Friday, July 24, 2009

Make A Wish Trip To The Hamptons!

A Wish Come True!

All the laundry is caught up and I even have all the pictures from my camera downloaded. Now all I need are the pictures from Brenda and Katy’s camera and I hope to finish Kaye’s scrapbook soon documenting this wonderful trip.

It all began at 5:15 a.m. with a ride to the airport in a white stretch limo. Will was our driver and was impressed that we were ready and waiting at the door right on time. Little did he know some of us had only had two hours of sleep. Our flight to Long Island was uneventful and yes, some of us slept most of the way.

We arrived right on time and were so excited to begin our adventure. Brenda Smith flew in from Atlanta and met us at the airport. She had made all her arrangements to come up to the Hamptons and see the girls enjoy their adventure.

We arrived in Southampton and walked around in the beautiful town. The flowers were beautiful and the town was buzzing with the lunch crowd. We ate and then went to The Southampton Inn to check in. Our room was very nice and we had lots of room for all four of us. Poor David, he shared a room with three women, lots of hair products, hair dyers, and all the girlie things we think we need. He was such a sport! We traveled to Sag harbor for dinner.

The next morning we were up early and the girls looked beautiful. This was the day Katherine had been waiting for. Johan and Corrine, the Make A Wish representatives arrived and we met with Dede Gotthelf, the owner of the Southampton. Then we were off to met Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa. We traveled for more than an hour because of traffic. Mrs. Garten lives in East Hampton, another beautiful town. I must admit, I had butterflies in my stomach but from the time Ina opened the door with open arms and hugs, I just cannot put into words how wonderful the afternoon was. She is such a lovely woman. She hugged Katherine and you could tell it truly touched her to meet Kaye.

After all the introductions Ina gave us a tour of her grounds which included her flower and vegetable garden. The lawn between her home and The Barn hosts so many beautiful trees and flowers. It was cool to see because this is just what you see on her show. We entered The Barn and it was just a relaxing place complete with music and flowers. The long table was set and she asked Katherine if she wanted to help her put the finishing touches on the food. That sure made Katherine happy. I went into the kitchen with them and that is were we gave Ina the scrapbook of Katherine’s journey so she could see just were Kaye had come from. She loved it!

We sat down to lunch with Katy and Katherine right by Ina’s side and the laughs began. For more than three hours we enjoyed a lobster blue cheese salad, fresh bread and fruit tea. The conversation covered the board and we loved that Ina is a lovely lady. We told us of her travels and how she arrived at where she was. The stories around the table brought lots of laughs and tears. We also asked Ina what her favorite restaurants were and she told us about 1176 House and Red Bar. She asked if we would like to see if she could get us reservation at Red Bar. We were thrilled to learn we had reservations and Ina laughed when she told us “you have reservations and I wondered who we bumped”. Seems Red Bar is were all the stars of for dinner.

We also had the opportunity to met Ina’s assistant and friend, Barbara. Barbara told us about many funny moments on the show that you would never know had happened. Johan and Corrine had Ina’s latest cookbook for Katherine so Ina could sign it. It is truly a lovely project. I read it like a novel on the plan and have already tried two receipts. Might I say awesome! After lunch we enjoyed coffee and her frozen key lime pie. If she had turned her back, I think I could have just finished the pie off. It was cool, tangy and wonderful. The visit had to come to an end, but when we left, we knew we had made new friends. Friends that would be added to the Christmas Card list.

During lunch, Ina had jotted down all the locations of the local vendors that she uses. We took our time going back to Southampton and visited everything on the list. Our first stop was Loaves and Fishes. Anna Pump is the owner and a very close friend of Ina’s. In fact, the current cookbook is dedicated to her. We told Anna about why we were in the Hamptons and had her sign Katherine’s copy of the cookbook. The day was fun, full and had brought lots of emotion.

We finished at Red Bar with one of the best meals I have ever had. The place was buzzing and when we were seated, the waiter brought champagne compliments of Ina and Shirley Temples for the girls. We enjoyed every bit of the evening and when it was time to ask for the check or waiter informed us the owner Kirk Basnight wanted to pick up our dinner. We were floored and felt so blessed. Katherine walked over to Kirk, who was very cute might I say, and thanked him for our dinner. He hugged and kissed her and said it was his pleasure. We left with our hearts full and went back to the Inn for a much needed nights sleep.

Every morning David and I walked down to The Golden Pear to pickup coffee and muffins for the girls. The ate breakfast in bed everyday. Saturday, we packed up and traveled to the Southampton Yacht Club with Dede and her son Eddie. Eddie took the girls out for a sailing lesson and Dede drove us around on her personal boat so we could watch. The day was wonderful. Dede even took us out the channel a ways so we could see all the beautiful homes along the coast. The girls had a blast and Eddie was such a wonderful young man. We found out that he is very interested in Vanderbilt University here in Nashville and would be down sometime in September to visit.

We went back to the Inn and Dede treated us to lunch and more wonderful conversation about the Hamptons. The girls and David went back for a nap and Brenda and I walked around the town and also side streets where some of the most beautiful homes were unveiled. They are surrounded by 10 to 12 foot hedges but you can see them through the driveway.

Later that day we drove all the way up to the point of Long Island New York. Beautiful, just beautiful. We arrived in the town of Montauk where we went to the Montauk Point Lighthouse. We climbed all the way to the top and enjoyed the beautiful view. Then we had dinner at Gosman’s restaurant and sat out by the point and watched the sun go down. Another perfect day!

