These are the trips and experiences Ben’s been able to have thus far, thanks in large part to friends, family, strangers, his hardworking siblings fundraising, and our community:
– A bakery that makes yummy food, “mostly croissants and pastries.” He also wants to see how people decorate fancy cakes. (Thanks to Kim from Scribbles Cakes and the Ritz Carlton – Orlando for letting us learn from you!)
– Harry Potter world (CHECK! Thanks to an amazing anonymous sponsor!)
– an Apple Store (CHECK!! It was incredible, go read the story!!)
– Food Network kitchen. I know, I cannot believe this happened!!!
– Baylor where he was born. He said he has, “Lots of good memories of that place.” That made me cry. I’m glad he has happy memories of a place I couldn’t see without crying for years.
– a farm to see chickens, cows, horses, and goats. (I think Meg’s place counts, as he played with goats and chickens! But she didn’t have a cow. 🙂 ) Update: We visited a camel farm and Sharkarosa and it was so neat. Plus, we found a BRAND new cow! Update II: We now own chickens! They happily wander the yard around our playing kids.
– Also food related, he wants to see how ice cream is made. He is so my child… (Thank you, Cold Stone and Afrah!)
– use a microscope to see tiny things (a microscope arrived in the mail!!)
– a cave (Thank you, R&R Travel for sending us to Natural Bridge Caverns! We also made it to Carlsbad Caverns!)
– The Alamo & Riverwalk since we’ve been studying Texas for our homeschool
– the zoo (Check –Dallas Zoo for his birthday!
– Chuck E. Cheese: Hmm… this seems hunger driven rather than vision related. (Ben defended this wish and said the older two kids went and talked about all the cool things they saw so he wants a turn to go!)
– How they make tortillas. (This boy loves food, and one of his vision helpers is teaching him “Cooking without Looking.” Thus all the food related wishes.) Thank you Frontier & Chuy’s!
– a video game company, like Nintendo (which I said wasn’t realistic but a local company got in touch!)
– related to that, a chance to play video games was offered, along with a delicious lunch at BFD in Flower Mound
– the “pet rock” museum (He meant Perot science museum – which we saw today, thanks to a generous membership gift donated through a friend!!)
– the beach (He says near where C was born in LA, but we hope to visit Gulf next spring as that’s several days’ drive closer!) We made it to Galveston! AND Florida AND California!!
– a planetarium (Check – UNT star party he did in November!!)
– A movie theater (One of our other children is upset by the idea that someday we may have family movie night at home and Ben won’t be able to see or know what’s going on if it’s a new movie. The other kids are really struggling with this, too. 🙁 Someone gave us movie passes so we went to go see Frozen!)
– a place where they make books (Not just a book but a Doctor Who book!!!)
– a play on the stage: Ben got this dream times TWO! The DCT invited him to see Hello, Dolly! and then we were able to see Beauty & the Beast in Dallas! They were both incredible, you should go read about those stories.
– a water tower up close: Possibly his weirdest and most random wish, and it came true thanks to the Mustang SUD!
– Great Wolf Lodge waterpark in Grapevine, after hearing about some friends staying there. I let him watch the videos of riding inside the watersides and he thought that looked so cool!
– NEW YORK CITY!! Katie Couric’s show flew us up for a beautiful visit, and we’ll be posting details and photos to come (along with the video.)
– a comic book store – in NYC!!
– the mountains
– the desert (Arches National Park during Utah trip in spring.)
– Albuquerque, because of the Weird Al song. (Kit is the reason our kids are Weird Al fans, for which I tease him whenever they burst into simultaneous song in the back of the van – we’ll catch Albuquerque on our way back from Utah.) Here are links about our time there: KOAT, KRQE, and KOB
– a candy factory
– Other animals: penguins, fish, turtles AND tortoises, sharks (like hammerhead sharks), macaws (he had to spell that one for me.) Parrots, hedgehogs, a kiwi (the bird, NOT the fruit.)
– Under animals but this deserves it’s own post – gorgeous horses!
– A place where they make movies or shows, like Cartoon Network or a news show.
– some sports games
– The northern lights, he was fascinated by the pictures I showed him! (Thank you, Captain Chris & Alaska Airlines!!)
– Southern California: Los Angeles to see where his big brother was born & the ocean, but he’s also asked about movie studios, Legoland (thanks to The Doctors show!), and Disney.
– Family History spots: Where his parents met, where we got engaged, where we were married, where we went to college; where his grandparents met, their childhood homes, where they attended college. Also where his big brother was born (LA) and where he was born (BUMC in Dallas.)
– the Grand Canyon
– Christkindlmart! We can’t get to Germany but I’m so excited to share that with the kids, one of my happiest childhood holiday memories. I told him about the twinkling lights and how beautiful the booths are at night. There’s a free market in DFW.
– The Nutracker ballet.
– Bass Hall because someone said you can do a free tour and he can just see the beautiful building.
– Antarctica, which is not happening but someone said the ICE! exhibit at Gaylord may be a close second? 🙂 They said it’s incredible and he may get an Antarctic feel. (9 degrees?? Yep, we got the feel!)
– Children’s Aquarium in Fair Park, because Ben asked if he could touch sea life and we said we didn’t think it was possible. Apparently there you can!
– The Dallas Aquarium
– Doctor Who & Harry Potter studios in England
– Also in England: the Globe theater (we’ve read several of his plays in kids’ versions), London Eye, Big Ben (of course! Ben!) then the Roman Wall (he read about it), Van Gogh’s sunflower, and Tower Bridge.
– While we’re over there anyway (and he’s dreaming big) he added Paris, to see the Louvre & Eiffel tower.
– DC: Lincoln Memorial & the white house. We watched some of MLKs speeches and he was fascinated, both by the man and the memorial.
– sand dunes (Monohan State Park as the Sahara, his first request, is a bit far.)
– Northern California: the Golden Gate Bridge & the Redwood Forest
– a Weird Al concert!!
– Fort Worth Botanical Gardens because he heard about the koi pond! They are gorgeous, and the closest we may get the kids to Japan. We went in the fall when the colors were changing and it was stunning, Ben LOVED it.
In the works:
– Fort Worth Museum of Science & History because he heard there was more than one science museum in the area and he adores the Perot.
– Africa (he said the Sahara, the pyramids, and a safari) A friend suggested instead we look at Fossil Rim park for a North Texas version of a safari.
– a bike store (The inside. As opposed to the outside? He wanted me to include that – the INSIDE of a bike store.)
– Farmers Branch Historical Park because of the old pioneer buildings and general store. (Bonus, looks like it’s free?? Fall 2014)
– Similar idea, the Log Cabin Village in FW.
– The Kimball for more art in FW but also for the building itself, suggested by his architect uncle.
– Fort Worth Water Gardens – I hear they are beautiful at night.
– The FW Modern, because it’s gorgeous and because when B was tiny and only home a couple months my sister babysat our big kids and Kit and I took a visit there with Ben and oxygen tank in tow for Kit’s bday. We stayed very isolated so no one would expose him to any bugs! We’ve not visited since, shame on us. (Plus I appreciate when the wishes are free, much easier to make them happen!)
Ben’s Wish List
PO Box 2107
Lake Dallas, TX 75065-2107
Ben and all the kids LOVE postcards so if you want to send one from your hometown or your vacation spot then they would be thrilled. It’s the next best thing to him getting to see those places in person.