He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
- Isaiah 40:29-31

Monday, November 23, 2009

Day 1

So we arrive at GKTW and are instantly taken to a different world. The volunteers there gave the boys t-shirts as well as their second stuffed animals which were a Mickey for Joshua and mini Shamu's for Adam and Noah. We were given a quick intro to the village and then directed to Katie's Kitchen for lunch. All the food at Katie's Kitchen is donated by Boston Market. Talk about good stuff! After lunch, we were driven to our villa in a golf cart. The boys thought this was cool. The villa was much more than anyone could have asked for. It was a two bedroom, two bath villa with all the amenities of home. The first thing you need to know about GKTW is that no money ever changes hands there. The place is run on about 3 to 5,000 volunteers as well as a few paid employees. The second thing is that everything is there for the kids. The villa's are set up so that the kids bedroom has a HUGE bathroom attached with a whirlpool bathtub and walk in shower. The adult bedroom doesn't have a bathroom. Our bathroom was in the hall and very tiny. Very fitting.

After exploring the villa, it was off to ice cream. Our first of many trips to the Ice Cream Palace during the week. Here we found Friendly's ice cream along with all the fixings and toppings you could dream of. We also found it funny to watch Jeff try and sit at the child sized table and chairs. While the boys finished up their ice cream, I went off to an orientation meeting so that I could pick up all the tickets to the parks as well as learn more details of the events at the village. And boy does the village have events.

At my meeting I learned that we had 3 day park hopper tickets to Disney, 2 day park hopper tickets to Universal Studios as well as 1 day at SeaWorld. And if that wasn't enough, they could get us tickets to just about any show, dinner theater or attraction in and around the Orlando area. There would be no waiting in ANY line at ANY of these parks either. We were to just show the guest assistance pass that said we were with GKTW and off we went. Talk about service! I also learned that every day the village had something going on. In the mornings, the characters would come to GKTW for pictures with the kids and there was always something going on in the evening such as on Thursday night when it was Christmas. GKTW holds Christmas every Thursday night. Santa comes and each child gets to go and sit on Santa's lap for a picture. Then, they are able to pick out one gift from Santa's stash. (more on this when I post about Thursday's adventure)

After my meeting, I met up with the gang and we headed to Walmart to gather some supplies for the week. The boys had been fishing in the meantime and had already taken a ride on the village choo choo train. Once again, very child sized and funny to see Jeff fit in the car!

Finally, we got back to the villa and were all in bed by 8pm. After starting the day so early, we had to get some rest so we could be ready to go for day 2 and our first day at the parks!


Brenda said...

Wow, I'm tired just reading about everything! It sounds like a dream come true!!! Maybe we could raise money too for this cause instead of the Relay for Life. I know you said something about making the switch and share our fundraising for everyone. Keep us posted, love hearing all about it! Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving! I'm thankful for so much, but as always, thankful that you care to keep everyone in the loop as to how the Czorapkinski household is doing! Thank you!