The final two days of our Chorale 2016 Winter Tour can be summed up quite concisely! Thursday was for theme-park fun! Many singers chose to spend their day in Disneyworld's Magic Kingdom, though other options included EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, or Hollywood Studios. Others enjoyed Universal Studios, and got the chance to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Per our usual luck, however, it was raining cats and dogs in Orlando, Florida. In addition, some Chorale members (including yours truly) spent the day between coughs and sneezes, thanks to our recently acquired colds.
But despite these frustrations which, given the context of the entire trip, we found to be quite comical, I believe everyone had a wonderful time. I personally appreciated the rare opportunity to spend an entire day devoted to fun with friends in choir that I had grown so much closer to in the past week. We rode ride after ride, ate ice-cream and candy-apples, met Peter Pan and Mary Poppins, watched fireworks, and shared lots and lots of laughs. The rain even turned out to be somewhat of a blessing, as it kept the lines quite short! For most of us, it was a late night with an early wake-up call looming ahead. But we seized the day and made memories to bring back home with us and treasure for a long time.
On Friday morning, we met at 5:45 am to board the "Disney Magical Express" to the Orlando International Airport. I will personally vouch for that bus's Disney magic, as we made it to the airport with no radiator leaks, heater problems, air-conditioning failures, frozen compression lines, or fender-benders. Jiminy Cricket!
I believe I'd lose my credibility as a writer if I were to tell you in detail about our travels from Orlando to Houston to Seattle, for I was either sleeping, or just conscious enough to pull my suitcase and order a bagel from an airport cafe. I can report, however, that we did have one last delay (for old time's sake) when we waited for takeoff in Houston. The delay, I believe, was not unexpected. It wouldn't have felt right without it.
After we landed safely and sleeplessly in Seattle, we collected our luggage, boarded the very last bus of the tour, en route to Pacific Lutheran University. Also known as, home.
When we exited the bus, we were certainly grateful to be heading back to our own beds, our own rooms, and perhaps to some solitude, after being around each other essentially 24/7. I believe that there was also a little bit of bittersweetness, though, as there is with the ending of any good journey. Certainly, our tour was not seamless. There were many frustrations and mishaps along the way, though I'm confident nearly all of them will translate into stories we'll enjoy telling and memories we'll keep sharing. And as we learned at the beginning of our travels, music does not have to be perfect to be meaningful, and felt, and valued, and loved. I think the very same truth goes for choir tours.