First off, I live in Alberta, Canada, while Becca lives in Florida, USA. As you can imagine, our friendship had been almost 100% online.
In 2007, team Ackerman decided to take the family to Orlando for a week at Disney World. As fate would have it, Becca lives 2 hours from Orlando and so agreed to pop up for a visit. We decided to spend the day in the Magic Kingdom.
Talk about EPIC.
Well, let me tell you, I was pretty jazzed about meeting her for reals. I'd seen a pic of her and she looked fairly normal. You know, she had hair and there was no extra head growing out of her armpit or anything. She told me she'd wear a red shirt and I said I'd wear a teal one. We'd meet near the castle at x o'clock. Easy peasy, right?
Of course, as my family packed ourselves into the minivan for the drive to Disney, I started thinking about how frigging huge Cinderella's castle was. And how I looked at Becca's picture for all of 9 seconds--could I really be sure she didn't have a head growing out of her armpit? I mean, maybe I missed it. That time of year, 30K worth of visitors hit the gates every day.
Then, to add to the fun times, I realized I'd forgotten her cell # at the hotel. Smart, Angela...smart.
As we deliberated on which way to reach Magic Kingdom (you can take 1 of 3 double-decker ferries, or take the rail tube system, I'll admit, I WAS STARTING TO PANIC. I envisioned a day of us waiting in different parts of the castle, missing each other completely. So, I grabbed a flyer from an info booth and started to write Becca's name in BIG, BLOCKY LETTERS so I could hold it up all dork-like. Maybe it would help. Maybe.
We chose a ferry as our mode of travel, along with about 300 other people. My family and I were herded to the front (did I mention I had my inlaws along?) and I was all smiles, trying to not hyperventilate over this disaster about to unfold. Crying kids at having to wait at a castle instead of exploring MK. Disapproving inlaws at my poor planning skills. Becca, frustrated, coming all this way and thinking I was a no show.
Then it happened.
I looked over at the other side of the ferry and perched at the end of a bench was a familiar-looking woman. She had a red shirt, hair, and no extra appendage growing out of her armpit. Becca.
Yep, 30K of park visitors, 4 different choices for getting to Magic Kingdom...and Becca and I ended up 6 feet from one another, on the same freaking ferry. If that isn't Fate, I don't know what is.