I have never covered so much ground in such a short time. Over the course of the past 10 days, I visited Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois…and Washington D.C.
Here’s the recap:
Last Thursday and Friday, my parents and I had a great time watching live music on the hip 6th Street of Austin. We then kicked back on the beautiful Riverwalk in Austin. I was sad to see them fly back to Canada the next day as I really enjoyed having their company for a portion of the trip! Then I had the biggest drive of my life – a 15 hour power drive from Austin to Denver. It wasn’t too bad as the weather was great, and the Jim Henson biography audiobook I listened to was excellent. What a puppet pioneer!
Next was a fun community show in Loveland, CO followed the next day with a local school show.
That night I did something that I spontaneously decided upon the week before…I jumped on a red-eye flight to Washington, D.C. My wife was there for work and I had a 3 day break and just couldn’t resist seeing her after one month apart!
I got in early the next morning and tracked her down! She was busy with work, but we managed to squeeze in time riding bikes all around D.C. and meeting up with friends. The cherry blossom trees were just spectacular.
We are so used to “goodbyes” but as always, it was not easy this time knowing we have another two months apart. Nonetheless, flying out to D.C. was such a good decision and I felt inspired and rested for the next leg of my tour.
Speaking of the tour – I then picked up where I left off in Denver and was blown away by the rocky mountains. I had a moment I will never forget watching a colourful Colorado sunset over the rockies from the view of a hotel hot tub! Perks of the road! I performed the next day at a school in Dillon, then headed to Boulder for a support group show the following day.
Now, I thought I was smart planning a tour where I wouldn’t see any snow. NICE TRY! Thanks to the mid-west, I received snow, ice, hail and all that lovely stuff driving through Nebraska and Kansas. I drove very carefully and dreaded getting out for gas in the blustering mid-west winds with my light spring jacket. Packing lessons learned!
It has been a crazy 10 days, but I’m enjoying having two nights in the same hotel near Chicago. After driving over 7,000 miles, staying in one spot for an extra day goes a long way!
A few shows in Illinois and Michigan this week, then heading home for Easter to spend the weekend with my family and rest up for the next leg of the “Let’s Go Nuts!” Tour.
Wishing you and your family a happy and safe Easter weekend!
PS – I just love this song, AND movie!
I love it when my bucket list gets one item shorter! The other night that was exactly what happened after I played an open mic at the legendary Blue Bird Cafe in Nashville!
I was incredibly lucky to even get into the jam-packed small cafe, let alone perform. I met an incredibly nice guy in the lineup before hand who pulled some strings to get my name into the hat. I was then blown away when my name was picked 7th and built up some guts and battled some nerves during the 6 performances before mine!
I played a song that I wrote for my wife called “The Sweetest Thing”. Yes…I don’t only write songs about food allergies! I was definitely nervous and am smacking myself on my forehead for messing up the bridge in the song!! Ah well, the fact that I can say I played on that stage is all I needed to be flying high for a long long time!
In case you’re interested in seeing the video, here is a link to “The Sweetest Thing“.
It’s been just over a week on the road and I have already logged 2,2oo miles! Driving from the snow covered north to the sun-soaked south was completely worth it! I then went up to Greenville, SC and Atlanta, GA for shows. I’m now taking a couple days off in Nashville before performing a public show in Dalton, GA on Saturday. Looking forward to heading to Texas next week!
It’s been a crazy three days as I headed directly south down the entire eastern coast on my way to Florida. I had a couple great stops along the way including a family visit in Maryland, and then my first show of my “Let’s Go Nuts!” Tour for the NC FACES support group in Apex, North Carolina.
We had such a fun concert! It didn’t take long for the kids to get up and dance around! I will admit that I had a bit of nerves beforehand as I haven’t performed in 5 months! But luckily, it’s like riding a bike and somehow the lyrics, guitar chords and educational messages all came back to me. Phew!
There was such a great turnout and I was so happy to see so many families connecting with each other after the show. Support groups are such a great way to share information, experience and advice with each other. I was so happy to throw a fun interactive concert into the mix!
I now have a few days of down time to watch some spring training baseball. It’s always been a dream of mine to watch my Blue Jays down in Florida and I can’t believe it will become a reality! What a great start to the tour!!
I am happy to provide schools on my spring tour with two food allergy awareness posters for their hallways or cafeteria. They both contain key messages for students on what they can do to help keep their allergic peers safe at school. Feel free to download and print for your school at http://www.kyledine.com/posters.html
After missing out on summer camp as a kid, I worked at one during my summers at university. It really opened my eyes to how incredible this experience can be for kids.
