As you may know from my previous posts, I have humorously suggested that Hell may be located in Orlando, Florida. My reason for saying this is simple - a combination of high temperatures with high humidity is very punishing to the body. For most of us common folks, a weather pattern like this results in hot, sticky, sweaty days. Of course, when this whole sticky-sweaty business is going on, your body runs the risk of suffering from dehydration. You need to be very aware of drinking plenty of fluids so as not to get sick. Let's face it - being sick anywhere stinks, but being sick while you're on vacation would really stink.
Hydration is key to the tale I am about to relate. We were spending the day in EPCOT World Showcase. If you're not familiar with Disney World, EPCOT is essentially two connected parks. On one side is Future World, which contains all sorts of fun rides like the famous Soarin', Test Track, and Spaceship Earth. The other part of EPCOT is the World Showcase. There are pavilions from numerous countries that feature various representations of those countries' cultures. All of the countries represented have at least one restaurant and have one or more shops with merchandise from those countries, and the buildings reflect their heritage as well. When you visit a restaurant or shop in the Italian Pavilion, all of the servers and shop staff are natives of Italy. Some other countries represented, in addition to the USA, are France, Morocco, Japan, Canada, Norway, China, and Mexico.
On this particular hot, steamy day, Trent and I had just finished our delicious lunch in a restaurant in the American Pavilion and decided to go next door to enjoy The American Experience. I'd never been to it before, and as a student of history, I was excited to see the show. We walked over to the entrance, diet drinks in hand, sipping on the way to another air-conditioned building. We saw several small groups of people enter the building on our walk over, almost all of them with bottles of water or soft drinks in their hands. When we approached the entrance, we were told that we needed to dispose of our drinks before entering.
Now, the drinks we had were almost completely full, and we really needed to hydrate, so Trent reacted by saying that other people had entered with their beverages right before us. No, we couldn't enter, we were told again, unless we tossed out our non-bottled drinks. Did I mention that most beverages are around three dollars? Anyway, I sort of shook on Trent's hand and we stepped aside to toss out our nearly-full drinks. While we waited in the lobby to enter the theater area, it seemed as if everyone around us was enjoying sips of their cool, delicious beverages. We shook our heads and shook it off, and headed in the queue to the seating area.
When we were getting ready to choose our row and our seats, the older gentleman who was at the podium to introduce the show looked at Trent and said, "Sir, in the pink (actually salmon) shirt - I need to see you and your wife up front, please." We looked at each other, astonished, and realized that he was indeed talking to us. I was freaking out inside, thinking that the young ladies at the entrance had complained about Trent and that we were going to be ejected from the show. I've never been ejected from anything, I thought. We walked over to the gentleman, Lonnie, and he told us that someone from Disney needed to speak with us. Oh, no, I thought, we are getting thrown out of the park! I am going to miss out on dinner tonight at the French restaurant because Trent said someone else was going in with a drink!
Lonnie dialed some numbers on a phone, handed it to us, and walked away. As we both nervously put our ears to the phone, we heard a message from Mickey and Minnie Mouse, wishing us a happy anniversary. They then sang us a little song, wished us a happy anniversary again, and disconnected. When we handed Lonnie the phone, he asked us to wait a moment. He stepped behind a curtain and got a certificate which he filled out in beautiful calligraphy printing with our names and the number of years we have been married. He had seen the "celebrating our anniversary" buttons we were wearing and decided to make a lovely memory for both of us.
We found our seats, absolutely stunned and very pleased to have been given such a charming anniversary wish. Before Lonnie started the show, he had every person in the audience who was celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or some other special occasion, stand up and be recognized with a round of applause by the audience. When the show was over, we went and shook hands with Lonnie again, telling him that we weren't sure if we had thanked him properly. He was gracious and kind and really made our day special. I will always treasure my memories of Lonnie and how wonderful he made us feel - and how glad I was not to be ejected from the park!
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