Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Give Kids The World

"Imagine a world governed by a rabbit, where ice cream is endless
and having fun is a full-time endeavor..."

A bit of an intro for those of you who are hearing about GKTW for the first time...Give Kids The World (GKTW) is a 70 acre non profit resort that provides magical vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. This amazing place all began with the vision and inspiration of one man, Henri Landwirth. (To read Henri's amazing life story, from holocaust survivor to GKTW, check out his book Gift of Life)

As we get close to the village, Noah FINALLY has a quick catnap. Although I'm not sure how, with Kailyn & Joshua bouncing off the walls. Then we finally see the sign and the gate!!

From the moment we arrive, we are made to feel as if this resort is ours. "Welcome home!!" the gatekeeper angel says as we drive in...

First stop...the House of Hearts to check in...

And the endless gifts begin...the kids each recieve t-shirts, and stuffed toys (a Mickey Mouse for Noah and Seaworld dolphins for Kailyn & Joshua). Our villa was not ready yet, so we decide to go have some lunch at Katies Kitchen (a takeout window with food provided by Boston Market). After stuffing ourselves full of chicken, mashed potatoes, fruit, cornbread, salad and amazing cupcakes, our 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom villa was ready...

The fridge is stocked with drinks and doughnuts, and more gifts are waiting on the table...

Then it was off to explore the resort...


We have this amazing place to check out, and they want to chase lizards!! Talk of ice cream finally lures them away! I had plans to meet up with a friend I had met on the wish boards (an internet chat board for wish families), and so I sent Brad to the orientation session to get our tickets, and the kids and I headed off. After a quick peak in the castle, we found Mary (maroo) and went to have our first ice cream...
The ice cream palace opens at 7:30AM!!! It is available all day long, as much as you can possibly eat! Although we did talk about having ice cream for breakfast, there were just far too many other yummy breakfast options, that we never did make it there quite that early!!My amazing banana split... Oh how I miss these!!!
I think this was the only ice cream Joshua had the entire trip. The rest of the time he would ask for a bowl and fill it with m&m's from the toppings. Kailyn had an orange sherbet that first day, and then she was hooked...only orange sherbet for her!! My only disappointment was that Noah could not enjoy any of the endless supply of ice cream. Thankfully, he has no idea what he missed out on!

After ice cream, we headed to Amberville, the train station.

Riding the boats (Noah loved these!!!)...of course it was ride all you want, no quarters required... Inside the station is the most incredible model train set. The pictures just don't do it justice. It is huge, and there are interactive buttons all around the edges to press that make the trains move, start the carnival etc. Pressing the buttons was one of Noah's favorite activities here...Kailyn driving the miniature boats...

And of course, then we had to ride the train a couple of times...By this time, the kids were in heaven, and I think they would have been perfectly happy to forget all about Disney and never leave the resort. And this was only the beginning...

Was this the end of our day???
Oh no...there is so much more!! Stay tuned for more of Day 1!!


  1. Yummy....I am fixated on the banana split! GKTW looks like such fun already! That is so nice to be in a villas and not stuck in a small hotel room! Can't wait for more!
    BTW - how is Noah?

  2. Where is the rest of Day 1? I'm patiently waiting, ok, not so patiently! As nice as the banana split looks, I might have to go with Kailyn's choice of orange sherbert...yummy (unless of course if there was cookies 'n' cream...then nothing else would do!).

  3. my brother had a stroke my name is deonna and my brothers name was javary it was 2005 when he had a stroke and he got to go to give the kids the world because he made it through the hard times of having a stroke looking at this page brings alot of memories back in to my life give the kids the world has inspired me

  4. nadia0088@hotmail.comMay 25, 2010 at 11:22 PM

    Sounds like a great wish.

    This Sunday, I am riding the local wood rollercoaster for 2 hours along with some other students from my school (taking breaks of course)as a benefit for Make-A-Wish and Give Kids The World. I've collected most of my pledges now and will be counting up the funds on Friday. If you keep up with Give Kids The World's newsletters, you might even see our pictures/stories.

    Email me back!

    - Jess (my name's not really nadia)

  5. im going to gktw on the 27th september 2011 with my sister inlaw and 3 children the eldest one carter whos 7 soon has cytistic fibrosis and severe brittle asthma. i his mum have been to florida loads of time when i was younger and my son carter sees the picturs all the time so we are so thankfully make a wish foundation have been great and granted carters wish for us to go we are all very excited and cant wait... so roll on 4weeks and 4 days ...