People wonder at my Disney fascination. I'm a 45 year-old guy with my only child a senior in high school, and our big trip this year is gong to Walt Disney World. Again.
Again? Weren't you just there? And, yeah, wasn't that with just your wife and you didn't even set foot in a park? You'll drive that far for a long weekend? Isn't that an expensive vacation? Does your son even have fun? Isn't Disney for little kids?
If you're a Disney fan like me, you've heard all of the above more than once, haven't you? What is it that keeps us coming back? It's likely something a bit different for all of us, but for me it's primarily The Bubble.
The Disney Bubble. You enter as you pass under that archway that your passenger takes a photo of and posts immediately on Facebook or Twitter. It means you are in The Mouse's hands, in a place where the troubles of the real world can be safely put aside, where hundreds of people are employed to make you happy, where seeing the world with child-like excitement and reacting to it with child-like joy is not only accepted but encouraged. You don't need to drive if you don't want to. You don't have to cook if you don't want to. If you've done it right, you either know where you're going to eat or you don't care. In the bubble, a Big Important Decision is whether to head to the Polynesian for a Lapu Lapu break via monorail or boat. The Bubble is worth every penny.
Our Disney trips always seem to come just when we need them, and this one is no exception. About six months ago the lovely and talented Lisa took over as manager of our town after the town manager was fired. She's an interim filling in until a mew manager is hired, which hasn't happened yet. Until then she's carrying on with her regular job as town clerk and filling in as manager. Running a town with more than 100 employees and budget of over $30 million is a big job, and it's taken a lot of Lisa's time and energy. Then Matthew happened.
Look, it could have been a lot worse. We escaped the worst of the storm and flooding and my heart goes out to those inland who are still as I write this trying to deal with Matthew. But watching Lisa guide this town through the blow has been an unforgettable experience. She's been working 15+ hour days since Thursday and even when she's been home, she's more often than not been on the phone dealing with some storm-related town issue. From preparation through the storm itself to recovery and the aftermath, Lisa and her team (and she has great department heads) have kept things calm and smooth and humming along. But it's taking a huge effort on all of their parts.
Lisa is extremely intelligent, calm under stress, strong, and a natural-born leader. She knows instinctively it seems when to listen and when to lead, when to take advice and when to lay down what needs to be done. She's learning this on the job, but has already become a source of information and advice for others. People who've lived on this island a long time are saying they've never seen such a professional response to a storm from this town. I couldn't be more proud.
But it has been so hard watching her deal with all this and not being able to help. She's under a lot of stress. She has been making decisions over and over every day that will immediately affect people and will have long-term consequences for our town. She's doing great. I am not only proud of her as my bestest friend and wife, but truly thankful for her as someone who loves this island as a dream come true.
She's taking good care of my paradise, and she deserves a break in The Bubble. Yes, it's expensive, but it's the best bargain I can imagine if it can give Lisa some time completely free.