Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Monday, April 14, 2008

Isaac's Wish

Isaac’s wish began at the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Utah, on November 8th 2006. Isaac and our family had a meeting with his "wish grantors" Carol Gandy and Rob Neumann, as well as Dana Gibson the Hospitality Coordinator. Dana gave us a tour of the Make-A-Wish building and the garden. Shortly after our tour, we sat down with the Dana, Rob & Carol. We talked for a little while and discussed some of the wishes that Isaac might choose. After much discussion it came down to the decision that we would choose a Vacation to Sea World, San Diego for Isaac’s wish. The decision was a little difficult because Isaac wanted both Sea World and Legoland for his wish but he had to choose only one. Our Family thought about it an figured maybe we could go to Legoland on one of our free days while we were there, so we could probably still accomplish both. After the decision was made, Isaac was taken to the wish tower, where he opened the door (with a special key of his own) and inside was a beautiful crystal fountain magically glowed with all of the colors of the rainbow. He walked around inside the tower and placed his wish in a special cone. Isaac was completely in Awe, with the wish tower, he was completely speechless. For weeks we talked about Isaac’s wish with him, and he was very excited. We waited patiently while all of the plans came together, which ended up including Legoland Etc.
About six week’s later Isaac’s wish became real when we woke up early Friday December 29th, 2006. Isaac woke up hearing the hustle and bustle as we got ready to head to the Airport. He was first excited because we were going to ride an airplane; he had never been on an airplane before. After long lines in customs, we made it to the gate where we boarded flight 4709 to San Diego, California. Our flight took a little while to leave the airport due to the need of de-icing of the plane. Isaac fell asleep close to the time we took off and he woke up shortly before arrival in San Diego. After landing Isaac went into the cockpit where he met the pilot and saw the controls. We headed for the Baggage Claim where we were met by Rosalyn Hackworth, a friendly volunteer from the San Diego Chapter of Make-A-Wish. Rosalyn had a Pinwheel for Isaac, as well as a cute little teddy bear with San Diego, embroidered on the front. Isaac quickly embraced the teddy bear and held on tight to the pinwheel. Rosalyn guided us to a bus, which took us to Avis car rental where a beautiful smoke colored van awaited. We put our things into the van and followed Rosalyn to the Catamaran Resort Hotel, where we checked into our room. After settling into our room we enjoyed talking to the birds in the hotel courtyard and walked to a nearby Restaurant called "Da Kines" suggested by the Hotel Concierge, where we enjoyed a delicious Hawaiian lunch. After lunch we drove to the San Diego, Zoo. We looked at a couple animals and Isaac fell asleep. While Isaac was asleep Mike & the girls looked at some birds and then we found a seat at the Wedgeworth bowl waiting for an animal show to begin. Isaac woke up in time to enjoy the show with the birds and a seal. After the show Mike & the kids all went on a sky ride while I waited with Isaac’s wheelchair/stroller. I was nervous about leaving the stroller unattended, because of its value so I patiently waited while they went on the ride and hiked back (not knowing they didn’t have a round trip ticket). They were so worn out from the hike back, we decided to leave (and it was close to the time the zoo closed anyway). When we arrived at our room there was a balloon bouquet delivered from Make-A-Wish, San Diego. Isaac enjoyed the balloons and everyone enjoyed pizza from Pizza Hut and a nice hot bath or shower. We watched a little TV and went to sleep after a long day.