Sunday began with a day at the Spa for the girls and then we traveled out to the Riverhead area and own out into the farming area of Long Island. Again, a beautiful place. We went to the Pindar Vineyard where Kerri met us. Make A Wish was having a fundraising event and everyone was thrilled to met Katherine. We roamed through the tasting room and then Kerri had lunch ready for us under the pavilion. We sat and enjoyed the live music and then Kerri gave us a tour of the Vineyard including the processing areas. After the tour, we took the girls out into the vineyard and the sunflower patch for lots of pictures.

With our tummies full and a hand full of sunflowers we were off to another local vineyard, Martha Clara. There we received a tour via horse and buggy. It was a pretty place and the ride was a great way to see the entire vineyard. This vineyard is owned by the man who owned the Entenmanns bakery. We had seen a lot of the beauty of this state today and ended with dinner in downtown Riverhead. While waiting for our dinner we enjoyed a fireworks display right outside on the sidewalk. It was amazing! We all thought it so nice for Riverhead to go to this much trouble just for us but found out they were having a blues music festival.

The trip ended with one more stroll down through the shops in Southampton. We said goodbye and all made a pack to come back to visit all the new friends we had made. I asked Katherine if this is what she wanted, she told me with a smile it was more than she imagined. Her wish truly did come true and Katy told me later that this vacation was wonderful and we made lots of new friends that we would keep in touch with.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

We Are Off To The Hamptons!

First, I want you to notice what time it is, then I will tell you the limo will be at my house at 5:15 a.m.! Yes, I know, I am crazy but I just had to leave you with an update of the past few days! Katherine and Katy are running around quietly upstairs packing, laughing and getting their showers so they can sleep until 4:30 a.m. I am sure the limo driver will be thrilled with three women who have only had about three hours of sleep perfectly pressed clothes and lots of coffee. David was the smart one and went to bed by 10 p.m. Oh well, we can sleep on the plan right?

The past week has been a whirlwind. Katherine continued to recover from Big Stuf and slept lots. Each day I would receive updates from the Make A Wish Foundation regarding our trip and would get more excited everyday. Tracy Bossman, our Make A Wish Rep called to inform me we would be having Katherine’s Announcing Party at The Viking School in Franklin. When she went in and told them Katherine’s story including what she wanted to do for her wish, they wanted to host a very special lunch for our family that would included an amazing menu and Katherine would be able to prepare this beautiful meal right along side two awesome chiefs.

So the next week David and I worked on several lies, yes, I said lies, we wanted to surprise Katherine but also had to get Kaitlin Smith up to be involved in the luncheon. We worked with Brenda to get Kaitlin up Monday morning thinking she was surprising Katherine. Then I had to trick Katherine into getting her dressed up and over to the Factory where we would just “drop in” to the Viking Store and then walk into their demonstration kitchen. It all came together and the event was unbelievable. Katherine enjoyed herself so much and might I say she, Jamie and Mike put together a beautiful meal that included:

Mixed Greens with Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing (made from scratch)
Bobby Flay’s Grilled Asparagus
Melt In Your Mouth Potato Gratin
Blue Cheese Stuffed Filet Mignon
Morton’s of Chicago Godiva Hot Chocolate Cake

Katherine loved preparing each course and then even got Kaitlin up to help with the Godiva Hot Chocolate Cake. The girls had the two chiefs in stitches most of the time. After everything was done, we sat down to eat and enjoy the fruit of their labor. Trace then told Katherine all about her wish that had been granted. She began by talking about her journey over the past three years and Jamie and Mike were touched. She gave her a huge Make A Wish bag filled with lots of goodies for the trip and then explained how her wish will unfold.

We will be picked up by limo in the morning and then fly to the Hamptons on Long Island New York. We will stay in the beautiful historic South Hampton Inn. One Friday, Katherine will met and cook with Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, yes that was Katherine’s wish. On Saturday she will enjoy some time at the local spa and then she will have the opportunity to have some sailing lessons. The rest of the weekend, we will enjoy touring the Hamptons and relaxing. David and I have known about all the wonderful events they had planned for Kaye but then it was Katherine’s turn to thank Katy for being such a wonderful friend and informing her that part of her wish from the start was that she could take her best friend with her. Because Will and Stephen are over 18, they could not go with us, so they granted this part of her wish as well. Kaitlin will experience the Hamptons with Katherine and make memories that will last a lifetime.

Katy was floored and of course there were lots of tears. I was just happy I did not have to lie any more! So the last few days have been getting ready to enjoy this awesome adventure. The house is quiet and of course I am the last to finish and get in the bed. I have put together a scrap book to give to Ina Garten telling Katherine’s story. I wanted her to see and understand the past three years and how she has helped to make a difference in Katherine’s life without even meeting her. You know me, it could not be some simple thing but it did make me organize more than three years of pictures of Kaye’s journey and I have finished.

I just could not leave without giving each of you the scoop and asking for special prayers of protection while we travel. Lucy and Cole will be taking care of by one of our favorite little boys, Cam. Well, everything is done, and now I must close my eyes for just a few hours. I will update once we are home but I wanted to go ahead and wish two people a very special Happy Birthday. They will celebrate while we are gone and I wanted to give them an early “Happy Birthday” wish. July 18th will be my Aunt Ruth Ann’s birthday and July 20th is Nani-Grace’s birthday. We love you both. Thank you for celebrating with us. We appreciate all your love and words of encouragement. Good night!

Never Quit!

Sharliss, David, KJ & Katy Bug… to the Hamptons!

Here are some pictures of the Make A Wish Luncheon hosted by the Viking School.