Guest Blog by Mclaren Wish Kid Cayden

We were all very excited for Cayden’s Wish weekend.  The kids took off a day of school and we headed into the city bright and early.  We arrived at McLaren Chicago and were greeted by the amazing staff there.  Cayden was immediately in love with all of the McLaren cars.  He was given a backpack full of McLaren Chicago goodies some of which had his name on it.  He was thrilled and his 17 year old brother, Zack, was super jealous!  Cayden got to pick out a McLaren to take a ride in, he chose a bright blue one.  His ride was about a half hour long and he said he went 90 MPH at one point.  He loved it!  We followed behind and met up with Cayden at a special private collection owned by McLaren.  We saw some really impressive cars from all makes and models. We were told the history behind most of them. It is such a top secret place that we were not even allowed to take photos.  I don’t think Cayden understood the magnitude of what he saw and got to touch that day.

After a 4 hour McLaren adventure, we made our way to Water Tower Place where we enjoyed a free lunch at FoodLife Café thanks to KWN. We shopped Michigan Ave. and had a wonderful afternoon enjoying the city together as a family.  That evening we checked into the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Chicago Downtown/River North that KWN set up for us. It was just one surprise after another.  When we entered our hotel room Cayden was greeted with toys and gifts and there was a huge message written on the hotel window welcoming us to the Windy City! We headed out to dinner that night at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company.  Of course, when we arrived more fun items were on the table for Cayden. A shirt, hat, special light-up cup and fun Thinking Putty.  He was not overlooked at all this weekend!

The next morning we were off to a Muscle Car Show in Rosemont.  Muscle Cars everywhere!  Cayden got to touch them, sit in some and be surrounded by cars for most of the day.  He was in heaven. Late afternoon Cayden went for a swim in the hotel pool while his older sister, Emily, and I went shopping on the Magnificent Mile. It was a festive time on Michigan Avenue due to the Holiday Lights Parade happening that evening.  After a little shopping Emily and I got a front row viewing spot on Michigan Avenue to view the parade. We did wait a few hours for the parade to start, but the balmy weather and busy hustle and bustle of holiday shoppers did pass the time.  Cayden and his dad met us just before the start of the parade.  After the lights were turned on and the crowds died down we had a relaxing dinner at The House of Blues compliments of KWN. The entire family headed back to the hotel that night exhausted!

Our last day in the city was spent packing up Cayden’s many gifts he received throughout the weekend, a last minute trip back to the Mag. Mile for a few Chicago souvenirs and to take a few more photos. We headed for home with smiles on our faces.

Fast forward a few months after Cayden’s Wish weekend…  A few days before Christmas there was a HUGE box delivered to Cayden.  He tore it open and discovered an entire box of toys and games for him and his brother and sister.  Not only did KWN give us a wonderful weekend, they sent Cayden a WISH Box for Christmas! We were on beyond amazed at their generosity.  We are still opening new games and toys 2 months after his WISH box arrived. We are calling it the gift that keeps on giving!

The entire Nottke family was treated above and beyond by everyone involved with Cayden’s wish. We ALL have wonderful memories that we will cherish for a lifetime and we couldn’t have asked for a better weekend that we will forever be grateful for. A HUGE THANK YOU to Kids Wish Network for making Cayden’s Wish an amazing experience!

Amy Nottke

Cayden’s Mom

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https://www.kidswishnetwork.org/2019/02/guest-blog-by-mclaren-wish-kid-cayden/



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