The sun beat down mercilessly on the convertible’s cherry red paint as we cruised on the open road, the wind tousling our hair. With my trusty camcorder in hand, I turned to Abby, her vibrant energy infectious under the scorching sun. “Guess where we’re going?” I prompt, as I aim the camera her way.

Abby’s eyes sparkles with excitement as she ponders for a moment, then exclaims, “Disney?”

A grin spread across my face as I nodded in affirmation. “You nailed it, babe,” I reply as I capture her jubilant reaction on film.

As we cruise a few more miles down the road, I glance over at the sprawling landscape ahead, then back at Abby, who’s still beaming with excitement. “The happiest place on Earth, they say. I’ve always thought it looked more like a corporate dystopia, but what do I know?”

How does this girl look even cuter frowning than she does smiling?

“What’s a dys…what’s that? Is that like a word for when you don’t like Disney or whatever?”

Oh, yeah. I forgot. Rich blonde girl from Malibu. No big words.

“Something like that, honey. Nevermind.”

Abby’s laughter rings out, her joy infectious even as she leans back in her seat. “The happiest I ever was,” she begins. “was when I met you.” She pauses, a playful twinkle in her eye. “A close second was when I was almost nominated for a Kid’s Choice Award, though.” 

Abby’s excitement bubbles over as she launches into a ramble about her almost-nomination for a Kid’s Choice Award. “It was for, like, this Nickelodeon original movie that I did back in the day?” she begins. “I play this spunky sidekick to the main character.” She giggles. “But imagine, Pookie,” she continues, her voice tinged with a hint of dreaminess. “If I had been nominated for that Kid’s Choice Award, I’d be one step closer to achieving the ultimate dream…” Her breath catches in her throat in a gasp. “…an EGOT.” 

I raise an eyebrow, a hint of amusement flickering in my eyes as I cautiously ask, “Honey, what do you think an EGOT is?” My tone is gentle.

As a motorcyclist zooms past us, I can’t help but grumble internally. “Hey, watch it, pal! I just got this detailed! You’re gonna scratch the paint! You break it, you buy it, buddy!” The nerve of some people risking damage to a perfectly good convertible. But before I can voice my irritation to Abby…. “Huh, what is an EPCOT?” she yells back, oblivious to my muttered frustration.

“EPCOT? Oh, it’s this theme park,” Abby exclaims, her voice rising above the motorcycle’s roar. “It’s, like, totally ‘avant-garde’, and get this, it’s shaped like a golf ball!” She grins. “I know you’re upset that you weren’t invited to that celebrity golf tournament, but hey, remember that basketball player we met in San Francisco? He totally won it!” Her enthusiasm peaks as she suddenly realizes, “OH?! Are we going to EPCOT?”  

“Yeah, sure, honey,” 

….Wait.

 …Shit.

Allen, you freaking idiot! EPCOT isn’t in California—it’s in Walt Disney World, in FLORIDA! 

Panic sets in as I mentally shout to myself, “No no no no!” I force a fake grin, unwilling to ruin Abby’s excitement. With a heavy heart, I make a swift turn on the road, silently cursing my forgetfulness, and begin heading in the opposite direction, hoping to salvage the day with a new adventure.