I feel as if I should warn you that this is the saddest round of Festing I have ever done.
So here's the story. I had a handful of trail mix before I left the house, intending to keep my stomach real estate as open as possible for culinary delights. When I got to EPCOT, the park was fairly crowded. (Every Saturday I have attended the Fest this year has been wall to wall people. Like more people than I have ever seen there for this event, including opening weekends.) I was pretty hungry, so I was weaving through the mob at a pretty good clip -- a benefit to Festing solo, at least. By the time I reached Japan (on the far side of World Showcase Lagoon), it was pretty warm. The line was long, and I was in direct sun for about 25 minutes and starting to feel it. I ordered my food and collected it, forgetting to purchase a bottle of water as well. I headed for one of my "WDW Introvert" hidey spots to eat, hoping that the shade would help. I spooned up the shrimp, veggies, and noodles, noting the flavors, especially that the broth was rather spicy. (Drat, not having that water!) And then it hit me. I don't know if it was the combination of factors I mentioned, or the suspected virus T and I seemed, in retrospect, to be battling, but I broke out into a major sweat (like everywhere, even the palms of my hands -- it was so gross), my head went all static and the whole world seemed about a million miles away. I carefully maneuvered myself off my stone perch and onto the ground, leaning against the building, because I was very close to passing out cold at WDW...while traveling by myself. Somehow, I managed to talk myself out of fainting, and I sat there for a while, feeling woozy and way out of it. Convinced that I had simply overheated, I moved inside the Japanese department store for a cool down, once I felt like walking wasn't a dangerous proposition. It helped a little, but I thought getting a bottle of water might be in order, to make sure this wasn't dehydration talking.
After slowly downing about half the bottle of water, I wondered if maybe my light eating was *too* light and that maybe my blood sugar dipped too low. So, I made my way over to...
My line of thought was that I could give my blood sugar a good kick in pants. I assumed this candy would be served as two to three bite sized pieces, maybe the size of gumdrops. Instead, it was one large piece -- that despite my foggy head, I still had the presence of mind to photograph, because priorities -- that was roughly the size of a Dunkin Munchkin. And it was *so* sweet. Maybe even too sweet for me, and I have a definite sweet tooth. It was like shredded coconut had been dipped into liquid sugar and then allowed to solidify into a sugary miniature haystack. It may have been something better shared between two or three people, because it was overwhelming. Or perhaps it was my current not-quite-right state talking. Either way, I finished off that bottle of water, and felt a bit jittery from the sugar buzz.
I sat on a bench in the shade for a while, contemplating my next move. Considering I was still on the furthest side of the park from the exit, I decided to make my slow, slow way to...
Ricotta and Zucchini Ravioli with Rustic Tomato Sauce.
I decided I wanted something a bit more substantial than soup or coconut candy. This spoke to me (along with a second bottle of water). I found me a spot on a nearby bench, noting that the sky was clouding over, which eliminated sweltering in the sun. I wish I had been more in the Festing mindset, because this dish was actually very tasty. Simple, but lots of flavor, both from the tomato sauce, which had a bit of zesty zip to it, and the ravioli. It was incredibly satisfying, even in my present condition. I also thought the presentation was very appealing with all its layers and bright colors. And the plate upon which it was served? Apparently made from palm leaves and water. It was remarkably sturdy and a really fun element.
At this point, I decided that I'd just had enough. I felt safe to drive, but uncomfortable (from the heat and having been soaked in sweat from my near loss of consciousness) and no longer willing to fight the crowds, and really, I just wanted to be home on my couch, in the a/c. I began the trek to my car (which was in the very last row of the parking lot -- see? CROWDED). Halfway there, those accumulating clouds opened up and released an absolute torrent. I was drenched in approximately seven seconds, but it actually felt really good. At least, I no longer felt sweaty and it cleared away the rest of my spaciness. Even so, probably the least amount of fun I've ever had at WDW, Fest or no Fest.
Update: We're pretty sure it was some sort of virus, because, it turns out, T felt the exact same way, nearly at the exact same time, while running errands. We both laid low the rest of the weekend, had no more near fainting experiences, and have completely recovered. There is definitely more (fun!) Festing to report!
Monday, November 2, 2015