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Old 03-16-2011, 07:01 PM   #1
veggiemama
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Talking Vegan mom takes on Disney..... Dec, 2011 PTR

ok, so it didn't take long. I've been reading a number of PTR's and following a few and now I am inspired to start one of my own.

So, let me introduce myself:

I'm L, I'm the mom, the planner (some say obsessive, I say thorough!), and I'm the vegan in the family, the only vegan in the family! I am 35 and teach piano and children's group music classes. I also play piano, study piano and basically imerse myself in the musical culture all around me. I am working on my ARCT in piano teaching and will be writing my harmony exam in a few weeks.

My hubby is J. He is a self-proclaimed, computer geek, and I love him to pieces We have been married for 18 years. He is also a musician, he plays guitar. He is in two bands and gets out to play a lot more than I do.

My oldest is B. She is 13 and is a joy to hang out with. She plays music, writes music and is starting to do more singing. She will be 14 when we go to WDW so it will be interesting to find out the new 'cool' teenager things to do there.

My son is JI. He is 11 and he was quick to tell me today that his birthday is coming soon..... August!! I think he is ready to be 12. He will be 'graduating' from elementary school this year and starting 'high' school next year. He will be in band and right now he is saying that he wants to play tuba! He is, of course, a musician as well. He plays piano, guitar and drums, and I have to admit that he is quite talented on the piano. It is a joy listening to him play.

So that's it, that's the 4 of us.

Time to go and teach, next up.... when we are going, and why and how!
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PTR 70th Birthday Celebration
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:29 AM   #2
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The how's and the why's and the When's

Finished my teaching last night and am prepping for all the teaching today, but thought I needed a break... it is 8 am already you know and I've been working for a couple of hours. What better way to take a break than right here.

So at this point it looks like we will be going to WDW Dec. 11-17. I am waiting to hear from our school division for when the high school band Christmas concert will be because we don't want to miss that. It will be JI's first concert and B will be playing in the regular band and the jazz band. So much prep goes into this for the kids it would be a shame to miss it, even for Disney!

We will not be staying on site. I would love to some day but right now staying off site is so much cheaper it means we can do more 'other' things. My parents have a time share condo and staying there for the week is so cheap that we would be crazy not to. Now I am crazy but my dh is not and I think that total immersion in disney culture would be too much for him. So we will stay off site and rent a car.

I am looking into our best flight time right now. We live in Canada so flights vary a lot! I have been checking into driving to Minneapolis and flying from there. I have heard rumors that if you drive to Minn and stay at certain hotels they will hold your car for you for the week and shuttle you to the airport and back again. We would just have to stay 2 night at the hotel, 1 night on the way there and 1 night on the way back. This appeals to me because when we went last time we had to leave our house at 2am! It was crazy, both kids got sick on the flights , they couldn't sleep and by the time we got to the condo in the afternoon they were wiped. I was so tired that I was cranky and irritable and it was not a good start to our first WDW trip. On top of that we had a layover in Minn, on the way down it was 2 hours and on the way home 3 1/2 hours. It was such a long, long day and I am hoping to avoid that this time.

So, I need to figure out what hotels in Minn cost, and what hotels offer the shuttle service and see if it works better cost wise. I'm pretty sure it will because flight from Minn to Florida are almost $300 cheaper per person then flights from Canada to Florida! That's a huge savings!! Even with dive time and staying in a hotel 2 nights I think we would come out ahead of the game.

This will probably be our last time going to WDW for a long time. Now, I could go every year but the kids and the hubby want to travel to more places than just Disney and since the kids are getting older and B will have a summer job soon I think our holiday's are going to change in the next little while. So I am going to make the most of this trip! Since we are not staying on site and have a car rental I am planning to do some other fun stuff during the week as well. My dd is really into space and space travel so we want to go to the Kennedy Space station. We are also planning to go to Sea World for a day, maybe 2. Then there is Cirque du Soliel, that is a must see and Downtown Disney which we never went to last time. My ds is a big video game fan and of course there is computer geek hubby so Disney Quest is high on their to do list. I'm sure B and I will join them but we really want to do some shopping so we may leave them there and shop.

I don't think we will have enough days to do all the things I want to do!
I'm sure we could spend 2 weeks there! I know I could!

Ok, time to go back to work. I am interviewing families this morning for new music classes and trying to set my schedule for next year already!

UP next...... Why are you a vegan and what pray tell do eat!!
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Old 03-17-2011, 12:27 PM   #3
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Hi L
I followed you over from Bo's PTR. It looks like We leave Disney the day before you get there. I hope your travel own works out great for you.

Bo and I are talking about taking a couples trip with our DH's in a few years, we are weighing our options of staying on porperty versus off property. My Dh and Bo's DH are probably alot like yours in the fact that being emmerserd in Disney 24/7 just might be a little bit too much for them, but yet we like the idea of kicking back on property and letting Disney take care of everything. It's years away so we have plenty of time to plan.

