i don't even know what to say without writing tons and tons that would take forever to read. but i figure i need to get something out there for you guys who are waiting for a report.
we got back late Saturday night. it was great. the Give Kids The World Village we stayed at was awesome. i could have just stayed there all week. it was fantastic meeting up with our friends and spending the week with them. Josie was done with it all after about three days. she just wanted to go back to the "hotel". i think it was due to the crowds and the frustration of not being able to play or ride rides the whole time - we found it very difficult to effectively split the attractions up so everyone could do what they wanted (josie couldn't ride the rides Taylor and Cami could and they didn't want to sit around while Josie played in the kiddie areas). i would say that was the hardest part of the trip - pleasing everyone.
On the flight to Orlando, we rode the plane with a bunch of the workers and skaters with Disney On Ice - how ironic was that? no, we didn't get to talk with any skaters. Josie and Taylor did excellent on the plane ride. they loved it. it was their first time.
we hung out at the Village the first night. Day two was spent at the Magic Kingdom. it was MEGA crowded. too crowded. one person said they come every year and they have never seen it like this. even though we got to go to the front of the line on all the rides, just trying to navigate through the crowds to get to the rides was rediculous.
Day three we went to Universal Studios and Islands Of Adventure. it was the best. much better than Magic Kingdom. much less crowded. we had a great time.
Day four, our friends went to the beach. we went back to Magic Kingdom for the soul purpose of getting the princess's autographs and then we left and went to Universal Studios to get some Nickelodeon autographs (namely Spongebob). on one ride, we were the ONLY riders!! it was called Earthquate and it simulates a subway caught in an earthquake. the ride seats at least 150 people, but when the led us the back way to the loading zone... we were the only ones there! and we thought, surely they'll start letting others come in to fill the rest of the seat.... but they never came, then the ride started.... it was crazy, but cool at the same time, to have our own private riding experience.
Day five we went to Animal Kingdom and went of the Safari ride and others with our friends. Then we shot over to MGM to catch the car stunt show. we actually planned to see others and ride the Tower OF Terror - but we discovered the park closed a whole lot sooner than we expected. both Josie and her friend, Jessica (our friends) wanted to go back to the village and we were beat as well so we headed back.
Day six was just to sleep in and pack up. we had to be out of our Villa (house) by 11:00. then we went to eat and off to the airport.
We had more tickets than we could use = more tickets than we had days there. we didn't use our Seaworld tickets. we have free passes to all the major themeparks in the US and around the world (seriously, like canada and Thialand) that we can use over the next 12 months. they gave us a complimentary CD with photos they'd taken of Josie over the week and photos of the Village itself. we received other "parting gifts" as well. the kids received a small gift every day we were there. the icecream parlor was open from 7:30 AM to 9:30 PM. you could have pizza delivered to your villa up until 10:30 PM. our Villa was actually a HOUSE; a duplex - two bedroom two bath... house.
i know that i am leaving out TONS of things that i'll just keep periodically adding to this blog site.
i didn't run at all while down there. we walked at least 7 miles every day and i was just worn out. we didn't sleep much all week. getting to bed late, getting up early. our friends played it smart and just got up when they got up for the most part. but anyway, i knew i HAD to get in a 10 mile run, so i decided to do it Sunday afternoon while tracy took the kids grocery shopping. i was dead tired. i didn't get a chance to "plant" my food and drinks along the route so i carried them with me; pockets full of gel and two bottles ful of gatorade.
well, about two miles down the road i mentally talked myself out of it and i quit and walked the two miles back home. then i ran 10 miles on the elliptical machine. so i either made a wise decision or a poor run by not doing the run outside. because the elliptical is such a low impact run and i can run so much faster that i ran 10 miles in 41 minutes instead of the 110+ minutes it would have taken me on the road and my legs don't really get a full workout. but on the other hand - my body was so shot that i wouldn't have been able to endure the run anyway - so it may have been smart to take it easier. we'll see.
The Raintree Half Marathon is in Lawrence this next weekend. Rest needs to be a premium this week as i am STILL so tired and run down from the trip. after running 16 miles just a week ago, i'm not even fazed about running the half marathon.
It was nice to come home to some letters containing pledge money. there is only a month left and i have received somewhere in the neighborhood of $500. that's $4500 short of my goal. i do know there are some out there raising money still, but race time is getting closer and closer. please continue to get pledges and help us take care of Josie's medical bills for the next year or two! thank you SO MUCH to those who have pledged or gotten pledges. it means the world to us. you make it possible for Josie to keep going on this journey of hope.
sidenote - we've got about 300 photographs that we developed Sunday. i'll sift through them and post some on line soon.