We ate breakfast in our hotel and it was awesome. The night before we had eaten dinner there, and we left one of Abby's wristbands and cards on the table for our waitress. Well, she had spread the word around the restaurant, and they were very excited to see us walk in. The waitress from the night before said that when she had read about what Abby was doing, she just cried and cried. While we were eating, the waitresses, servers, and even the chef kept coming out and giving Abby things, chocolate covered strawberries, Tinkerbell cups, etc. They were all crying and just wanted to hug Abby, it was pretty touching to see how they reacted. I think now, since it's been a year that we've lived with this, a heart transplant doesn't seem like such a big deal anymore, but it is, for us, it's just our normal.
We got in our sweet Camaro and we're on our way to SeaWorld. Our first stop was feeding the dolphins, Abby had been talking about this since the day she found out she was going to be able to do it. They brought us each a little carton with fish in it, and the dolphins would swim right up to us, we would touch right under their mouths and drop the fish in. I think that Britt, Brock and I enjoyed it as much as Abby! We spent the rest of the day going on rides, watching the dolphin and Shamu shows, and sweating.....it was extremely humid and hot! There was a fun roller coaster there too, you sat in your seat then it tipped you forward so it was like you were flying. The kids thought it was awesome.
On our way home we stopped at GKTW for dinner. It was funny there because every Thursday is Christmas. So, while we were sitting in the hot sun, there was Christmas music playing in the background. Santa was even going to be there later that night, but we were gone by then. We passed out lots of wristbands there, everyone wanted to hear more about Abby's story. I have to say one other thing about GKTW. There are so many volunteers that help run the place, and they are all so respectful to the wish kids and families that are there, but I was most impressed with the kids they had volunteering there. They were incredible. They would rush to your table to clear your food or refill our drinks, and they just acted like they were lucky to be able to volunteer there, not like it was a chore being there. The way they talked with the families and handled themselves was just very impressive.
We went back to our hotel and it's a good thing we did, because as soon as we got there, it started raining......hard. Not like a little St. George, Utah sprinkle, it was a downpour! We were so thankful that we were in our hotel, not out at a park. We spent the time it was raining sitting in our room and reading all of the messages we had received that day about what people were doing to Pay it Forward. It was so humbling to see how many people were participating and were thinking of Abby on that day. I was so awed with the response we got, people all over the United States were Paying it Forward for Abby. We even heard from people that had been the recipients of service for Abby that day, and how they chose to pass it on too! Hopefully it will inspire to people to pay it forward a little more every day, there really doesn't need to be a reason.
After reading all of the messages, my kids decided they wanted to go down to the cafe and choose a family and secretly pay for their meal. This was kind of tricky because it was already about 9:00 at night so there weren't that many people eating dinner. I suggested they just pay for someone's drinks, but they wanted to do a full on meal. So we waited and waited until they found the perfect family. Then we just sat back and secretly watched their reaction, it was well worth the wait! I wish this was something we could do more often, it made my kids feel good and it was fun! We also spent some time talking about July 12th last year and some of the emotions we went through, I think it was good to remember.
Like I said in my previous post that was all about Abby's heart day, we had a fun-filled day, but it was also an emotional day. We've come a long way this past year and it made us remember to be grateful for where we are today.
|Abby opening her card and bracelet|
|The people in the restaraunt were so sweet to Abby!|
|They offered to give us a box to take them home in, but that wasn't necessary, Abby finished them off no problem!|
|She was spoiled!|
|The squeeze breeze was a life saver!|
|We always sat in the Soak Zone, but unfortunately, we never got soaked!|
|Yes, Abby's wheelchair got bird poop on it during the dophin show, and yes, we took it back and exchanged it rather than just cleaning it off ourselves. Lazy butts!|
|Britt and Abby trying to get the whales to splash us|
|Squeeze breeze=heaven too!|
|It rained, hard!|
|These guys were so excited to hear about Pay it Forward for Abby|
|When this nice lady found out about Abby, she ran in the back and got her a beautiful lei, she had tears in her eyes when she gave it to Abby.|
|Britt is a little obsessed with Eeyore!! It's her favorite character. When she was little, she would always call him oorie!! I'm so glad she was able to buy a stuffed Eeyore, it looks like she's pretty pleased with herself too.|
|Abby at the aquarium in SeaWorld|