Have you ever been to Disney in December?

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Old 03-17-2011, 06:04 PM   #4
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Hi L

Have you ever been to Disney in December?


Nope, never been in December but I love, love LOVE Christmas and my dd does too so it was just a given that we would go during Christmas season.

I went out and bought a couple of books, just two, though I was tempted by so many more and of course, I had to buy the book that had the extra doo dad on it It came with a lug wallet to store our tickets and passports and all that fun stuff.
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Old 03-17-2011, 06:24 PM   #5
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Nope, never been in December but I love, love LOVE Christmas and my dd does too so it was just a given that we would go during Christmas season.

I went out and bought a couple of books, just two, though I was tempted by so many more and of course, I had to buy the book that had the extra doo dad on it It came with a lug wallet to store our tickets and passports and all that fun stuff.
You will love Disney in december. My last 3 trips were in December. It's just the right amount of Christmas mixed in with disney. I loved seeing the characters dressed for the holidays too.

Are you going to go to MVMCP?


I love looking through Disney books. I have the hidden Mickey book and Bo and I plan to put it to good use. I always forget to bring it, but Bo will make sure I have it this time.
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:51 PM   #6
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You will love Disney in december. My last 3 trips were in December. It's just the right amount of Christmas mixed in with disney. I loved seeing the characters dressed for the holidays too.

Are you going to go to MVMCP?


I love looking through Disney books. I have the hidden Mickey book and Bo and I plan to put it to good use. I always forget to bring it, but Bo will make sure I have it this time.
I can hardly wait! I know it will be fabulous. I knew from the last time we went that if we ever had the chance to go again it would be during Christmas season. I'm hoping (and through a ton of research I'm pretty sure) that it will not be overly busy during the week that we will be there.

Yes, we are going to MVMCP. So far I have not seen anything to suggest when tickets will go on sale but I will be waiting most impatiently by my computer and phone on the day that they do!

Seeing you and your sister buying books inspired me to buy a couple today as well.... only a couple I am hiding them in my room right now just waiting till the kids are at school tomorrow so that I can start reading!
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:24 PM   #7
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I am so jealous that you get to go for Christmas. I would love to go for Christmas but I can't justify taking off of school for a Disney Trip. Liam takes so much time of for medical reason, he can't miss any more. And I hear that Christmas Vacation time is just crazy. Oh well, hopefully one day.

I have also bought a couple of Disney books. Just 3, oh and the hidden mickey book as well. So that is actually 4.

Can't wait to read more.
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Old 03-17-2011, 11:49 PM   #8
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I can hardly wait! I know it will be fabulous. I knew from the last time we went that if we ever had the chance to go again it would be during Christmas season. I'm hoping (and through a ton of research I'm pretty sure) that it will not be overly busy during the week that we will be there.

Yes, we are going to MVMCP. So far I have not seen anything to suggest when tickets will go on sale but I will be waiting most impatiently by my computer and phone on the day that they do!

Seeing you and your sister buying books inspired me to buy a couple today as well.... only a couple I am hiding them in my room right now just waiting till the kids are at school tomorrow so that I can start reading!
Crowd wise you are going at a great time, I always go the first week of December so I have the parade taping at MK and the whole Pop Warner thing to contend with and even still the crowds aren't real bad, rope drop and fastpass can be a Disney tourists best friend too.

I love MVMCP. I am already excited to be at Disney during the holidays, but then throw in a christmas party and WOW! I can't even describe how great it is, you'll know what I'm trying to say once you've been, I am so excited for you.

Enjoy reading your Disney books. I read mine over and over, I could probably quote some if I had too.
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:39 AM   #9
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I am so jealous that you get to go for Christmas. I would love to go for Christmas but I can't justify taking off of school for a Disney Trip. Liam takes so much time of for medical reason, he can't miss any more. And I hear that Christmas Vacation time is just crazy. Oh well, hopefully one day.

I have also bought a couple of Disney books. Just 3, oh and the hidden mickey book as well. So that is actually 4.

Can't wait to read more.
We decided that there are just some things that take precedence over school. Vacations being one of them. Life experiences are not always able to be put into a specific time line for us and so we make the most of the times we have. Now, that's not to say that I'm not watching the school calendar I do try to plan around end of term time and concerts and band trips. This, for us, is one of those things that we will probably not do again for a long time so I decided not to concern myself with school times. The kids will have homework to do before we go and they keep journals and things like that during the time we are gone. I figure they are learning so much while we are gone that really, the week before Christmas in school where they do next to nothing, they are probably leaning more while we are gone! I try to involve them as much as possible in budgeting, calculating cost, determining where we go, how long it will take us, etc. etc.

