Tuesday, February 20, 2018

No Worries

In 1994, we won a Chevrolet sales contest that rewarded us with a trip to Disney World in Orlando. The trip was in January 1995. Judy and I planned to take our two kids, Rachel (8) and Alex (5), on the trip which Chevrolet promoted as a family trip. This was all B.S. (before Sarah, our youngest child, who hadn't been born yet).

Chevrolet hosted us at Disney World's Swan and Dolphin Resort which is located in the heart of the Disney resort. It is  located in between Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios

It was a journey to drive two hours to the airport in Sioux Falls, catch an hour long flight from Sioux Falls to MSP, then fly 3-4 hours to Orlando. We then retrieved luggage, found ground transportation and made our way to the resort. We were all tired by the time we arrived but there was a party taking place when we got there and the kids were excited to explore things.

Chevrolet's "Welcome Party" took place on the beach near the causeway between the Swan and the Dolphin. There were many food stands with different types of cuisines. There were games and activities for all ages on the beach. We were all walking through the party wide-eyed, taking it all in.

Suddenly, we realized that Alex was not with us. As we looked around, we didn't see him anywhere. Had it been a regular Disney crowd, we would have really been concerned. Since it was a private party, I wasn't quite as worried. As it was, we quickly started backtracking to try to find him.

After a few minutes of frantic searching, we found him. He was on a stage singing "Hakuna Matata" - a song from the "Lion King", which was Disney's most recent movie and one of Alex's favorite's. We got there just in time to see him sing.

Alex on stage singing "Hakuna Matata"

It was a karaoke stage. The lady running the stage told us that Alex had come up to the stage and asked to sing "Hakuna Matata". She told him that they didn't have that song on the karaoke machine (go figure!). He said that was okay because he knew the words. So he got on the stage and sang a cappella. Of course we knew he knew the words because he sang it all the time at home.

The irony of us finding him after looking frenetically for him as he was singing a song that means "no worries" was pretty delicious. I know that Judy could not fully appreciate his performance because she had been sick with worry for about five minutes.

Alex got a rousing applause when he finished. He handed the microphone to the lady in charge and came over to us like nothing had happened. Rachel slapped him a "high five". Both Judy and I wanted to kick his ass for not staying with us but he was so pleased with himself, neither of us could bring our self to pop his bubble.

For the rest of the evening, kids would walk up to Alex and give him "high five". Each time, he would look at us with a grin on his face. We all enjoyed the party but Alex had an especially good time!

Of course after everything turned out fine, we all had a good laugh at the way it played out. It is still one of my favorite stories about Alex as a kid!

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