seat upon arrival?
And you thought math was not useful subject....
My dreams of sitting next to Abby or Landis, thereby gaining another half a seat width for my ample sized nether region was dashed. Now I would endure 2.5 hours of torture as my pelvic joints were dislocated upon take off. Oh well, that's what I get for giving into that woman's enticing temptation of nightly ice cream (that woman? Sorry, the dreadful memory of it all makes me say things that will result in even more punishment). I think I gained about 125 lbs in two weeks which will now take me 10.8 dog years to work off.
We arrived in Dallas thinking we had 10 minutes to make our next flight but God was merciful and it was delayed an hour too. This was a good thing since, as you know, our connection was on the total opposite end of the airport. I've never figured out the physics behind this phenomenon. No matter what gate you come in to, somehow it's always the FARTHEST possible distance from the next gate you need to be at.
Eventually we boarded and wouldn't you know where are seats were... the bulkhead row. Only three though, so I graciously gave up those seats to Maria, Abby and Sami. SpideyLandis and I headed back to seats 17D and E. Once a beautiful college girl bound for Oklahoma University sat down next to Landis, I was free to do whatever I wanted. How quickly he forgot the memories of Jasmine's love.
SpideyLandis immediately befriended her and to the young lady's credit, she sat and talked with him the entire flight apparently enjoying his tales of Spiderman, pirates and roller coasters. Her parents and sister were in the row behind us and soon SpideyLandis had them all roped into his little world of adventure. Landis was captivated by the attention so the short flight was all fun for him.
As for me, I was so tired and uncomfortable that nothing mattered. I just wanted to get home. I so completely over did it with the tennis, golf and theme parks, that even now I'm still in a stupid amount of aches and pain. But it was worth it.
Here's a few more little tidbits, then some pics from the last day...
Paw Paw's Birthday
Paw Paw's (my dad) birthday came during our trip so the kids wanted to call him and sing happy birthday. When I asked them what we should get him as a gift, without hesitation, Landis confidently declared "a Transformers costume!".
If we could find one his size, that's exactly what he would be getting!
Landis again, and don't ask where he got this one because we have NO IDEA. We were sitting at a restaurant eating dinner at the Cocoa Beach Pier. Landis was getting a little distracted, goofing off and not eating his meal.
Maria gives him a snap of her fingers and says "Landis, eat your dinner!"
To which Landis, three years old, replies, "say what, white girl?"
After we picked up our jaws, we had a good laugh over it. Of course, kids being kids, he tried the same response again a few minutes later and was met with a threat instead of a laugh. It's a tough lesson to learn for a 3 year old: certain things get a laugh the first time, and trouble the second.
I remember one time when Christian was little. He did something he knew was wrong, so he walked into the room spanking himself. We got a big laugh out of that and he escaped the real deal. Of course, it wasn't long before he tried it again and much to his confused dismay, he just ended up getting two spankings: one from him, one from me.
Ice Cream Sicko
In Orlando while waiting at the airport, Maria decided that we had to have one last ice cream. It was of course the perfect symbolic ending to a trip that was built around the consumption of ice cream (a choice that would result in my soon to be dislocated hips on the airplane).
We all get a cone or cup and sit down at the table. Sami and I are sitting one side of the table together and after a few minutes I feel this tap on my arm. I look look over at a wide-eyed, slack-jawed Sami who is pointing at Mom.
I turn to see Maria pouring her coffee into her ice cream cone. Now, I was already well aware of the fact that she has a serious case of F.D.D (Frozen Dairy Disorder) but this was bizarre even by her ice cream standards.
"What in the world are you doing?" I asked.
"Coffee flavored ice cream" she explained as if pouring coffee into an ice cream was perfectly normal. I guess in her little ice cream Bizzaro universe it is.
"What a nut job," I thought to myself as I went back to eating my chocolate ice cream with chocolate chunks covered with chocolate syrup in a chocolate cone washed down with some rich chocolate milk finished up with some chocolate dinner mints (just kidding... what? do you think I have F.D.D. too? I was eating peanut-butter-fudge-nuts-Reese's-everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-waffle-cone-ice cream - NO COFFEE TOPPING. That's perfectly normal ice cream behavior).
We are sitting at dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Sami is eating HOT salsa like it's ice cream with coffee poured on it (a family illness, I know...). Just looking at it is making me want a drink of water.
Being the sissy I am about hot food, I'm sort of wetting the tip of my tortilla chip with salsa while Sami is scooping it up by the spoonful.
I find this big old chunk of Jalepeno in my salsa, a piece so big it was obviously missed in the dicing process. It's about the size of a quarter. I thought, "I'll teach Sami a lesson since she's so proud of herself, bragging about the hot sauce not bothering her".
"Hey Sami, want this 'big piece of salsa'?" I asked. Okay, it's a little evil not telling her it's a pepper but hey, I'm not the one showing off.
"Ooooo, yummy" she declared seeking our admiration at her complete fearlessness of the hot commodity. I handed over the Jalapeno preparing for the satisfaction of my inevitable revenge.
She pops it in her mouth, chews it, chews it, and chews it some more. I'm looking for tears. I'm looking for sweat. I'm waiting for her to grab the water. I'm anticipating her getting mad at me for tricking her.
I would be disappointed.
She chews it up, swallows it down, reaches for another chip, loads it up with more salsa, looks over at me, and coolly proclaims, "now that's what I'm talking about..."
Yep, she's only known English for one year. She's learned all the really important phrases.
Last Day Pics
Sunrise on our final day. I love the early morning.
This is the view from Darron and Tracy's back yard.
Tough life, I know.
The kids enjoyed one last romp at the beach.
Even with all the "bigness" of Disney
the kids had just as much fun in the simple sand.
Tracy and Darron say goodbye to the little ones.
Once we home, did we rest? Did we stay home?
Of course not. We got dressed up and went to
WonderFall at our church. These are the same
outfits they wore at Disney and they wanted to
show them to everyon at church.
Abby gets her face painted.
Baby Halina (Lentz). She came home
from Ethopia a few months ago. We are so
excited to be adopting again. Seeing Halina
just makes us wish it was tomorrow.
SpideyLandis gets a Spidey Mohawk.
Sami with a butterfly face painting.
The little kids were throwing wet sponges
at me while I was taunting them.
Abby petting the kitty. They were giving this cat
away... not to us though. I can guarantee you that.
SpideyLandis jumps from a skyscraper....
Abby and Taylor get ready to slide down this huge slide.
What you don't see is the next photo that my wife would kill me
for putting up. Abby is half way down the slide, her Princess dress
hiked up to her ears, with her little brown Guatemalan legs
straight up in the air... hot pink Dora undies on full display.