Hello friends and Ava’s fabulous followers. We just returned from Ava’s wish. Our entire family had such a wonderful time. It was awesome to get to spend so much quality time together.
We decided to drive since I am deathly afraid of airplanes and flying. Kind of a bummer for the rest of the family. This allowed us to have two days hotel stays there for traveling and also two days stay back for traveling. We saw so many neat things along the way. (I’ll try not to make this post too long but it will be impossible to fit it all in. If it gets too long for carepages you can go to Ava’s blog to read the entire thing. http://avaslifewithcdh.blogspot.com and for those who read it on the blog… well then Yay you will see it all!)
We arrived on Monday to Give Kids the World . It is am AMAZING place that Wish kids stay from all over the World to receive their Disney World and other Wishes. We stayed at a Villa while there. It had everything we wished or wanted… even a jacuzzi tube all for Ava. (The girls took full advantage of the hug tub as well!)
This is their first building as enter the Village. All the building are animated and awesome for children.
This was our villa. It had two bedrooms, two bathroom and a full kitchen. We were right across the street from the life-sized Candy land game. The girls too full advantage of this everyday!
We would eat at the Gingerbread House each morning and night. For lunch (if we were not at a park) we could order at Katie’s Kitchen. It was wonderful to have all meals included. It really was a load from our minds. We could just enjoy being a family.
They also had an ice cream parlor at Give Kids the World . Whenever we wanted ice cream we went and got it! How cool is that? We usually went twice a day. You got it all… ice cream, shakes, banana splits, anything you wanted. Ava’s favorite was cookies and cream.
One of Ava’s favorite things to do at Give Kids the World was the carousel. She rode it ALL the time.
Here is Miss Merry and Mayor Clayton. They are Give Kids the World Mascots. We saw them a lot through out our stay. Miss Merry even tucked the girls into bed one night. They were awesome. (Pictures below.)
Miss Merry tucking girls in. What a thrill.
Our first park was to Magic Kingdom. OH the Wonders of Disney. What an awesome place. Everyone enjoyed the rides except me. I’m not fond of rides however they did get me to go on a couple. Ava’s favorite ride was the Haunted Mansion.
Here are a few of the rides.
She also met a LOT of characters and got many autographs. Here are a few.
Halloween we went to Magic Kingdom for Mickey’s Not So Scary Trick or Treat Party. Wow was there a lot of people there. We got so much candy. The parade was so neat to see. We dressed up like Alice in Wonderland. It worked out so good. We kept getting tons of compliments about our outfits. Brian was getting stopped and asked to get their pictures taken with him. It was funny. We will never forget this Halloween!
The castle at night. Just beautiful! And the fireworks… PERFECT!
Lexis and Ava signed up to sing in Village Idol. (This is similar to American Idol on tv.) Emeline signed up to be a judge. They all did so well.
Lexis and Ava sang, “Just Dance”.
The girls got to go on a horse ride at the village.
Here is the tree on the village that snores. It is beyond neat! The girls are entering the Castle of Stars. This is where Ava signed her star and it will be forever in this castle. We will be able to come and visit and see exactly where her star is each time.
Ava and her star. This is HUGE at Give Kids the World. This star is such an honor. Our Ava has made us so proud.
She is making her pillow now. This was also very neat to watch. Her pillow is made with love. While making it she had to think of someone really special that she loved very much… the lady asked her who she was thinking of and she said, “My Mommy.” It was so cute. Then she said, “My Daddy too!”
Animal Kingdom was so much fun. Ava got her face painted at the Village before we left. They were having a Gingerbread Run to raise money for the Village. If you ever get a chance to donate to them it is WELL worth the money. This place is AMAZING!
Pooh wanted to leave with us he loved Ava so much. It was one of the highlights of our trip. These characters really go out of their way to make Ava and our family feel really special. Another blessing was not having to wait in lines. Wish kids go to the front of every line… characters and rides. This way we can accomplish so much more. It was so nice!
Our little Wish Princess.
This was the Run/Walk that morning at the Village. Many of the Candy land game characters were there.
Sea World was my favorite. We all enjoyed that. The shows were incredible.
Ava and the girls got to feed the sting rays, dolphins and the seals for free through Make-A-Wish. It was definitely another highlight of our journey.
Okay now back at Give Kids the World they posed for surf board pictures and went swimming.
When our time was over at the Village Ava cried and didn’t want to leave. I felt the same way. It is truly a Magical place. We had such a busy week. We went three times to Magic Kingdom. We went to Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Universal Studios and Sea World. We packed so much in! We will always be grateful for everyone that helped this wish become a reality.
If you ask Ava what her favorite thing was it may or may, not surprise you. She loved her private meeting with Barney. It meant so much to her. See if you have been following Ava for a few years you will know that Barney helped her through some very rough times in the PICU. When she was very ill and couldn’t do much of anything. (Like even breath on her own or open her eyes.) We would play her Barney videos. We’d sing her songs and many times I’d have to leave the room as the tears just came. We didn’t know if she would survive since so much was stacked against her. This was a joyous meeting… one none of us will ever forget. We explained to Barney just how much he had helped her through her medical journey. We love Barney for all that he is.
My most emotional part of our trip was when Mickey Mouse came to Give Kids the World . For some reason this visit struck me hard. It symbolized just why we were here. It was due to Ava fighting so hard to survive and battle through congenital diaphragmatic hernia. (She was born with very little diaphragm muscle. Her stomach, spleen, small and large bowel and part of liver was up in her chest where her left lung was supposed to be growing. Her chance for survival at birth was very low.) So it all kind of hit me when I saw Mickey
He came and gave me an extra hug when he saw me crying… they were happy tears. I’m so proud of Ava and our entire family. God has blessed us richly and I am so happy.
After leaving Give Kids the World we decided to go to Cocoa Beach. We’d only been to the Jersey Shore and never really to a “real” beach. The girls LOVED it.
This was right outside our hotel. I captured this as the sun was setting. AMAZING just doesn’t even describe it.
I could go on and on with the pictures. I took around 4000 pictures and videos. We had the best time ever. Thank you Give Kids the World and Make-A-Wish for making Ava’s wish come true. We are ever so Grateful!