I met Sue Lein, the owner of Camp Emerson last May – a camp in Massachusetts that accommodates campers with ALL food allergies. She has an egg allergy and manages a camp that takes care of every single allergy safety detail, so kids can really focus on having FUN! They are now enrolling for summer sessions.
I know the idea of sending an allergic child to sleep-away camp can be scary, however I urge you to read this page on their allergy policies. This should be considered the gold standard for camps accommodating allergic campers:
Sarah Norris Contributes Over 200 Reviews of GF, DF Dishes at Walt Disney World,
Encourages Others to Share Their Experiences on YoDish
CHARLOTTE, NC (February 18, 2014) – If you live a life free of gluten or dairy – or both – you’re next trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL just got simpler. YoDish, the startup behind the free iPhone app for restricted diet dining out, has teamed up with Sarah Norris, the leading expert on gluten free, dairy free dining at Walt Disney World, to provide a long list of excellent gluten and dairy free meals across more than 50 resort restaurants. YoDish serves up Sarah’s meal photos and comments for the restaurants closest to the app user with links to Sarah’s full review of each restaurant at www.glutenfreedairyfreewdw.com.
Like many Americans, Sarah fell in love with Walt Disney World at an early age. However, it wasn’t until August 2009 that she made her first special diets trip to the resorts, during which she was amazed at the level of professionalism, compassion, and pure “Disney magic”. Inspired, Sarah began blogging routinely about her dining experiences at the resorts, which she now visits on a monthly basis. Disney is widely recognized by the gluten free and food allergy communities as a leader in specialty diet accommodation, with many families facing dietary challenges choosing to vacation at Walt Disney World for this very reason.
“Before I went to Walt Disney World on a gluten free, dairy free diet for the first time, it was challenging to figure out what I might be able to eat, and, as important, what my meals would look like,” said Sarah. “My blog, now complemented by my YoDish reviews, gives people comfort that they can experience Disney fully, without their dietary restrictions holding them back.”
Justin Cunningham founded YoDish to provide specialty diet communities a platform for sharing dining out experiences, and he immediately recognized the opportunity for YoDish to extend the reach of Sarah’s extensive resource to a new audience looking for restaurant meals on-the-go. Justin and Sarah met at the first annual Food Allergy Bloggers Conference in November 2013 and began working on the joint effort soon thereafter.
“Our vision at YoDish is to show those with restricted diets everywhere the suitable restaurant dishes closest to them,” said Justin. “Sarah’s contribution of gluten free and dairy free meals at Walt Disney World is a huge step toward the realization of that dream.”
Sarah and Justin are now encouraging others who manage dietary restrictions to post reviews to expand the impact of the resource. Anyone with an iPhone can download the app for free, see reviews by folks with similar restrictions, and post reviews of their own dining experiences to “pay it forward”.
“We limit reviews to 250 characters, so it is really very quick to add a picture of your meal and a brief comment. It’s like tweeting or sharing a photo with Instagram.” “Seeing photos of real meals helps diners start the conversation with Disney’s Special Diets Department in advance of their visit or be better prepared when speaking with Disney Chefs onsite, so it is important for as many people to contribute as possible,” said Sarah.
Depending on your dietary profile and geographic location, you may or may not see many dishes near you right now since YoDish is a relatively new resource. The more reviews you add in your own area, the faster the community will grow. However, you can be sure that many meals will entice you on your next gluten free, dairy free trip to Walt Disney World.
YoDish, a free iPhone app, enables people with gluten intolerance and food allergies as well as vegetarians and vegans to share their restaurant dining experiences while on-the-go. YoDish is socially driven and leverages FourSquare’s global locations database to provide users an instant list of the restaurants near their current location. Users can post their dish reviews in the app as well as to Facebook, Twitter, and FourSquare. Justin and Emily Cunningham, whose daughter has been diagnosed with severe allergies to dairy, eggs, peanuts, and tree nuts, understand the challenges involved in eating out with dietary restrictions. Learn more about and download YoDish.
ABOUT GLUTEN-FREE & DAIRY-FREE AT WDW
Gluten Free & Dairy Free at WDW was founded by Sarah Norris in 2009 and is the top source for gluten free and dairy free dining information at the Walt Disney World Resort. Gluten Free & Dairy Free at WDW contains reviews, tips, tricks and trip planning resources to assist those visiting Disney with a special diet. In addition to resources found on the Gluten Free & Dairy Free at WDW site, those interested in special diets at Walt Disney World can also find on-the-go information through the site’s podcast, found on iTunes.
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