Alanna Hendrix’s Outdoor Wish
To Swim with the Dolphins
Day 1: Tuesday- October 6, 2009
We left home at 4:00am and drove from Grand Rapids, MI to Detroit Metro. Mom took a slight wrong turn but we made it to the airport and boarded the plane just in the nick of time. I sat by the window and the airline people brought us soda and cookies. It was really hot outside when we arrived in Orlando around 11 am and drove to the townhouse in Kissimmee. It was in a gated neighborhood and I shared a room with my little sister, Whitney. My other two sisters shared the other room we all just relaxed today, took a nap, and then went to give Kids the World Village to revisit where we once stayed 5 years ago. We ate dinner with Mayor Clayton (a six-foot tall bunny), we played some video games in the game room and then left to go to the grocery store where we bought our groceries for the week.
Day 2: Wednesday – October 7, 2009
Wishes do come true! We woke up early to head out to Discovery Cove. This place was really neat. We got our pictures taken for our nametags we wore around our necks. We had a guide show us around and got us all situated. We picked out our wetsuits or vests and went for a swim. We had snorkels and goggles so we could see under water. It was so cool to see the fish and stingrays in the coral reef. We even go to keep our snorkels and take them home. At noon, we had lunch, which was included in our day at Discovery Cove. I had my favorite. Macaroni and cheese and chicken tenders. After lunch, we played in the water some more before heading over to my dolphin interaction. This was what I had been so excited to do. The water in the dolphin area was really cold and salty. The dolphins name was “Dot” she was friendly and let me give her a kiss and hug. She felt like rubber. She turned over and showed her belly and it was all white. She even has a belly button. The coolest part was when I got to hold onto her fin and she pulled me through the water. When it was time for Dot to go the instructor showed us how to say goodbye and Dot stood straight up and squeaked and waved goodbye back. After my dolphin swim, I went and checked out the cabanas where we saw and owl and a parrot. I went to the stingray area and saw stingrays everywhere. It was a big, fun filled day that I do not think I will ever forget. When we left Discovery Cove, we went back to our townhome and Mom made tater-tot casserole for dinner. I loved the big dining room table because we all got to sit together and have dinner.
Day 3: Thursday – October 8, 2009
Today we went to Busch Gardens in Tampa. This place is Big! We ate a small lunch at the café in the park and then went off to enjoy our day. We rode all the water rides and I even went on the Sheikra roller coaster. I even got my stepdad and my stepsister to on it with me. My stepdad almost tossed his cookies. (haha) we rode the sky rail through the park and saw all kinds of animals, like elephants, antelope, zebras, lions, tigers and even a white tiger. There was a show in the middle of the park with these people on stilts dressed up in costumes. This was really neat too. After our day at Busch Gardens, we went back to the townhome and made chicken patties and mac- n- cheese for dinner.
Day 4: Friday -October 9, 2009
Today we slept in. We took it easy and went to Indian Rocks Beach for the day. The sand was white and the ocean water was so warm. It was like being in a bath but the water was really salty. We brought sand toys and played in the sand too. Traffic coming back from Tampa was really backed up so we wound up stopping at a McDonalds’ for dinner.
Day 5: Saturday- October 10, 2009
Today we went to downtown Disney for the day. We checked out some shows, watched the big balloon go up into the sky and thought Lego land was the coolest. There was even a dragon in the water made out of legos. We ate dinner in the downtown Disney T-Rex Café. It was a themed restaurant full of prehistoric animals like dinosaurs, t-rex, and stegosaurus. It even had a coral reef aquarium and we ate in a area called the “Ice Cave”. They had “meteor showers” every 20 minutes.
Day 6: Sunday- October 11, 2009
Today we went to Sea World and watched the Shamu “Believe” show. After the show, we took the shuttle over to Aquatica. We spent our day there playing in the tide pool and going on the water slides until the park closed at pm. Then we took the shuttle back to Sea World where my little sister and my stepsister and I went for a ride on the “Manta” roller coaster. That was awesome!!! We went through the aquarium and saw cool fish and more giant stingrays. We even got touch some stingrays and they were really slimy. We went to the “Shamu Rocks” show at night and got soaked! That was fun too. On our way out of Shamus stadium, we were given “trick or treat” bags and were able to trick or treat through the park on our way out. Our bags were filled with candy by the time we got to the exit.
Day 7: Monday- October 12, 2009
Today, our last full day, we spent the morning getting everything washed and cleaned. In the afternoon, we went to some discount shops in Kissimmee and back to downtown Disney for a couple of hours just to sight see and take some more pictures. On our way back to our townhome, we decided to stop back by The Give the World Village to say goodbye to Mayor Clayton and have some ice cream. They were having a kid’s fun night and a soccer team had come in to buddy up with the kids who wanted to participate. My sisters and I signed up and we had so much fun. We ended our night there participating in a “mock double dare” show for our families. It was a lot of fun and a great end to our vacation.
Tuesday - October 13, 2009
Had to wake up really early to load up the van, do some last minute touchup to the town home and eat some breakfast. We arrived at the Orlando International airport at 8am for our 10:20 flight back to Detroit metro. We arrived in Detroit around 1pm and boy was it coooold! From there, we drove back home to Grand Rapids where I could not wait to tell my friends about my wish come true.
Thank you Linda and everyone at Benefit4Kids for making my wish come true!!
Alanna Hendrix and Family
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