Saturday December 30th 2006. We woke up with the warm California sun shining through our window, got dressed and had a delicious breakfast in the "Atoll Restaurant" located in the Hotel Lobby. After breakfast, we were excited to head to "Sea World" which was a short drive from our hotel. We arrived at Sea World shortly after 10 am when they opened. We walked around a little bit deciding what to look at for the next hour and realized our digital camera was almost completely out of memory. I quickly decided to delete all of the Christmas pictures that should have been deleted when I loaded them on the computer after Christmas. As I deleted those pictures I must have accidentally deleted the pictures I took of Isaac in the cockpit of the plane and the ones with the flight attendants. Oh well, there are worse ones I could have deleted. After deleting I had enough room to take pictures at Sea World. We used the first hour looking at the Manatees, deleting pictures, looking in shops and watching the dolphins at dolphin encounter. At dolphin encounter we watched as the dolphins splashed the people, kissed them and the trainer tickled one. Knowing that dolphins were ticklish was our family’s biggest surprise, we never imagined that they were ticklish. We then headed for Lunch with Shamu, knowing that we had to be there 30 minutes early. We waited patiently in line for Lunch with Shamu for about 30 minutes. We then had a wonderful buffet lunch with Shamu with lots of delicious foods to eat including some favorite desserts. The show with Shamu was great, we all enjoyed meeting Shamu’s family and watching Shamu splash the audience in the distance after the trainer threw snowballs where Shamu was supposed to splash. After lunch we went down below where there was a window for watching Shamu. Our hearts melted when we watched Shamu kiss this little toddler girl through the glass, the memory will forever be etched in our hearts. The little girl would put her lips to the glass with her arms extended over and over and Shamu would keep coming back to her. You could sense the love Shamu had for sweet little children. Next we headed for Rocky Point Preserve where it was feeding time for the dolphins, we thought about feeding them, but there were long lines to buy fish and we didn’t want to touch dead smelly fish. So we watched the dolphins play and get fed. Isaac got tired and took a nap, so we decided to head for the" Journey to Atlantis Ride" since it was too intense for him. When we got there we noticed the extremely long lines and the intensity looked too rough for most of us, so we moved on to walking around to find something else. Eventually Isaac woke up and we watched a dolphin and whale show. The show started with some music and then it was "Splash Time" where the dolphins and a whale went around splashing the crowd. The show moved onto some of the stunts that the dolphins and a whale could do which were amazing and the best part of the show. After the show we watched the dolphins again at dolphin encounter. Everyone enjoyed picking out a souvenir to take home. Isaac chose a dolphin snow globe, Lauren an Orca or "Shamu" snow globe, Brianna a tall glass statue of dolphins, and so on. We walked around a little more and we started to get worn out cold and it was getting very dark. We then headed back to our hotel after a long day and relaxed.
Sunday, December 31st 2006. Morning came around again with the sun shining as it usually does in San Diego; we ate breakfast in our room. We headed for Walmart to buy a new memory card for the digital camera as well as a few other things we needed. We were already half way to the Wild Animal Park when we were at Walmart, so off we went to the Wild Animal Park. We arrived at the Wild Animal Park and the parking lot was getting full so we had to park way down the hill and hike up a steep hill about a fifteen-minute hike. Once up there the hills were not as steep. We walked through the bird aviary and then found the monorail to take us around the park for a ride. The monorail took us on a ride for about an hour looking at animals in their natural habitats. We saw a lot of Rhino’s, a few giraffe’s, a couple of tiger’s, monkey’s, deer, and several other animals. When we got back from the ride Isaac fell asleep again. The girls had a carousel ride and it started getting very cold (we were in the mountains) so we headed back to our hotel again. On the way back to our hotel we stopped at McDonald’s to eat dinner. After dinner we all went home to take a long "New Year’s Eve" nap. We woke up at midnight, just in time to watch fireworks around the city and hear people laughing and screaming in the New Year. We stayed up for a little while and went back to bed for the night.
Monday, January 1st 2007. We woke up had breakfast at McDonald’s and headed for Legoland. Isaac was extremely excited to go to Legoland, as well as Lauren and Brianna. As we drove up to Legoland we noticed the San Diego LDS temple and took the next exit to visit the temple for a quick family picture. Isaac kept making the comment that he wanted to climb the temple to reach the Angel Moroni on top. The kids enjoyed seeing the temple, but were anxious to get to Legoland. When we arrived at Legoland, we found a good place to park and only encountered small groups of people most of the day at Legoland. Legoland was fun for all of our family. We enjoyed the many rides and the many things to see made out of Lego’s. One of the snacks we enjoyed there was the Granny Smith Apple fries with a creamy vanilla sauce. Our favorite shop at Legoland was where you could buy Lego’s by the pound (too bad we noticed it five minutes before closing we could have been more selective).
Tuesday, January 2nd 2007. We enjoyed our last sunrise in San Diego. We enjoyed another breakfast at the "Atoll" Restaurant and packed the last of our things. We headed for the airport after checking out. We got lost for about thirty minutes trying to find the airport. Finally, we got directions from a cab driver and made it to the airport in time for our flight home. The San Diego airport was perfect. The lines were very short and it was not too crowded. We boarded flight #1215 to Salt Lake and it turned out well. We started out with our seats in several different areas of the plane but were able to find people to trade so half of us could be together. We arrived home to cold clear weather which was a blessing, although we miss the warmer temperatures in San Diego. We arrived home and everything was how we left it (messy, but safe and sound). We enjoyed sharing Isaac’s wish. We are thankful for the many people who contributed in many ways to making Isaac’s wish such a wonderful memory. We hope to contribute all we can in future wishes for others for a long time. Thank You Make-A-Wish Foundation of Utah as well as Make-A-Wish of SanDiego this wish was one Isaac and our family will remember for a lifetime.