Or at least it felt like summer, with 90 degree temperatures the first few days. After that, it was a glorious 60 to 70 degrees! Florida in November is a disorienting place when it’s snowing back home in Pennsylvania.
Our trip to Disney World was wonderful, and so many things went smoothly, which is an especial comfort to an anxious person. Boarding our cats at our vet’s office for the first time was great. Both of our flights were easy. I tend to get sick immediately after a flight, and I didn’t! We stayed at Disney’s Allstar Movies Resort, our first experience at one of their inexpensive budget resorts. Let me tell you, it was every bit as nice as the mid level resort we’ve stayed at in the past, and it’s where we want to stay from now on. Nothing about Allstar Movies felt “budget.” And our room was in the quiet area, away from the loud pool and main buildings. Perfect!
While there were certainly highs on vacation, I had low moments too. I’m not going to share details, but we’ll leave it at a bad experience. I looked at it as an opportunity to put the skills I learn in therapy into practice, and I pulled myself together. I reached out to a couple of my closest friends for support, and W took care of me. I don’t usually feel proud of myself for very much, but I’m damn proud and thankful for being able to continue enjoying all the fun things we had planned.
Speaking of taking care of ourselves, we brought extra treat-yo-self-care items with us to make our room homey. The white noise machine from our bedroom, bath bombs, sheet masks, and things like cough drops in case I did get sick. We ended up using pretty much all of it, both when I felt anxious and when I didn’t. Usually I try to only have a carry on bag when I travel, but I checked a bag so I could bring more. I regret nothing! All hail choosing to be high maintenance and embracing it!
Enough about that. LET’S TALK ABOUT THE FOOD. W and I had some of the best food we’ve ever eaten on this trip. No exaggeration. We used a Disney meal plan and ate very expensive meals that we would never have splurged on otherwise. Saving with the budget resort definitely made this choice possible for us, and we plan on doing it again!
In the Mexico Pavilion of Epcot, there is life-changing queso fundido. In the Japan Pavilion, I had scallops on top of sushi. Our French waiter at the Be Our Guest restaurant kept bringing me more freshly-baked-on-the-premises gluten-free dinner rolls and called me “my lady” so many times that I am now used to it and demand to be addressed as such.
Dinner at the Hollywood Brown Derby in Hollywood Studios was our favorite night. We both tried Manhattans for the first time (spoiler alert: way more alcohol in those than we knew, hijinks ensued), and I had an amazing salad starter. An amazing salad! I know! It had radishes that look like tiny watermelons and fancy pears and a cheese I can’t pronounce and other delicious things I can’t identify. I had a bowl of pho pho the first time (see what I did there). And I had two mini desserts: a cappuccino brûlée and chocolate mousse. I am ruined for all other food, and that’s a fact.
We had plenty of snacks as we walked around the parks too. Frozen lemonade was great on the hottest day. I ate a large Rice Krispie treat, covered in white chocolate and shaped like a Porg. With a Porg face and everything. He died head first, with a horrified W looking on. Yum yum yum yum. In the Magic Kingdom, W tried his first Dole whip and solemnly agreed with me that they are highly overrated garbage. As is right.
The most wonderful thing about our trip was by far how above and beyond restaurants went to make me feel at home. I was able to try things I’d normally be nervous to order, because of chefs coming to talk to me and making special items. I didn’t go without dessert or dinner bread once. If you’re in a position like mine with allergies and an autoimmune disorder, you understand how comforting eating out with confidence can feel. We can’t wait to come back for this very reason.