We got back last night from our trip and have been on a high since! We had the most wonderful week we could have ever asked for. It was refreshing, rejuvenating, and full of joy. All 6 of us had such a great time. We cried saying goodbye and we were not ready to come back to reality. This trip took us away from our everyday worries and allowed us to let go, relax, and enjoy our family. I don't think we expected to experience such freedom while we were away and the normalcy it would bring to each of us to be out of our home environment without the stress of our life with "cancer".
Thank you to everyone at AWA for allowing us to have this week together! We were able to do so many fun leisure activities and eat out at a restaurant everyday! We got ice cream and snacks, took a tour and saw dolphins, visited the USS Yorktown and a submarine, walked on the pier, rode waves and boogie boards at the beach, collected sea shells, and Kevin and I had a dinner date night while my parents stayed with the kids. The location was perfect and the house was in the heart of everything. We could walk to the beach (and see it while we sat on the front porch), walk to restaurants, and just had such a great time being together.
This was the nicest vacation all of us have ever had and we are so thankful and blessed by AWA for providing us with a place to stay and providing us with additional funds to do anything we would like. The kids (and adults) had permanent smiles on their faces all week- and Natalie couldn't get enough of the ocean and "jumping over the waves."
We have wonderful memories of this week and we will talk about it forever. Thank you for including my parents. They have been here for us since Natalie was diagnosed and have walked with us each day. They are always on call for unexpected hospital visits, and have supported us in every way they can. My sister had non-hodgkins as a teenager, so this is my parents second time traveling this nightmare. I know they had the best week too and were so glad we were able to do this together.
Now that we are back, we have to get back into the swing of our every day "normal" life. We will not forget what this week has done for us, the freedom we experienced, and what is to come when we can really be normal and feel like our life is what this vacation was. It was beautiful and joyful and full of smiles. It was happy and worry free. Thank you again for giving us this time to re-energize ourselves and get ready to conquer the next 6 months of treatment.
Our most sincere "Thank You"
Kristen, Kevin, Natalie, JT, Laura, and Allen