Family Wish Trip March 2017
We are so grateful to Benefits4Kids for sending us to Orlando on a
wish trip that our family will never forget.
While we are able to take vacations as a family, we are
always somewhat limited in the activities we can do by cost and the
fact that our 16-year-old son Christopher has some special needs.
This trip was definitely the exception!
Our trip began with our flight to Orlando from St. Louis.
We usually drive whenever we go anywhere, so the flight
itself was an adventure for both our boys.
There was no spending 2 days in the car this time......the
boys were amazed that we were in Florida in only 2 hours.
We then picked up our amazing minivan complete with a DVD
player....the boys both thought this was an amazing feature and no
matter where we went, we always had a movie playing.
Our condo provided each of the boys with their own room,
complete with a TV.
Our first day was spent at Discovery Cove.
There aren't enough words to describe how awesome this day
was for us. We loved
meeting "our" dolphin Thelma and interacting with her, and the
beautiful pictures we were able to buy thanks to the very generous
spending money we were given will be treasured always.
Seeing our often-sullen Christopher smile and giggle whenever
he touched Thelma was a priceless gift.
We even made a new friend in one of the employees, June, and
have kept in touch with her since returning from our trip.
We look forward to meeting up with her on our future visits
Our second day was spent at Sea World.
Our 10 year old, Joshua, was absolutely enthralled with
learning all about the animals, and was especially interested in the
rescue efforts that Sea World provides.
He asked all kinds of questions about job requirements and
education......maybe we have a future marine biologist in the
Our family was split up on day 4.
My husband Barry and Christopher are avid fishermen, so of
course this trip was a wonderful opportunity for some fishing.
They met up with an acquaintance of Barry's and went bass
fishing at Stick Marsh 13.
Christopher caught the biggest fish of the day, and they even
saw some alligators.
This was a great father/son day for them.
While they were fishing, Joshua and I spent the day at the
beach enjoying some sunshine and water and enjoyed some together
On day 5, we played some miniature golf and then went to Busch
Gardens. Again, Joshua
especially enjoyed seeing the animals.
Christopher was fascinated watching all the roller coasters,
but we just couldn't coax him into riding any of them.
On day 6, we went on our scheduled private deep sea fishing trip for
this was the only rainy day we encountered, and it made the ocean a
little rough. But our
guide Ronnie was awesome and patient, and totally understood the
little bit of sea sickness that was going on.
The boys all caught a lot of fish, and although we did get
some "bites," we were never able to catch a shark.
On day 7, the weather turned a lot cooler, so our trip to
Aquatica had to be cancelled.
We decided to go see some sights in Orlando, and ended up
at WonderWorks Museum. The boys loved all the activities
there, including the ropes course and laser tag.
Day 8 was our flight home.
Again, the boys were amazed at how fast we got home.
We will probably never get them in the car again for a
The generosity of activities and funds that were provided will not
be forgotten by our family.
Being a parent is challenging, and when you have a child with
special needs, it's a different kind of challenging.
It is so mind freeing to be able to go on a trip and not have
to worry about money and be able to let your children do things that
you would normally never be able to afford to do.
Our most sincere thanks,
Barry, Dana, Christopher, and Joshua Rolland