That being said, there are many times that I choose not to go away and will wait for a holiday from school. I hope that you will be able to get away at Christmas sometime.
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:04 AM   #10
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Why are you a vegan and what the heck do you eat?!!

So the biggest question I get is Why would I become a vegan and what do you eat? The eating question seems to be the biggest one for others to understand.

So here is the why.... oh yeah, it's a long story

I have had health issues most of my life. Nothing super serious but enough to make me range from slightly ill to really sick. I struggled with eating disorders as a teen and young adult and thus really screwed up my system.
Then we had kids.... so now add weight gain and all that other fun stuff and my body said..... NO WAY! There was a period of time where we were not sure I was going to be able to carry to term and it took a lot of dietery help to get my body to be ok. So, we were blessed with 2 healthy children but I was not able to carry any more to term so after a few years we stopped trying. I love my kids to pieces, they are wonderful.

2 months after my ds was born I ended up in ER multiple times. I was having kidney problems and complications from delivery and a whole bunch of fun stuff. Eventually they figured out that I also had gallstones. Being in Canada has its advantages but trying to get surgery done is a long process. I started researching how to manage gall stones because there was no set date to have surgery done. I started eliminating almost all food from my diet it seemed. No white flour, potatoes or rice, no meat, no fatty foods, no dairy.... I got to the point where I felt like there was NOTHING I COULD eat! But on the up side, I was able to stop the gallstone attacks. I lost a TON of weight (85pds) and felt great.... other than the attacks that I would have a few times a month. I thought great, I will be fine.... but oh no, 2 years after the diagnosis I ended up in ER again and again and again and finally it got to the point where there was a blockage and they had to do an emergency removal.

So then I felt better and thought great, I can put some of those 'forbidden' foods back in my diet. BIG MISTAKE!! I ended up gaining a lot of weight back again (of course!) and started to get sick.... again!! This was when I started researching naturalpathic remedies and alternative health. Needless to say I spent hours upon hours figuring out what was wrong and what to do about it. I decided at that point that living vegan was a better life choice for me. So many foods make me sick and I just wanted to be healthy.

Jump ahead 1 more year, Sick again!! Now my Dr. sends me for allergy testing.... 2 weeks before I go for testing I end up in ER in anaphalatic shock. NO idea why! I spend 3 days in the hospital and after testing, testing and more testing the only thing they can come up with is that I'm healthy! Sure..... that's what I thought! (insert sarcasm here!) I went to allergy testing after that and they found dairy and egg allergy. So no more of that stuff for me! They did a bunch of test and lots of talking and finally figured out that I have chemical allergies with the biggest, scariest one being to Malathian (what they use to spray for mosquitoes) So now I have an epi and an inhaler. Fun, fun, fun!!

Oh yes, and let's not forget that 6 months after this I slipped on my stairs in my house and fractured my spine!!! OUCH!! I spend almost 8 months in bed and of course, gained weight!! Sheesh! That was 6 years ago and slowly but surely things are getting better. I did a lot of nerve damage and have problems with numbness and tingling but I don't let that stop me anymore! It seems so minor in the grand scheme of things.

Goodness, i sound like a walking medical problem, don't I! Really, I am doing very well. I have weight to lose but it is a very slow process. I have to be careful what I eat but I love to cook and so it is amazing what kinds of things I can find and make for myself.

Up next, what I eat and what I eat at WDW......
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PTR 70th Birthday Celebration
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:18 AM   #11
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I haven't done the picture thing yet... let's see if I can get this to work.

This is me on our first trip in 2008.....


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Old 03-18-2011, 12:32 PM   #12
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Aaaahhhh, a day off. I love my Friday's. I purposely do not schedule any students or classes on Fridays. I work my but off the other days of the week but Friday is all mine. Though, I do use Friday's as a make up lesson day for students but I only take 2 students.... no way am I teaching late into Friday night.

Had to go and get x-rays done this morning. I compressed a nerve in my neck about 2 weeks ago and they are checking things.... what things, I don't know exactly, maybe I should pay more attention I just go where they tell me. Later today I should hear what the x-rays show, I don't think it will be anything serious though.

So back to my story.....

I make almost all of my own food from scratch. It amazes me just how much 'high fat' food I can still work into my diet though Most of my diet consists of fruit and veggies and then I add in legumes, tofu, tempeh and occasionally seiten. I eat nothing 'white' no white bread, rice, potatoes. I make my own multi grain bread, make my own whole wheat pasta and eat yams... which taste soooo much better than regular potatoes. I love to cook and I love to bake and so I spend a lot of time doing that. I make lots of muffins and granola, breads and desserts and I make stuff that people swear are not vegan. (mwa, ha, ha - evil laugh!) But vegan does not mean low fat always So I am still overweight and am now working on eliminating certain fats so that I can lose weight once again.

