Vegan Disney World 2017

I’ve posted about dining at Disney World as a vegan before, but if you are a Disney fan you know that the menus change often. So, it seemed like a good time for a new post! We were in Disney this week, traveling with 3 vegans and 5 omnivores. Good times and good food were had by all!

Day 1 – We arrived in Orlando and took a side trip to Disney Springs (previously Downtown Disney), where we stopped at Erin McKenna’s bakery and had some soft serve.

We got a pineapple upside down cake and a donut for later (meant to be coffee cake but there was a communication breakdown). The pineapple upside down cake was amazing!

After settling in we met up at Boma. We have had good Boma experiences in the past, but this wasn’t the best. The restaurant was packed (it was the night before the marathon, a Saturday, and really cold out). When the chef came out to explain to us what the vegans could eat, he was clearly not pleased about it. He walked us through the buffet, pointed out things we could eat, noted things that could be made more vegan friendly (i.e. the pasta sauce with meatballs) but didn’t say how to make that happen, explained that there was not dessert, and then said “will that do?” Being friendly, we said sure and made the best of it. Later, he did come out with a bowl of a nice vegetable curry. Sadly, after a 16 hour drive we were all a bit brain addled and we forgot to take a picture of that dinner. We would probably still give Boma a good overall review if you like buffets.

Day 2 – We had intended to go to the parks, but it was very chilly, so we decided to tour Disney Springs and catch a movie. We saw Moana and ate way too much popcorn. If you haven’t seen Moana, you should!

Day 3 – We got an early start at Animal Kingdom. After some trips on Everest, a nice safari ride, a little Lion King, some Bugs Life, etc., we dropped by Tusker House for lunch. We were a little alarmed by the check ($50 each for lunch is steep!) but the food was excellent. While the chef here visibly rolled his eyes at the start, he warmed up while showing us the items and the selections were plentiful and delicious. There were even cookies for dessert.

Since Animal Kingdom is usually a pretty quick day for us, some of the group also dropped in at Epcot for a few rides in the evening.

Day 4 – Hollywood Studios was on the agenda for day 4. We mostly enjoy this park for Rock n Rollercoaster, Tower of Terror, Toy Story Mania, The Great Movie Ride, and Muppets 3D. For this trip, we decided not to eat in the park (though some pickles and other snacks were had) and instead saved our hunger for the day’s dinner.

Dinner was at Trail’s End restaurant in Fort Wilderness. GPS in both cars took us the wrong way, so getting there was rather an adventure. Once you arrive, finding the restaurant is also a challenge and weirdly the signage is lacking (unusual at Disney). But, the restaurant was kitschy country with good food for the omnivores and AND the amazing and fabulously kind Chef TJ!!!!  If you haven’t heard of Chef TJ, he is a Disney chef known for his kind and generous treatment of those with special dietary needs. We were on pins and needles waiting to see if he was actually there. And then, good news, he was! He came out and chatted with us, and then the feast began.

There were several courses including samosas, nachos, a wonderful cream of broccoli soup (not pictured here), a beautiful and delicious entree with tofu and vegetables, and a dessert that was a tower of fried goodness and fruit. Mmmmm….

We practically had to roll back to our car (with takeout boxes).

Day 5 – Our full Magic Kingdom day was Day 5. We had fun trying to do the rides in a different order (not beginning with Space Mountain as we usually do), and then went to the Liberty Tree Tavern for lunch. In the past, we have had some delicious vegan burgers and sandwiches at the Liberty Tree, but all of that is now off the menu. We were presented with an allergy menu that had no vegan items, so the chef came over and offered a pasta dish with vegetables and marinara sauce. It was quite good and we had some fries as an appetizer because… fries.

For dessert, we had a Dole Whip for the first time.

We only recently were told these were vegan and we hope that is correct. They were quite delicious!

Day 6 – Off to Epcot at the start of the day! It was a little crowded due to early magic hours, but we still managed to see all of the attractions we hoped before our lunch reservation at Teppan Edo in the Japan pavilion. Teppan Edo is a hibachi-style restaurant. With a group of 8, we just fit at a table. Everyone was pretty happy with the offerings, which included a vegetable and tofu plate (made without butter and substituting white rice for the beef rice). Our chef was a woman, which was new to all of us for hibachi, and she did a wonderful job with the preparation.

After lunch and some tooling around in world showcase, some delicious margaritas from La Cava del Tequila. This little tequila bar used to be an unknown treasure in the Mexico pavilion. Now it’s a known treasure. The handmade and delicious (no sour mix!) margaritas here are not inexpensive, but they are very good. We sampled the Minty Pineapple, the Dragones Top Shelf, the Jalapeño, and the Guava, and all were pronounced good. Somehow, we also ended up eating guacamole and chips….
What can  you do?

Day 7 – The last day is always our “parks du jour” day. This trip, we started in Epcot in the morning, where we got to experience Soarin’ two more times, Test Track, the new Pixar Film Festival attraction (very cute), Journey into Imagination, and then headed over to the World Showcase where the International Festival of the Arts was happening. We wandered, saw some art, drank some beer and ate some “chips” in England.

