My sister-in-law, Debbie, and her husband John live in Tampa. Their daughter, Rachel, just graduated from the University of Central Florida and is now working/living in Orlando. (Well, technically Debbie is my ex-sister-in-law but we both agreed that we would not let a divorce ruin a good friendship.) I have not been to Tampa for 2 years and I have not been to Disney World for 20+ years……. hmmmm…. Do you see an adventure in the making?
(Disclaimer… the truth is….. I went to Disney World about 13 years ago with my brother, his family and my mother……..but he was feeling ill when we arrived and I spent the next day wandering Animal Kingdom with my nephew and niece. My sister-in-law got ill that afternoon and then the next morning my mother woke up feeling poorly so we checked out and went back home. I do not count that as a visit to the Magical Kingdom. There was nothing magical about that trip.)
So, last month I flew to Tampa on a Thursday and Deb and I drove to Disney World. We toured Disney World Thursday evening; Epcot on Friday; I spent the day with Rachel on Saturday. We had lunch, toured Orlando and went shopping at the Outlet Malls where I purchased my first Coach purse—it was at the Outlet Mall, on sale and they gave you a 50% off coupon….how could I not buy a purse?
We finished the day with dinner at Downtown Disney with Debbie, Rachel and Rachel’s boyfriend. Sunday Deb and I drove back to Tampa where we watched the Super Bowl with John. I flew back on Monday.
Are you tired yet?
And for those who know of my Travel Blog (http://janhman.wordpress.com) and are wondering … “Did Beasley go?”… the answer is YES. Although this was not a trip to Europe, I did tell him about Epcot and promised we would eat lunch at the French Café (which we did) and there would be fabulous fireworks….so he agreed to come.
We were not there long but managed to cram in many fun experiences ……. rides, parades, Epcot movies, fireworks, meals, and so forth. Some things never change…the ride “It’s a Small World” has the same dolls and annoying song as it did 20 years ago but I will confess that my mind wandered a bit…and the strangest thoughts would cross my mind….such as when do they dust all these dolls? The temperatures were perfect—the highs were in the low 70s and the skies were crystal blue. We had a great time.
I was determined to get a few photos of me with some Disney characters that I could email to my granddaughter. Alas, I could not find Snow White or Cinderella but by standing in line for 20-25 minutes I was able to get a photo taken of me with The Little Mermaid; and then I stood in another line for the same amount of time for a picture with Tinkerbelle and then Merryweather.
I promptly emailed the photos to my son so he could share with Lauren. (Oh, the things that a Nana will do!!)
Throughout the entire trip, Disney staff worked hard to keep you happy. The saying you heard all the time was “Have a Magical Day.” Whether it was staff helping you on a ride or the reservation clerk on the phone…the mantra was “Have a Magical Day”.
Now that I have returned to my ordinary and not so magical life, that statement has stayed with me. What does it really mean…to have a magical day? What makes a moment “magical”? The best I can determine is ….. it is a special feeling you experience that touches something deep inside of you.
Yet, I think the truth is we do not always realize when a moment is magical but later, as we reflect on it, we realize the magic was there—we sense the specialness.
These special moments comes in all shapes and sizes…they may occur with groups or by yourself…they may be in the midst of a fast paced adventure or a quiet afternoon….there are no rules and they are not one-size-fits-all kinds of happenings.
As I look back on my life, I see so many moments that were magical…. as a child there were campfires and roasting of marshmallows… fishing trips… camping… Christmas gatherings with family.
In my adult years, I have memories of eating boiled peanuts on the porch at my parents’ cabin in Dahlonega and throwing the shells over the railing; my father teaching my son to shoot a BB gun and taking him fishing in a small pond; walks at night with my son where we looked in the sky to find the Belt of Orion and the Big Dipper; playing River Raid at my in-laws home; ski trips out West and sitting with a cup of coffee and looking out a window at snow covered buildings.
All special memories …. and with the passing of time, I realize they were magical…. they were truly special moments that touched my heart and left a permanent imprint on my spirit.
Perhaps the truth is that we need to open our eyes each day and see the magic all around us and cherish it …to stop and take the time from the busyness in our ordinary lives to see the joy that is occurring… to treasure and embrace it then instead of later recognizing these moments for what they truly were.
But to see the magic means we have to be willing to live in the present….a simple sounding but not so easy task. Yet one that I think would enrich our lives…this learning to truly live in the present and see the specialness that occurs at that moment.
Perhaps that is one small key to changing the ordinary life into a life filled with joy… recognizing magical moments when they occur and embracing them. A not-so-easy task, perhaps, but one I think worth trying to achieve. So here’s to magical moments and more importantly, to the commitment to recognizing them when they occur.
Beasley and Mouse Shampoo—jfh and The Little Mermaid—Beasley and It’s a Small World—jfh and Tinkerbelle—jfh Epcot—jfh Shopping