It’s finally happening. After months of twiddling our thumbs and searching the internet we finally bit the bullet and booked our flights and tickets. I couldn’t be more excited. In just over a month’s time I’m going to be waving a wand, riding a broom and casting spells in a whole world filled with Harry Potter. It is going to be a very expensive dream come true and I am determined to enjoy every single second of it. Yes i will be the one running around in a cape and screaming wingardium leviosa to try and make screaming brats hover in the air!
There’s a long wait ahead before we jet off to the USA, but I’m already starting to think about which and what supplies I need to take for my ostomy. I’ve been on a plane before, so I know all the tricks about getting a doctor’s note about my appliances, dividing them between my hand luggage and my check-in luggage and not drinking fizzy drinks on the plane. You can check out my past blog with my experience flying to Europe last time here. But this time opens up a whole new world of questions. This time I am travelling long haul for the first time with my stoma, so who knows what’s going to happen.
The trip is going to be incredible! We eventually booked with Virgin. It was a tiny bit more pricey but I felt reassured that we would be booking the whole trip as a package, so that in the off chance that something does go wrong we will be covered. It also takes a weight off my mind to know that the flights will be clean, comfortable, there will be free, adequate toilets and we get two items of hand baggage each and cabin baggage included in the cost. They were also great about me taking my ostomy supplies on board the craft – always a niggling worry – and were great with my dietary requirements for the flight.
It’s an epic adventure. We are really pushing the boat out heading to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure; Wet ‘n’ Wild; Sea World and Aquatica. We didn’t want to do Disney (I’m into that whole kiddy animated stuff but Andy isn’t – well he claims he isn’t!) but I couldn’t go to the USA without going to Harry Potter World. I’m so beyond excited about walking through Diagon Alley it actually scares me. I had no idea I was such a geek! But when you look at what we are going to experience (see the website here) I challenge you not to go giddy and want to fork out your life savings to jump in my suitcase and run around this place in a cape and wizard’s hat too!
We are also spending a few nights at Marco Island, to basically unwind from all the crazy running around and nausea of french fries and roller coasters! Then it’s off to New York city for shows and sights.
I’ve been to the USA before – but that was pre 9/11, so I don’t need to say that I was very young and that an awful lot has changed since then. I went to Orlando, to Disney and Universal twice as a kid, it was magical. But so much has changed, there are all these new theme parks, rides and massive advances in technology – I think I’m going to see it with new eyes. I almost think that as a kid I was so overwhelmed by the magic that I didn’t appreciate the details, I guess I was far too busy chasing adults dressed up as cartoon characters around the parks trying to get autographs to notice some of the details – as an adult I’m sure to notice, and experience things so much differently, Andy has never been, not even to the USA, and I can’t wait to show him everything, from the massive burgers and crab shacks to the amazing theme parks and stunning beaches. It is going to be the best trip ever and I’m starting to try to sort out my supplies so that I don’t get any nasty surprises a few days before we go.
Ok, so there are already a few things that are bothering me. I’m trying to find a bikini that fits. I want a high waisted vintage style one, preferably polka dot, if anyone can point me in the right direction I would be sooooo grateful. I also need a sturdy, yet flattering swimming costume – I’m seriously worried what the impact a day at the water park might have on my ostomy; will I need to change my bag all the time; keep drying it; wear a hernia support; or will it just stay on? (at the moment when I swim I change my bag immediately after I get out to avoid leaks).
Other niggling things include: What’s in butter beer? Is it made of butter? If so that will be a no go unless kids wandering around Hogsmeade want to see a bright green gremlin vomiting and passing out….not a good look! Also, how good is America with lactose intolerance, will there be things for me to eat in the theme parks? Can I eat pretzels? Will there be ice-cream (sorbet) for me to eat? How will my ostomy cope with the weather? Are there a lot of toilets? What happens to my bags while I’m on the rides?
I’ve sorted my travel insurance, which didn’t cost any more than £100 thank God, and also thanks to AllClear. Which is already a massive weight off my mind. But I would love any advice that anyone has about theme parks with an ostomy, swimming outfits that are flattering and youthful and any other tips you have for long haul flights/and/or visiting America with dietary requirements.
Don’t worry, you have a month to get back to me!!!!!
Oh, and I have been nominated for the ice bucket challenge – GREAT – I will share it later!