Then, we moved over to Magic Kingdom for another trip on Space Mountain, a visit to the Carousel of Progress and the Hall of Presidents, a Mickey Pretzel, and some Tofutti on Main St.

It turned out to be a very rainy evening, so we called it a day a little earlier than planned and headed back to start the packing.

All in all, it was a week of delicious food and we are all happy that we walked many miles to counteract everything we ate!

Catnip Tea (for Cats)

Bored? Need a crazy cat to entertain you? Look no further!


Make this catnip tea and serve to your feline for an unforgettable experience.

Fill a tea bag or coffee filter full of catnip and secure it closed. Bring water to a boil

Grab a cup or container and put the bag full of catnip into it

Pour the water over top of the bag and steep for 5-15 minutes. (The more time you leave it in for the stronger the tea will be.)

Remove the bag

Place container into fridge until cool

Serve in your cats favorite dish

(If you want to add a bonus you can add some more nip on the surface of the tea)


Charlie approved!

Organizing My 2016 – Back to the Future with a Paper Planner

I’m an early adapter of technology. I love gadgets (see Apple watch on wrist). So, I’ve tried quite a few programs to do my to-do lists, brainstorming notes, etc., as well as calendaring and address book. It has worked well for addresses and calendar (which would be perfect if Exchange would play more nicely with iCal). But, for to-do lists, note making, and general planning, I haven’t come up with something that really works. What I want, ideally, is to keep track of what I need to do, but reduce the amount of needless fretting and spinning in circles. Additionally, taking notes on my iPad works well for group meetings, but for one on one meetings or small groups, I feel like a bit of a jerk doing that.

So, I’m moving back to paper for some things. I got a personal Filofax for Christmas and set about organizing it. I think I have it just about where I want it now. I’m sharing with you here to get any ideas you have on how you organize to get things done!

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The Filofax that the Mr. got me is this red Saffiano beauty. And I’ve set up an adorable dashboard page (the post-it is just over my name) to go along with the pretty cover. Since the dashboard is laminated, I’m using the back of it to hold post-it notes and flags.

IMG_2176Behind the front dashboard is a section to capture random jottings that I need to file away later. I also have been sticking post-its that I write when I’m away from my planner to this section until I get them settled.

And then is the section that will likely be the heart of the planner for me, the to-do area. This section planner page (and all of the others, as well as the bookmarks) is laminated for sturdiness. I’m using some principles of the Getting Things Done strategy currently and have categorized the to-do lists by where I need to be to do them (@home,@work, @phone, @computer, @car). This section also includes a list of major projects going on, and a list of things I need to delegate to others.

I’m still working out in my mind the very best way to organize the to-do lists, and even simple things like whether I want to cross things out or check them off. I saw a system today that used 4 boxes for urgent/important, urgent/unimportant, non-urgent/important, non-urgent/unimportant (or something like that). That also seemed sensible to me, because my long lists don’t have much in the way of prioritization going on.

3865E74F-1D09-4B50-98C1-6BDAD962457DFollowing that part of the planner, I have an area devoted to lists of things that are not exactly to-dos, but still take a list form. I am a list maker from way back, so this section will also get quite a bit of use. Because I’ve been searching for the right way to take lists with the phone or the computer, my list making has been a little bit random of late, so hopefully this will help me get back into using them effectively.

To make it easer to find things within it, I have added bookmarks for meeting plans (items I want to include on agendas), waiting for (things I delegated and now am awaiting), someday maybe (things I would like to do eventually, but they haven’t really made it to the to-do list level yet, and shopping (no picture, but it’s a red-checked tablecloth pattern). Within each of these areas, I am expecting there to be multiple pages related to different contexts (like work, home, etc.), but I am planning on letting that evolve on its own as time passes.

Then comes a short section for notes. I suspect that I will end up taking most of my notes in a larger Daytimer that just has notepaper in it currently. It’s a bigger area for note taking and provides more room for storage. I have tried moleskins for note-taking in the past, but the binding tends to get in my way.

Then there is a section for jotting down media that I want to read/watch/listen to, purchase, or review. And the last section that I added is for records related to whatever. This might be receipts, expenditures, etc. I’m not quite sure yet.

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The calendar pages follow. I’m mostly using them to jot notes of things that I want to do on specific days that I don’t have in the electronic calendar, or things I need to add to the electronic calendar. These pages will likely evolve and may end up as meal planning pages or an exercise diary. I’m just not sure. To reduce space needs, I just have the first 3 months of the year in the calendar for now.

I then have six dividers for the six most important or complex projects that I have going on at any one time. They are listed and numbered in the To Do section, but I have the breakdowns of what each project includes and additional notes in these sections.

IMG_2184 IMG_2185At the back, I’ve added a cute folder page and a binder clip to hold an additional pencil, since the planner only has one pen loop. While the folder page is cute, it’s a bit of a space suck because it is card stock on top of manila folder paper, so that may have to come out.

And then there is a notepad of paper. That was there to start with, so it remains for now.

So, that’s what it looks like right now. I would imagine that it will change over time, as I find out what parts are working well for me and what parts aren’t. At any rate, it was fun craft work to organize it and make the pretty pages!

What is your organizing method and how is it working for you?