Friday, March 11, 2011

Under Da Sea Adventure

Just over two weeks ago, during the week of February 21, 2011, the Clark family of Allen, TX, started off on their Sea World trip and boarded a Southwest Airlines flight bound for San Antonio. Little did they know what was in store for them when they arrived... Read about their adventure from the family themselves below.

The whole trip was a blessing from beginning to end. God, our course, knew our family needed a little diversion as this is Sarah's one-year anniversary of being diagnosed with Leukemia. Therefore, it has been a year that our family has been going to countless clinic visits, chemo treatments, ER runs, hospital visits and daily chemo pill regiments. The flight on Southwest Airlines was so exciting for the girls and the drivers who drove us around for the two days made us feel like royalty. How often do you get driven up to the front door of La Madeline's for lunch and then get picked up again by your driver when you are finished eating!?!

The Hyatt Hill Country Resort & Spa Hotel was beyond our expectations. The back sliding glass doors of our room opened to a partially enclosed lawn area where the kids could run and play and explore while we sat in our room or on the back porch!

The lazy river and pools were just outside our door. And Sarah found a hammock, one of her favorite things, near the pool, so she spent some time swinging and relaxing.

The Sea World tour was so special because it wasn't open to the public yet so we had the whole park to ourselves and received VIP access. Senior Trainer Mike Pool arranged a spectacular tour, and we got to see all the animals behind the scenes. Sarah held beautiful birds on her arm and cuddled a baby penguin. We sat on a blanket in the middle of majestic pink flamingos as they inspected us:) Sarah learned some sea lion training signals and was able to get Elroy the sea lion to stick out his tongue, roar, sing, dance and many other things. We were able to talk to Maca birds who talked right back!

We were even blessed enough to see special things that only trainers sometimes get to see like the baby killer whale nursing from her mother as they swam along. The trainers were in the middle of training the baby killer whale to jump out of the water and hit a ball, and we were privledged enough to see her actually catch on and do it!

We will never forgot such an amazing experience we received from Heroes for Children.

And then when we returned to the hotel, we received a call from the local ABC affiliate station KSAT12 saying we would be on the 5 o'clock news! It was so fun to watch our family on TV having such a good time. Click the link below to view footage:

Sarah said, "My favorite part was getting to pet all the animals and feed them. I've never had a chance to do that before!"

Hannah said with a remembering smile on her face, "The black and white whales (killer whales) were so beautiful when they jumped up high and splashed! And the baby one was so cute!"

Rebekah is only two so she doesn't have much to say that is actually quotable, but she does love carrying her big stuffed killer whale around.

The girls are still talking about it and sharing it all with everyone we meet. Thank you Heroes for Children, HFC Friends, Sea World San Antonio, Hyatt Hill Country Hotel Resort & Spa, our driver Carlos Morales and to everyone who had a part in making this a truly remarkable experience for our family and life-long memories.


Anne, Jay, Sarah, Hannah and Rebekah Clark


Jill said...

So happy for the Clark family! What a fabulous trip for them at the perfect time.

Jill said...

How wonderful for the Clark family to have this trip at such a perfect time! Thank you HFC and all those who are making an amazing difference in the lives of those of us fighting childhood cancer.