When we went to WDW in 2008 I made sure to make ADR's for one restaurant per day that we were in the parks. We stayed in a condo so I could eat breakfast there and we ate dinner there a few times as well. By making ADR's I was able to let them know that I was vegan with a dairy and egg allergy. I then called each of the restaurant's a week before we left and talked to the chef. Wonderful, wonderful people!! They asked about my favorite foods and stuff like that and I felt so good knowing that I was going to be able to get a well balanced meal every day.

My favorite meal was from Liberty Tree. Oh my was it good!


When we go there, the chef came out to meet me and we talked for a bit. It was soooo good and soooo filling. Best meal!!

Least favorite was at Tony's Town Square. It was basically just a rice pasta with marinara and veggies. It wasn't that it was bad, it was just bland. There were really no spices and or anything to make it stand out and I felt I paid an awful lot for a meal that I could easily make at home. I didn't even take a picture of it because it really wasn't worth it.

So, I went through my pics and I only found one food pic. Not sure what I did with them? I hope they show up.

At AK we went to Rainforest Cafe and I had a decent veggie and mushroom burger. We went back to the condo for dinner that night and we made a huge stir fry with quinoa and baked apples. Yum!

Epcot... another disappointment. We ate ( oh dear, I can't even remember the name of the place) at a Chinese place. Usually I can get great food at Chinese restaurants because they use so many veggies but this one was mostly deep fried and breaded stuff. Good thing I keep protein bars on me cause I definitely needed one that day.

Hollywood Studio: We only did counter service that day.

Mostly at counter services I was able to get veggie wraps or veggie burgers. They did the job but were not overly filling. I found I ate a lot of fruit during the day and I was able to eat pretzels as well, plain ones are vegan. But because they are made from white flour I had to be careful.

I have problems with regular tap water so the first day I toted all my own water through the park.... HEAVY The next day I filled my water up at the park. Unfortunetly I got pretty sick by the end of the week. Partly from the water and I'm sure some of it was from bread choices (or lack of choices!) By the time we got home I was very sick and spent 2 days in ER. Thankfully I was mostly just dehydrated so I was back on my feet quickly.

All in all, it wasn't bad for a first time. I will have to figure out what to do about the water issue and I have been talking with my holistic Dr about detox items I can use while away to minimize the effect on my system. I will have to do a detox before and after as well to really stay healthy.

I am checking out menus and reataurants already and starting to make a list of places that look promising.

There are a few: AKL seems to have some great restaurants that would be able to adapt a menu for me

and at AK: Yak and Yeti or Tusker house sound like really good places to go. Not sure which one I want to go to yet though because we will only be there one day so I can only go to one place.

Hollywood: I am leaning towards the sci-fi diner. Menu looks promising there and I think the family would enjoy the ambiance. Though dh did mention wanting to go to the 50's diner. I would need to talk with them though because looking at the menu, it is not vegan friendly at all!

Don't know where we will go at MK. I'm tempted, of course to go back to Liberty but I would also like to try something new. Guess it will depend on if we are going 1 or 2 days to MK.
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:46 AM   #13
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WOW! So many things I'd like to quote... tooo many things really. Kudos For being so proactive about your health! So many people want a quick fix; I think for the most part we've gotten lazy and just don't want to put forth the effort. we'll be leaving as you all are coming to disney...are you and your family at all interested in the Disney version of "american idol?" I bet your DD would rock the stage!
I am not completely crazy...maybe a little strange, but what's your blood type? I would bet you're an A.
What type of exercise do you do? you're story has inspired me...looking forward to your meals etc...and I love, love, love that you are still living life with Gusto! Good luck to you and yours.
Looking forward to more!is this popcorn airpopped?
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:47 PM   #14
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I have problems with regular tap water so the first day I toted all my own water through the park.... HEAVY The next day I filled my water up at the park. Unfortunetly I got pretty sick by the end of the week. Partly from the water and I'm sure some of it was from bread choices (or lack of choices!) By the time we got home I was very sick and spent 2 days in ER. Thankfully I was mostly just dehydrated so I was back on my feet quickly.
Sorry to hear that you have such a bad reaction to the water in WDW - the stuff from the water fountains can be pretty disgusting for everyone

Have you thought about buying bottled water in the parks? It's probably a bit more expensive than bringing your own, but it means you can just buy it as and when you need it along rather than carrying it all day
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:51 PM   #15
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joining in!

Looks like our dates might overlap.

On driving to Minneapolis and staying at a hotel to leave your car, We did something similar here in order to park our car. It made more sense of us to drive and stay the night in a hotel. That way, we were able to use their parking lot and shuttle to the airport. It was a great option for us and one I would do again if we were flying out early since we live an hour or so away from the airport.
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