A couple of months ago I heard from a segment coordinator with the Rachael Ray show. She had seen Caleb's face all over the place last October (you might recall our 15 minutes of fame last year) and made a note to contact me when Halloween rolled around again. We talked back and forth for a while and I didn't really expect anything to come from it. I was wrong. The show flew us out to NYC on Monday, we taped the segment on Tuesday, and came back home on Wednesday. That is the cliff notes version, here is the full story, complete with pictures.
Waiting at the airport Monday morning. This was the first time for the boys to fly. They were so excited about flying in a plane. I truly expected nervousness from them but they did awesome.
On the plane.
I just have to brag on this child right now. You all know how anxiety has been an ongoing struggle for Caleb. While he has improved so much over the last year, anxiety still plaques him from time to time. I anticipated a lot of anxiety from Caleb during this trip, especially with the plane ride. Ya'll he rocked it! He was a champ and he loved flying. We could not have made this trip a year ago with an absolute panic attack. I was floored by how smooth things went with both boys.
We checked into our hotel Monday evening, had a quick dinner, and went to bed early. We were absolutely exhausted from the trip.
Tuesday morning a driver picked us up to take us to the studio for taping. We got to hang out and get ready in the green room while we waited to film our segment.
That's us!! What is happening? How did we get here?
Chillin' on the couch in the green room.
The show took such good care of us and even bought some ducks for Caleb's costume. You'll see his costume in just a minute.
Benjamin piled all the ducks on top of Caleb.
The duck decoys were a hit.
Notice that I am assembling the costume in the green room. I had to ship the costume in pieces to NYC last week so it would be ready for me to put together on site when we arrived. This was incredibly stressful for me. It all came together great though.
The costume is actually a duck blind. It was Caleb's idea and I loved it. I named it the Quack Shack and Glenn made this amazing logo to go on the back. We had to add the hashtag because that is just too funny. #quackshack
It was super fun to be in the green room and watch Rachael Ray tape segments for her show. We got a backstage look at how things are done and it was really neat. We got to go out on the set before they brought in the audience.
The bow tie was all Benjamin's idea. When he found out we were going on the show he insisted that he have a bow tie. He looked so sharp. Everyone (include Rachael herself) complimented his bow tie. He loved all the attention.
A little pose.
The coolest thing ever happened while we were there! As if things couldn't get any cooler!
Picture with my boys right before we went on the set to film. I was a big ball of nervousness ya'll. Seriously, I went into the bathroom and prayed like crazy before we went on.
You can watch the segment by clicking HERE. It's about 4 minutes long. It's awesome!
Once we were done with the show we had the rest of the day and the next morning to do a little sight seeing. We walked (and walked and walked and walked) through Times Square and into Central Park.
NYC is like nothing I have ever seen. There are people, tons of them, EVERYWHERE. There are people walking around all the time. It's crazy. The driving is crazy. The traffic is crazy. The noise is crazy. It was exhausting.
In front of Central Park.
Benjamin is trying to sneak up on a squirrel.
There were climbing rocks everywhere. I couldn't keep the boys off them. He had to climb each one, and then I had to take a picture.
Another climbing rock.
While Benjamin was rock climbing, Caleb was bird watching.
Dad joined the rock climbing fun.
I love this photo. Benjamin had just fallen so Caleb is looking at him and Dad is laughing. See that guy in the tunnel? He was singing opera really loudly. New York City has some interesting folks.
Apparently Big Bird likes to hang out at the park with Elmo and Cookie Monster puppets. Interesting folks in NYC.
Checking out the ducks.
We only had a few hours on Wednesday before we had to head back to the airport. We took the Staten Island Ferry so we could get a look at the Statue of Liberty.
The ferry ride was chilly but fun.
Lady Liberty. So cool.
I had to take this photo because NY uses the new accessible symbol. I had never seen it in person before. Kinda cool.
We had lunch in Staten Island before we took the ferry back to the main land.
Some of the buildings we saw while walking (and walking and walking and walking) around the city.
A very tired boy on the way to the airport.
There truly are no words for how blessed I feel right now. I still can't believe all of this happened. And all of it because I make wheelchair costumes. It makes no sense to me whatsoever. I'll never understand why these doors have opened for us. I'll never understand why our family was chosen. But I know that when God opens up a door, you walk through it. We had an absolute blast in NYC and on the show. It has been a wild ride ya'll. A wild ride indeed.