I recently spent some time in Orlando, home of the Floridian Mickey Mouse, alligators, tourists paying money to hang out with the famous mouse and to watch alligators, and, last but not least, the largest McDonald’s in the world. That McDonald’s proudly served 100 billion customers on the night I went there with my family a few years ago. Or so it seemed.
On this business trip — side note: Writing about the Utah Jazz sounds much more official and important if I call road games “business trips” — I didn’t have time to frequent any of the local hot spots or tourist traps. I did make time between my job responsibilities, however, to drive out into the Magic City suburbs to visit the LDS temple in a town called Windermere.
It was well worth my time, which, by the way, seems to be the theme of the Bon Jody Temple Tour that I’m doing while traveling around the country to write about the Utah Jazz this NBA season.
You know that feeling of excitement you get when you enter Disneyland or Disney World and see the big Sleeping Beauty castle?
On a spiritual level, I experience a similar feeling when I’m driving around cities and see the Angel Moroni statue and temple spire towering above the trees.
The sight simply warms my heart.
Seeing a temple near palm trees adds another dimension of warmth to my heart, by the way.
Walking around the Orlando temple grounds on this mild afternoon offered serenity to my soul. The lush, green landscape, gentle fountains and wildlife (lizards and a funky crane!) beautifully complemented this appealing sacred building.
Selfies aside, almost every picture I took seemed like it could be on a postcard.
Even taking a selfie provided a nice moment. As I stood in front of the temple and pointed my camera at myself and the pillared entryway, a kind woman walked by, smiled and said, “Isn’t it nice to be able to take a picture in front of the temple?”
It’s really nice. I wish I would’ve thought of doing this temple tour years ago. It gives my business trips more meaningful purpose. It leads me to non-touristy places worth visiting. And while billions aren’t being served at these temples like at that monstrous McDonald’s, people are being served. That’s also really nice.
It’s always fun to go to the Magic Kingdom. No offense to Mickey, Goofy and Darth Vader, but on this day in Orlando, I was plenty happy to visit a spiritual kingdom instead.