Flying to the Magic Kingdom
I woke up this morning at 3:30 AM to catch a 6:00 AM flight to LA. The day before, I woke up at 5:30 AM with our team to fill two pools at our church for our one year anniversary baptism. It was an awesome day filled with encouragement and blessing.
It was also filled with lau lau (pork wrapped in taro leaves), haupia (coconut custard), lomi salmon (salmon and tomato relish), poi (taro), kalua pig (roasted pork), squid luau (squid stewed in coconut milk), and pineapple boats to the point that I felt ready to be thrown into an imu (underground oven) myself. It was delicious. It was heavenly. It was real Hawaiian food!
I am now feeling it. No Starbucks coffee, not even the venti bold, can compensate for the drop in adrenaline and energy. "Daddy, when are we going to Disneyland?"
"Where's the coffee?"
"We will be there soon." I responded.
You have to realize that she has asked me this same question for the last month. To say she is excited is an understatement.
My mother-in-law and father-in-law were scurrying around like two squirrels early this morning, cleaning out their trunk of accumulated driftwood and acorns, so we could have space for our luggage. Those two get up early everyday. 4:00 AM was nothing for them.
Senior citizens tend to be the most alert and loud at 4:00 AM - five year olds too. That's why they get along so well. They talk about everything under the sun. "Hi girlie, is that the top I bought you for Christmas?
“Yes, Popo (grandma). Disneyland!!!!!!”
“Popo got you three of those tops. You so cute!"
"Son, dad had to go to the bathroom" chimed my mother-in-law right at our departure time. I wheeled my luggage to the car half awake, wondering if my bladder would also give out when I reach their age. I left those worrisome thoughts for another day, maybe forever.
We packed ourselves like sardines into their Camry and bounced along to the airport.
The streets of Honolulu are pleasantly quiet at 4:30 AM in the morning, not much traffic, only the raucous sounds of a five year old singing at the top of her lungs, with grandma, grandpa, and mommy trying to sing in harmony. "Yes, we need to rejoice in the Lord always, but not this early. Help me, my Lord. Save me, my Lord. I love you, my Lord. Ha!"
We pulled up to the airport in record time and guess who we saw waving us into the curb? a member from our church! He was working security this morning and showered us with a wonderful smile and grandpa-like love toward my daughter. I like this man. What you see is what you get. He is a good man!
Popo and Kung Kung gave us loving hugs too. They are wonderful parents and grandparents. "Father, save them from their kolohe (rascal) son-in-law."
We are now jet streaming thousands of feet above the Pacific Ocean and chomping on Fritos corn chips. What does a forty five year old pilgrim to the magical kingdom think about during such times? I think about the smile on my daughter's face when she finally walks through the entrance at Disneyland. I think about the amazing goodness of God toward a misfit like myself. I think about yesterday's baptism with everyone plunging themselves, dress pants and all, in a pool filed with grass, tears, anointing oil, stuff-not-worth-mentioning, and a lot of love. It was an ohana (family) pool!
I think about my good wife who packed the corn chips, sandwiches, cut vegetables, and many kindnesses for our trip. I think about the days to come and realize the work that needs to be done in this world that needs God's love more than ever. I think about eating good Mexican food in California. They have the best you know (Texans would take issue with this).
Traveling to Disneyland has become a pilgrimage or a rite of passage for every child in the USA. Once your baby hits the 42-inch mark, the count down begins. Walt knew what he was doing when he dreamed this thing up. It all started with a dream. This week we are visiting his dream. May your dreams bless many in the days to come. Dream boldly. Dream big.