Fun in the Sun

April 30, 2010
Ryan Howard stepped off of the bus. He stretched his arms wide and walked around, awakening his sleeping legs. They'd finally made it, after hours of riding on the bus they were in Florida. The band Disney trip was now in full swing.

Ryan looked around, it was humid here. Nothing like the snowy, freezing Michigan weather they'd just left behind. He smiled as he saw the palm trees swaying slightly in the breeze.

They were so privileged to be able to march in the parade. After countless run-throughs of “You Can Call Me Al” the band was finally ready to play for thousands of people. Of course before that time came they were going to have some fun or so Ryan and his friends thought.

The first day they went to downtown Disney. Ryan and his friends explored the entirety of it, settling in the House of Blues to have a mediocre meal. Then it began to pour and the band returned to the hotel, ending their first day in Disney quite nicely.

Thanksgiving Day came around and the group headed to Universal's theme park. Ryan went with his friends Collin and Mario to a few places. The day stayed uneventful up until the end. Everyone was leaving and it seemed in such a hurry.

At first Ryan assumed it was because everyone was anxious to eat at the Hard Rock, but was soon informed otherwise. One of the chaperones informed him that two of the band members were caught shop lifting. She told Ryan that he should probably call his mom and tell her what happened.

The restaurant seemed on edge the entire time the band was there. There were whispers throughout the building of assumptions and guesses of who did it. By the end everyone seemed to agree that it was Aaron and Martin, two people that Ryan knew fairly well.

He was infuriated by their outrageous act. The band director, Mr. Emrison, was in the middle of a hard time because his wife had breast cancer. He gave up his last Thanksgiving with her so that he could take the band to Disney. It was a sacrifice that, it seemed, everyone was taking for granted. Everything was going wrong so far, this was not the way that Mr. Emrison should have to end with.

Ryan wasn't able to eat the dinner because it just wouldn't go down. Instead he filled the time taking pictures of the rock memorabilia, marveling at the guitars of Tom Petty, Pete Townshend, and Richie Sambora.

Then the YMCA came on and the marching band danced around the restaurant. It was a night to remember in more than one way.

The march came around faster than expected. Mr. Emrison had us go through the song several times before we went out. He marched the band up to the gates and smiled. “You're ready,” he said to them.

Ryan stood in the front row, his trombone fixed in front of him. He smiled in confidence and then the gates opened up. Hundreds of people lined the sides of the road.

When the percussion started playing the smile faded. His feet forced themselves forward, toe up, roll through, Left right left right. The roll off started and Ryan snapped his trombone up. In seconds they were playing “You Can Call Me Al” better than they ever did before. The crowd started cheering as soon as they heard the song and Ryan's confidence was renewed.

The band stopped staring straight at the castle and began playing “The Phantom of the Opera.” Citizens from their small Michigan village were cheering and showing their dedication to the band and their respect for all who were in it. The march ended and the band all raced back just in time to see the fireworks. Ryan knew that it was over now, they had fun, but the trip was over.

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