June 14, 2007

Ronald McDonald House of Long Island

Wow, wow, wow!!! This place is really out of this world! We arrived late on Monday night and were greeted at the door with big smiles and a new toy car for Evan. The 4 1/2 hour drive took about 7 1/2 hours, but we felt so welcomed when we finally arrived. The saving grace for the trip was the portable DVD player for Evan--he was thrilled to watch Thomas the Tank Engine DVDs over and over and over again. Evan said it was just like movie night. Aria stayed at home with Grandma Mabel and Grandpa Jim and is prepared for her every whim to be answered with an enthusiastic "yes". Aren't grandparents great--we won't be surprised if she asks us to leave again when we get home!

As I said, the Ronald McDonald house is really amazing. We walked in the lobby designed to look like a Victorian village and got a quick tour of the place. There are multiple open kitchens lining a huge community dining area and each room has fridge and pantry as well as access to an ample amount of supplies for anyone in the house to use. This place is all about the kids and there are play areas everywhere in addition to a great playground outside, nestled in the gardens. Every morning a bakery donates bagels, breads and muffins and almost every evening dinner is prepared by a different organization. Any leftovers are warmed up for lunch. So, if you are near the house you really don't have to worry much about food, there is always something to eat.

Feeling thoroughly overwhelmed, we made it up to our room which is large (especially by NY standards) and has two Sleep Number beds topped with handmade quilts. On the dresser were more gifts for Evan: a fleece pillow and a couple bears. He brought the pillow and one of the bears to the hospital with him.

All I can say is, what a wonderful place. It takes such a burden off families to have such a warm, inviting and affordable place to stay while a child is in the hospital. We are so grateful to be staying here and feel very lucky.

Here are some photos of the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island:
I think this place really was built with love. This quilt was hanging and was made and donated by the Long Island Quilt Association. Each room also has quilt on the beds made the the same group.

This is the quaint lobby area.

Here is a small portion of the dining area.

There are 12 (or so) kitchens like this one for guests to use.

Evan loved the train in this area donated by the NY Jets!

This was our bedroom, where eveyone slept soundly.


Mary said...

Of course Aria's going to ask you to leave again when you get home. . . It'll be time for FLORIDA!!!!!!!

I'm glad to hear about your wonderful welcome. I hope that you'll have that base available for future trips also!

Guess there's more story about how a 4 1/2 hour train ride became a 7 1/2 hour one. Fortunately, we'll have several days to get the details.

Please give Evan hugs from Aunt Mary and Uncle James and Tori and Liza and Samuel and Miriam.

See you soon!

Mama Lisa said...

Thanks Mary! It's been a good trip--exhausting, but good.

We actually drove up and got caught on the New Jersey Turnpike. Apparently there was an 18-wheeler on fire. It took over two hours to get from exit 7 to exit 8 and when we saw the truck it was just an ashen frame. I hope nobody was hurt, but I don't know more than that.