The Brawny Sherpa and I were more than grateful to head out of town after weathering Hurricane Sandy incredibly well—lost power for a few days, had only very minor damage to the purple bungalow, and temporarily hosted some of our neighbor’s roof shingles in our yard. It was a strange experience, driving to JFK at 4 a.m., to see cars backed up to the Hutch waiting for gas at that hour. At the airport, we traded hurricane stories with fellow travelers also eager to get out of town. When we reached MCO, everyone who learned we are from the Empire State was quick to express their concern about the damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy. A few days in an alternate universe—a city that lives by creating vacationers’ memories—would be far preferable to the alternative universe we found ourselves in in our own neighborhood, where trees were down, two kids had been killed, and everyone was a little stunned by the ferocity of nature in our own back yard.
Thanks to the miracle of Priceline, we’d be staying at a deluxe resort: Rosen Shingle Creek, where we had our choice of swimming pools, hot tubs, and restaurants. I have no complaints about the place, which also has its own small market and a pretty decent coffee bar.
When the going gets tough, the tough go to Disney. Our first stop was Downtown Disney, where we took a quick balloon ride with the Youthful Adventurer before heading to Planet Hollywood for dinner. The next morning, we set off for Epcot, just in time for its International Food & Wine Festival, which, for us, just meant that the place would be super-crowded. Our strategy was to skip the giant golf ball at the entrance and head straight back to the countries of the world (minus a few major ones, mostly former U.S. enemies like Russia) before catching the rides near the entrance.
Our last two days we lazed about, hitting a bucket of balls on the golf course back at Shingle Creek, getting mani/pedis at a nearby salon, writing a few postcards, and daring to venture to a nearby outlet mall, where we learned to arrive early for any hope of finding a parking space. The short get-away was just the breather we needed before heading back north to a changed landscape.
© Lori Tripoli