As I mentioned in my last post, we spent the week of December 15th in Disney World. I have always wanted to go there during the Christmas season and this seemed a good year to cross that item off the bucket list.
I had two reasons for going (well, outside of the fact that the whole family just loves Disney).
First was the need for a distraction during the holiday season, our first without my Mom. It certainly was a great distraction and really got all of us in the holiday season. There were many times during the trip, though, that I thought “I can’t wait to tell Mom about this!” I just kept telling myself that she was there with me and knew all about what we were doing. It was sad not having her to share photos and stories with when we returned, but for the most part, the diversion worked.
The second reason I wanted to go was to disassociate Disney with my cancer. As many of you will remember, we were in Disney World in 2012 when I received the call that my biopsy showed I did have cancer. We were walking through EPCOT, approaching China on our way to eat lunch. My phone buzzed in my pocket and I knew who it was and what she would say. I remember the doctor giving me a boatload of information, as I stood there waiting to hear the dreaded words: Invasive Lobular Carcinoma. Poorly differentiated. At least 1″ in size. Appointment scheduled with surgeon…. The time and placed is still etched in my brain. We walked to the restaurant and David and I sat at a table in “China” trying to Google everything we could on our smart phones, as we tried to shield the kids (especially Ethan) from the news. I made sure the news didn’t ruin the rest of our vacation, but I was anxious to get back to that spot and have a wonderful experience.
Below is the picture that David took of me in the spot where I first received that phone call. It felt good to be there –healthy, cancer-free, and full of life and energy! What a difference two years can make.
Throughout the trip I was continually amazed with my energy levels. Pretty much every day was a marathon day — 12 to 15 hours in the parks. Disney is an exhausting vacation, to be sure, but I couldn’t believe that I didn’t need/want to go take an afternoon nap. I wasn’t tired from all the walking and I was still raring to go when midnight came.
I credit these energy levels to my whole food plant based diet. You may wonder how said diet fared while on vacation! I was actually quite pleased with the options that were available. While not necessarily “McDougall compliant” (primarily in regards to added oil), I was able to enjoy some delicious vegetarian food everywhere we went (and I did have fish & seafood a few times). Some of the highlights:
- Ratatouille at Be Our Guest restaurant in Magic Kingdom.Thinly sliced roasted vegetables served over quinoa. I’ve never eaten this dish before, but it was fabulous! Whoever said food can’t be healthy AND delicious?!
- Roasted veggies wrap with cous cous in Animal Kingdom. Yum!
- Mexican salad with corn, black beans and guacamole in EPCOT.
As I mentioned, I did have fish… not the healthiest, but wonderful fish and chips in “England”, incredible Tandoori shrimp at Sanaa at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, and the best crab cakes I’ve had in ages at the Captain’s Grill at the Yacht Club. I also enjoyed my fair share of amazing desserts, but luckily, we offset it all with 20,000 steps a day. I managed to only gain 0.5 pound during the week.
It was a dream trip and everyone had a great time. We got to really enjoy all of the Disney magic at Christmas including Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, the Candlelight Procession at EPCOT, and the Osborne Family Christmas Lights. It truly was magical in so many ways!
IMDb: One Magic Christmas (1985)