It was time to plan my son’s 7-year birthday party. After considering bowling, Hot Wheels, and Legos, I
decided to honor his spirit. Now that we are immersed in elementary school, these are the last fleeting days
of “little boy.”
I had to consider, “What was my son’s favorite thing on planet earth?” Like most boys, he is infatuated with
automobiles and airplanes. To be exact, ever since I can remember, my son has been obsessed with The
Parking Spot, or better known in my house, The Cheetah Bus. Let me explain.
I Made It My Mission
The Parking Spot is the airport shuttle that takes you to and from an off-site parking garage and the airport
terminals. Each bus looks like a Yellow Jacket Bumble Bee – bright yellow with giant black spots. You can’t
miss it. I recently took my son to the Houston Rodeo (see link below) and riding the Cheetah bus to and from the airport was the highlight of his trip,
above and beyond the cowboys and the heffers. So, like a mom possessed on a mission, I called the Parking
Spot and asked if I could take my son and a few friends to ride on a shuttle around the airport for his birthday.
Making a Dream Come True
“You want to do what?” my husband asked. Ride around the airport. “On the shuttle?” Yes, I
responded. I want to take our son cruising around the airport to watch airplanes take off, land, and fly
overhead. My husband thought the idea was kooky but I believed it would be spectacular for our son.
When I called The Parking Spot headquarters, I told the receptionist the purpose for my call and she started
giggling on the other end of the receiver. “I am sure this is a unique request,” I said. She responded, “Yes,
It’s a first. Let me think what department to connect you to,” and then forwarded my call to the lovely Diane.
The Parking Spot was tickled to have a 7 year-old fan. Who knew? They immediately said “yes” and helped me
select a date. Unbeknownst to me, the company president, Marty Nesbitt, heard about his first groupie – and
got in on the act to make a dream come true.
A One of a Kind Experience
Here’s what happened.
We arrived at the parking garage on the pre-selected time/date. We planned to board a shuttle, when around
the corner came LaWanda in an “off-duty” shuttle bus. She opened the doors & said to come aboard. The looks
of pure shock, disbelief, and excitement were priceless. We boarded the shuttle and circled the airport. The kids
got to observe the jumbo jets, taxis, the police traffic controllers, etc.
Upon returning to The Parking Spot, we rode the elevator to the roof of the garage. The view from the roof is
situated at the beginning of the runway. The kids watched as planes literally flew overhead and descended onto
the runway before their eyes. They were jumping up and down. Unless you were on a plane, I don’t think there
is another spot closer to the runway.
The Best Birthday Party Ever!
After prying the boys from the roof, we went to the restaurant next door for burgers, fries, and milk shakes.
We sat outside and continued our surveillance of the jets up above.
On the ride home, the kids were cheering, “This was the best birthday party ever!” I listened to the banter from
the backseat thinking-what a spectacular day. I thought putting a few kids on a shuttle would be a kick. This
day was so much more. It was a birthday my son will never forget.
How to Plan an Unforgettable Party
When planning your child’s next birthday party, you may want to consider the following:
Could you set aside pre-conceived ideas about your child’s birthday party?
What activity or idea makes your child light up from the inside?
If your child thinks of a party idea, there is a good chance his/her friends will enjoy the activity as well.
How can you honor your child’s individual spirit?
A Plethora of Ideas…
The kids and I went on-line to The Parking Spot home page. www.TheParkingSpot.com
There is a Parking Spot Zamboni! The Parking Spot has recently formed sports partnerships at various airport
locations and changed their spots to reflect the team colors! This is big fun for the kids. Our family is partial
to University of Texas (UT). Find your favorite team: USC, UCLA, KU, Texas Stars, Dallas Stars, TCU, Houston Aeros, Georgia Tech, UGA, St. Louis Blues, SLU, ASU, Central Florida, UT, Texas A & M.
- The Sugar Momma’s Rodeo Trip