Linda, Daniel`s family aid and a good friend of mine came with us. It was a trip of a lifetime for us as a family.
We headed to Liverpool airport in the early hours of the morning to catch our flight. It was the first time the boys had flown December 2004. We boarded the plane with the help of the airport staff. The boys and I sat together Linda sat across from us.
We weren't sure how Daniel wold react ? As the engines roared ready for take off Daniel shook with excitement. He was thrilled, we later went on the call the planes the fly fly he new exactly what I meant when we said that word.
It was a smooth flight, everything went well, it was so exciting as we landed in Lapland. After heading through customs we boarded the coach. From here we were taken to our hotel. The views from the coach were lovely pure white snow with the odd herd of reindeer every now and then. There were pretty little houses dotty all around and magical villages with fairy lights and Santa Claus displays everywhere. We were also given thermal suits with boots and gloves at this point.
Reaching the hotel we checked in at reception, the hotel was fantastic. It was minus - 15c outside but Linda and I were roasting.
We had a lovely hotel room with a balcony over looking the ski slopes which were lite up. t was beautiful After fleshing up we headed down for lunch.
It was so nice very well set out with a hot and cold buffet. We all picked something nice to eat. Kids had chicken nuggets chips I mashed Daniels up. Linda and I chose beef ( well it looked like beef ). Linda piped up have you seen any cows lately ? It suddenly clicked we were eating Rudolf. With Linda in hysterics I spend the next 10 minutes throwing up in the loo. !
After recovering which took a while, we put our snow suits on and headed outside to the ski slopes. We got through the snow OK with the wheelchair although it was a bit difficult at times. Aaron went to join the group of children who were tobogganing down the slopes with the elves. There was also a huge snowball fight between the elves and the children. Linda and I helped Daniel so he could join in too.
By this time it was getting late and the cold was starting to seep through our gloves. Lapland doesn't have a lot of daylight this time of the year so it was quite dark for most of the trip. The pretty lights surrounding us made up for the darkness.
We slept really well during our stay. Next I will tell you about what we did over the next few days during our stay.
There was a lot to do in Lapland.
We went on a reindeer sledge ride, here we had an hysterical laugh as Linda managed to get herself stuck fast in the sledge. I tyred to help her out in between the fits of laughing.
The boys and I also went on a husky ride. We went on this ride quite a few time`s all sitting in tantrum one behind each other. It was very fast there was a team of about 8 dogs pulling the sledge. It was like being on a toboggan ride at the fairground.
Another thing we went on was the ski doos, were travelled across the frozen lake and threw the forest. I could feel the icy wind biting at my cheeks, don't forget it was - 15c. The boys were well wrapped up under sheepskin blankets, they were having a wonderful time. After our journey had ended I managed to get Daniel to his feet to get him off the sledge. He wasn't happy. He made it quite clear he wanted to stay on. With a full scale paddy coming on he lay on the floor in the snow screaming having a right paddy he wanted another go. I guide obliged and let him. I had to make it clear to Daniel this was his last go as it was to cold for him to stay on it any longer. He still wasn't happy getting off so I put him in the toboggan and pulled him back to the log cabin.
The log cabin was magical with Christmas candles and log fire. We were able to get a warm inside before venturing back out onto the frozen lake and surroundings. We also had marshmallows with hot chocolate to keep us warm followed by ginger biscuits. It was fantastic. Inside the cabin there was number of craft activity's for the children to do. Aaron join in whilst we gave Daniel a rest.
After our warm it was time to take a trip to see Santa. By this time I managed to get hold of a large sledge to pull Daniel around in. He was lapping it up. To visit Santa we were taken for another ride on the reindeer sledge. The reindeer stopped and we were shown along a path through the woods enchanting forest. Santa`s Elves were there to greet us. Linda had to stop to fix her boots. Myself and the boys headed up the forest track to the camp fire. Here we all settled down to listen to story`s. Linda was still heading up the track I said to the kids look out here come the yeti getting my own back for the reindeer episode. Linda shouted she was going to throttle me, but she had to catch me first !
After making peace we settled down to listen to the enchanting stories of the magical forest. Soon though it was time to visit Santa.
Aaron was so excited he was about to see the real Santa Claus. The boys were given presents before we headed back to the reindeer to be taken back across to the log cabin.
Some of the children headed off to toboggan ride down the slopes at the back, Daniel went with Linda for a warm in the cabin whilst I took Aaron. Later Daniel join us. Aaron had a fantastic time.
The coach journeys to our destination was so smooth considering how much snow was on the ground. They were really equipped for the snow and had now trouble getting through. The snow was also so white not the slushy black yukky stuff your get in Britain.
The final day of our trip came, we headed off in the coach stopping off for lunch in yet again another lovely place. During the afternoon we were allowed free time to do some shopping. I got a lot of souvenirs T shirts for all of us and husky cuddle toys. We also go a DVD about Lapland and Santa.
Next stop was the airport, it was snowing quite bad and the ice removers were taking the ice of the planes wings which was a bit scary. Take off though was fine as we headed down the run away and out into the night sky leaving Lapland behind.
During our flight home we were lucky enough to have one of the most amazing views of the Northern Lights the green glow from the windows of the plane were so amazing.
It was truly a magical experience visiting Lapland. I am so glad I had the opportunity to take Daniel on this wonderful trip. I have the most amazing memories of our time in Lapland and will always treasure the memories, photographs I have of the boys and thankfully plenty of camcorder footage of my boys. Memories of Daniel Lapland