Ok, our days have started out pretty crazy. We got a call on Monday saying that if we could get our bags packed and get to the airport, Make A Wish wanted to fly us to L.A. to see a Dodger game. We flipped! So, Wednesday night Cathy, Dr. Terri, and about 300 people from the church showed up to give us a surprise going away party. It was awesome; the whole family was surprised.
We got to bed pretty late that night, obviously, then we got up really early Thursday morning and started the trip to California. We left Mountain Home at 6am and drove to Little Rock to meet Wendy with Make-A-Wish. We then flew to Cincinnati and had about a 2-hour lay over. Then we flew to Los Angeles, wow. The Make-A-Wish organization had someone waiting for us at the airport to help us get our bags and our car, what a blessing. Isabella even escorted us to the hotel so we wouldn’t get lost. Wow, what a hotel. Our room is incredible. It is so beautiful and everyone has thought of even the smallest detail.
Friday, September 28, 2007 Jayken’s Wish Day!
We started off the day at the Santa Monica Beach. Our very first time to see the Pacific Ocean was so much fun! Jayke, Madi, and Hope all loved to walk barefoot in the sand then get wet as the tide came in with lots of really big waves!
After cleaning up from the beach visit, we drove down Main Street to get a delicious Mexican food lunch. We also ate Mexican Churros, a delicious Mexican dessert that is very popular in LA. Then we went back to the hotel to get ready for THE GAME!
At 3:30, we met with our Make-A-Wish volunteer, Rich. Then, the limo arrived! It was very cool! We got to watch a movie, listen to cool music, and drink water and 7Up on the hour long ride to the game.
Once we got to Dodger Stadium, we met Ms. Laura. She gave us all official Dodger Stadium hats and took us on a tour of the stadium. We ended the tour at the field! We walked on the field in a special section! We then watched warm-up and batting practice while we waited. We were playing in the dirt, then looked up to Jeff Kent (#12) coming toward us. He shook Jayken’s hand and introduced himself. Then he asked Jayke to come play catch with him! Jayke said he really wanted to hit the ball, so Jeff showed him his bt and let Jayke try it out. Then it was Jeff’s turn at batting practice. He would hit 5 pitches then come out and talk to Jayke. He explained to Jayke the sticky stuff on the bat is to help your hands not slip off. Then they came back over to us and asked if it was okay to go to the dugout to look for a bat that wasn’t too heavy for Jayke to swing. At the dugout, Jake met Tommy Losarda. He told Jayken “Remember to say your prayers.” Then he said, “Always say ‘I believe.’” Then, Jeff Kent an Jayke came out of the dugout as a few “puffed up” (or big) players were going into the dugout; it was a little overwhelming. Jayke came out with a bat that he could swing. Jeff said he wasn’t a very good pitcher, but we thought he did a great job! Another major player came over and played catcher. A few of the major players came over and talked to Jayken. Jayke hit a few pitches, then they played catch with each other. Jayke showed Jeff his special “wind up” pitch where he swings his arm round and round then lets it go! Then he showed Jeff the “under the leg” pitch. Jeff tried it, and did pretty good. A few of the other players came over and talked to both of them. Jeff spent so much time with Jayke. Jayken had a great time. We so appreciate all the time and autographs he gave to Jayke. Then, Jeff came over to talk to the whole family. He shared with us that he has 4 kids and lives in Austin, TX. He also pointed out some other people that were there for the game, like Barry Bonds! And Zac Efron, from High School Musical! Zac came over to talk to Madi, then he took a picture with her and signed the autograph book. Then Tommy Lasorda came over from the dugout to talk to Jayken some more. He met the whole family! Then, he put his arms out to Hope, and she went right to him with a huge smile! He picked her up, and they gave each other “Eskimo kisses”! (To see Tommy Lasorda holding hope: Tommy Lasorda and Hope Beal) Then we had to leave so everyone could get ready for the game. So we went to the top of the stadium to find some more souvenirs. Then we got some Super Dodger Dogs for super and watched the game. Jayke and Madi ate the whole hot dog! Hope almost finished hers! They were soo good! Then Tim caught some peanuts from the peanut vendor. The game was great from between the dugout and backstop about 10 rows off the field! Thanks again Make-A-Wish! The Dodgers won the game against the San Francisco Giants then we headed back to the limo for the ride back to the hotel. What an incredible wish day! THANK YOU MAKE-A-WISH!!
Saturday, September 29, 2007 Our free day
On our free day, we went straight to Universal Studios and received Front of the Line passes! Thanks Make-A-Wish! The kids met Sponge Bob, Shrek, Dora, and Diego. Madi talked to Donkey then took a picture with him. We watched the Shrek 4D movie while Tim, Madi, and Hope “rode” in the “jolting” seats. We were sneezed on and grabbed b tarantula legs after leaving Lord Farquaad’s torture chamber that held Pinocchio, the Three Little Pigs, Gingerbread man, and magic mirror. We left Shrek 4D and ate lunch at Fred Flinstone’s outdoor Bar B Q. Jayke took a picture with Incredible Hulk, then we moved on to the Animal Actors Show. The show featured a cat, a raccoon, dogs, an orangutan, a sarlet macaw, a cockatoo, and another eagle-like bird. Then there was also a pig carrying a “Ham Cam” on his back to show us what was going on backstage. The kids thoroughly enjoyed the show. We then moved on to Flinstones’ Carnival Games where Jayke and Madi both tested their stength a the “Test O Strength” booth and won prizes. Then Madi threw some baseballs and knocked down two clowns to win an inflatable LA Dodger bat. Jayke followed suit right begind her and won another bat. Then Dad came up to the pate and knocked down 4 clowns to win Hope a LA Dodger Teddy Bear! We left Universal Studios and headed straight to the beach. The kids loved walking on the beach at low tide. If looked like they were walking on water! We headed to the peir to eat supper. We passed an incredible sand castle! We ended up walking to the end of the pier to eat at Mariasol, a Mexican restaurant that was incredible! The sun had just set when we left so we got to see lots of street performers. It was a fun experience! Then back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep before our big travel day home.
Sunday, September 30, 2007 – Monday, October 1, 2007
On our trip home at the last plane ride, Jayken got to go in to the cockpit and talk to the pilot! The pilot let him sit in his seat and steer. Jayke learned about all the buttons and how the plane takes off and flies. He earned a set of wings. We landed in Little Rock and stayed the night at the Comfort Suite then headed back home.
To view more photos of the trip, please visit Make-A-Wish Photo Album.