Parker brushing his hair for his flight.
Now this was a cool day! North Pole Cool that is!!! It started just like any other with waking up the older two kids and getting them ready for school. But after Madeleine and Harrison left for school, Parker, Erica and I headed right to Detroit Metro Airport for a special flight Parker was about to take.
Parker had been invited to join a group of about 60 kids with life threatening diseases to “Fly to the North Pole” and have a party with Santa.
Bus to the Airport
We first drove to a local airport parking company that was instructed to transport all of these special kids and their families to the Airport. Upon arriving at the Airport, Santa’s elves were there to direct us to the “Flight to the North Pole Check-In”. Official boarding passes were printed and our seats were assigned. We were then directed through the Westin hotel to go through “Santa’s Security” (The Hotel entrance into the Airport – It was very private and empty which was nice because there was no waiting). Just prior to going through security, we were given two full bags of gifts from local charities.
Parker loves moving sidewalks
As soon as we entered the Terminal, our departure Gate was just to the right of us… However, Parker insisted on riding the moving sidewalks so we first headed left to “take a ride” on the sidewalk. It just doesn’t get much better than riding a sidewalk. 🙂 (It was a nice “Smell the roses” moment).
Clowns, Balloons and Christmas Carols
We arrived at the gate and were surrounded by clowns and Santa’s helpers. The local Shriner’s circus had many clowns there to entertain the kids and make balloons as we waited to board. Santa’s helpers sang songs and greeted each of the kids.
Finally, it was boarding time!!!! We quickly boarded onto a plane with all the shades pulled down, took our seats and waited to “take off”…
At 11am we pushed back from the gate as Christmas carols were playing overhead and “Santa’s flight attendants” sang and handed out song sheets. After about five minutes of taxi’ing, it was our turn to depart. With all the shades down, the lights were shut off and we started to accelerate down the “runway” for lift off. Everyone cheered!!!!
A couple hundred feet later, the brakes went on. 🙂 and we continued to take off/taxi into our cruising altitude of “0.00 feet.” A few minutes later… we hit a nice cruising speed of “stand still” for an hour of singing, lunch and candy.
en route & lunch
Once we hit our cruising speed of “zero mpg”, the lights came back on and lunch was served. It was the lunch of champions… PB&J, Goldfish and M&Ms. Parker was delighted when the flight attendant came by to server sodas or chocolate milk. He quickly picked a Coke then started into his lunch.
Arrival at the North Pole
Erica and Parker
After about an hour or so, it was time for landing, so they started the engines back up 🙂 then we began to cruise/taxi again to into a landing pattern. The plane eventually made it to the gate(right next to the starting gate) at the North Pole… fully decorated with snow, Christmas trees and decorations.
We exited the plane and were greeted by Santa, his wife, and another group of elves… Which Parker saw as a great photo op. After all the kids exited the plane then we re-entered the Westin hotel and were guided to the North Pole party banquet hall.
Parker finds some new elf-friends!!
The party began with a magic show hot chocolate, milk, cookies, and Starbucks. As the magician entertained the group, children were escorted one at a time to see Santa and get a large bag full of gifts. Local newscasters were there along with the local K-9 police units and representatives from many local companies that donated to the event. (We even made it onto the NBC broadcast of the event – Look for us at the end of the video on right side)
Parker talks to Santa
It was a magical day that will never be forgotten and a wonderful idea that even had the child in us just as excited as Parker.
Surrounded by his gifts at the North Pole (Westin)