Last week my little family went to Disney World. Many people might think Chelsea and I are crazy for taking our almost nine month old daughter on such a high profile vacation. Let’s be honest, this trip wasn’t really for Violet. It was a family vacation. A getaway from winter and the hustle and bustle of our daily routine. Really, it was a celebration of where we’ve been and where we are going. Chelsea works very hard at her job and has been very successful. If you’ve spent any time with me at all you understand that the reason I’m able to do this whole running store gig is because of Chelsea and her incredible work ethic. She supports our family both finically and with her great benefits package through work. Her one major stipulation is that I have to absolutely love my job. I can tell you that seeing all of the amazing things that have happened in our community as a result of our running store I’m very confident that I love my job.
So let’s talk about the happiest place on earth. Chelsea is what you’d call a Disney pro. She has learned the ins-and-outs of fast passes, the dinning plan and booking reservations. If you’ve done Disney you know exactly what all of the lingo means. In Disney World the magic happens within the planning. Chelsea is a fantastic planner and the programs and technology that the Mouse has created fit right into her strengths as a planner. Yes, there are a lot of people in Disney at any given time. Yes, there are moments where you might have to wait in a line or wait for a bus, but those things can all be managed with successful planning.
Our trip was heavy on experiences versus thrill rides and attractions. In Disney you can have both, which is one of the reasons we like to go there. Because we traveled with a nine month old baby we really enjoyed things like meeting characters, taking in live action performances and trying unique food we wouldn’t normally eat. We didn’t spend a lot of time trying to get on the major rides (I did manage to sneak onto a few of the big roller coasters) or exploring the brand new park attractions. Our trip was defined by time spent together with family.
Dads and their daughters are a very special thing. We are a Belle house. Chelsea’s Dad gave her the nickname Belle as a kid and this has remained a special connection to this day. Parent’s reading this understand. So when we dressed Violet up in a Belle costume to go to a special breakfast with princesses I was simply going with the flow. As the morning progressed and the big moment came to meet Belle with our five year old niece, two year old nephew and baby Violet I found myself being sprinkled with a little of that Disney magic. You see Violet fell asleep in my arms. Had she been awake she could have done all of the “interacting” with Belle and I could smile and be outside of the experience looking in. Right where I was perfectly comfortable. That was not the case and this Princess was a pro. You see Chelsea was swept up with our five year old and so there I was holding a baby dressed like Belle, talking to Belle.
She smiled and gushed at Violet, “Oh look at your little Teacup! I love her dress!”
I was done for. Did you just call my little girl a Teacup! Ugh … damn you and your Disney Magic. I didn’t cry, but I could have. It was a truly special moment that I will not soon forget. And that is why we go to Disney. The service is exceptional at every single level of your experience. On my travels to the Disney World I’ve found myself emphatically saying thank you over-and-over again to the cast members. I value great customer service. This brings me back to loving my job and the mission of our store. I’ve assigned the book, “Be Our Guest” by Theodore Kinni to multiple members of my staff. We strive to serve our clients at every single level of the running shop experience. We want a trip to our shop to be just as magical as a fictional Princess telling a 33 year old new Dad that he has a lovely little Teacup for a daughter.
Greg Koch is the Co-Owner and General Manager of 605 Running Company and Co-Produces the Sioux Falls Skedaddle Half Marathon. He serves on the Board of Directors for Downtown Sioux Falls, the 605 Race Crew and the Sioux Falls Area Running Club. When Greg isn’t with his family or working he enjoys being outside biking, kayaking, golfing or playing church softball.
YouTube: 605 Running Company
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