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Florida Hospital For Children

We had an early start, with breakfast at 7:45am at our hotel, Champions World Resort in Kissimmee, FL. We checked in late last night….delayed flights from Newark, NJ, with plane change in Baltimore, MD on to Orlando. We had dinner at Applebees, and we took the long way to our hotel because of the enormous fire at the Black Angus and apartments/hotel near it. The chaperones went to Walmart to pick up items from the FHFC “wish list”, while the kids took showers and prepped costumes for the next day. Leiola slept all the entire 2 flights, so she was wide awake ’til about when the chaperones came back from shopping a little after 3:30am.

Well, back to early morning breakfast, you can imagine everyone was dragging their feet. Leiola had a little sniffle since Colorado, so she and Anson stayed back because we didn’t want to bring any colds to the kids at the hospital. That left me in lead driver position, which is a tough job. Anson has been doing an awesome job, and was stressed, and a little down for awhile because everyone depends on you, and are irritated at you when they get separated. It’s tough keeping 5 vehicles together (especially when we were in NJ/NY, that’s asking for trouble!)…so, of course the day I had to lead, was the day we had to re-route….the fire was still going, and all of Hwy 4 was blocked off. We later heard it was a “meth-explosion”, never seen anything like it before. Helicopters hovering above, black smoke, and water constantly being shot into what was left of the building. I had to call Anson at the hotel room to help navigate. We should have arrived at about 9:30am for a 10am performance, but made it to the hospital valet at 10am exactly.

We met Dina, and she lead us through the incredible Disney Pavilion lobby. What an awesome place. We performed upstairs in one of the lobby’s, and the kids were wonderful! We’ve been lugging around the gift my brother Kimo gave the Kahaku ‘Ohana this past Christmas, a portable speaker for ipod/iphone w/microphone. It works great, and gives off a lot of sound! It fits perfectly into one of the fifteen rolling/foldable square coolers with retractable handle that my mom got from Costco (we have a tendency to buy way more then we need…just in case). I had forgotten to turn my iphone (which had the play list) to the airplane mode to silence the ring. Well, during the last song “He Hawai’i Au”, I’m in the middle of narrating when “marimba” (ta ta, tata, ta ta, tataa, ta ta, tatatataaaa) begins to play through the speakers. Like true professionals, the girls continued dancing, but with bigger smiles. I quickly declined the call, and went on with my usual closing spiel when Jordan turns during and her arm hits one of the pillars, and a “ugh”…she kept going, and I, and a few girls couldn’t help but giggle….I think some of the patients did too. It’s nice knowing that we took their minds off their illnesses for even a brief moment. What a great staff they have there! After our performance, we took some photos in the downstairs lobby where there was an ‘ukulele player (dressed kinda safari/adventure-ish complete with safari hat, I’ll have to ask the girls what his name was). They wanted to see us perform too, so he played “Wonderful World”, and I lead them into an impromptu hula. They did great, and everyone was delighted. We brought out the bags of toys and other goodies from their “wish list”, which they hauled off in radio flyers. We said our goodbyes, and were headed back to the hotel to pick up Anson and Leiola.

I put Keola in the lead position to drive back, and there was a little traffic (not like NYC of course). We were doing pretty good until getting near the hotel, where the fire was still holding up traffic. We all got separated, when we hit the blockade area, and decided to all find our way to Downtown Disney. Anson met us there too. Whew…it was hot!…but about an hour later the weather was perfect, not too humid, and a nice cool breeze. I saw a sign that said it was 78 degrees, but not sure if that was accurate, but we were blessed again with another day of good weather.

I forgot to mention that I did check my phone to see who it was that I “declined” the call, and it was Jasmine’s Uncle Danny who is vacationing here in Florida with his family. He wanted to surprise her with gifts, and meet up…..I’ll come back to that later.

So, we went to the T-Rex store/restaurant…it’s like a Rainforest Cafe (same company), but all dinosaurs/pre-historic/ice-age themed. Very cool! (literally too….we were hogging the air conditioning at the entrance. Anson and I shared a “Broto-Burger”, and “Porkasaurus Sandwich”. The porkasaurus sandwich was super ‘ono! Jordan and Emma shared a combination plate, and at the end of the meal, Kaipolani asked her if she could finish off Jordan’s meat….she was eating it off the bones, that Jordan had already eaten off of…Way to go Kaipolani…she didn’t let one piece go to waste! Hilarious!

On the way out of the restaurant/store, the girls purchased a $5 bag of archeological …..hmm..I don’t know, sand? It was pretty cool, they could choose minerals, fossils, gems. They take them out to the “dig”, and put them in a sifter in a water chute. They each get a card that identifies the mineral, fossil, gem. Okay, that’s a simple, and cheap way to make $5. I’m thinking how I can do that at “Sonny’s Place”. Something crazy novelty. So, we spent some time walking through Downtown Disney, Anson had this crazy idea to have them run down steps (with him at the bottom), and do some crazy dance, was very cute. I’ll try to attach.

Jasmine’s Uncle Danny called, and they were meeting us at the Once Upon a Toy store. We got the girls to the store, and had them take a photo by Buzz Lightyear, when he surprised her. She was so excited.

We took a look through the toy store. Air condition was great. Leila lplayes with Mr. Potato head and couldn’t contain her excitement when she saw all of toys. Next thing i know she’s stepping out of her dress and dancing around like a crazy child with only her Diney Princess Pull-Ups on. She began climbing and swinging on a Tinker Toy fixture while Allison tried to help me get her dress back on. Yes, I am now that parent I used to stare at whose kid was running all over the place.

I was relieved to see a water park area with kids running around just outside the shop. She was happy as can be!…and all of the ‘opio that were saying that they weren’t getting wet, well they ended up soaking, and having a blast!

We all met back at the hotel for a pool party. Anson picked up water and pizzas and we turned on Bruno Mars and it was a great pool party. (BTW…there was a youth Puerto Rican Baseball Team that they became friends with). The girls took such great care ofy dare devil baby in water wings!









1 comment to Florida Hospital For Children

  • Aunty Theo

    Needless to say,I have nothing but praises and accolades for all that you have done. I know that you have created an enormous impact to those that you have touched and it will be lasting memories for them!! You are All WONDERFUL,GIVING,and UNSELFISH!! Just beautiful individuals!!!

    And to you, Kau’i,you continue to make me so proud!! I cannot say enough to confirm these feelings for all your accomplisments that you conquered with integrity and “grit!” You are a true giver of yourself with no stings attached. You set your goals, and you accomplish them with all your heart and soul.

    And to all those who are helping this whole idea a reality, you are fantastic!! I know that without you the trip would have been semi-disasterous(sp)??? So thank you for being there.

    God keep you all safe and bring you home happy, healthy, and satisfied!! You have all outdid yourselves!! Thank you all for bringing your love to others.

    Me Ke Aloha Pumehana always,
    Aunty Theo
    Kisses to Leiola…and all of you!!

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