If I’m being honest, I hesitate and go in circles about whether or not to share about my alcohol free journey. The reality is, I feel like I am really putting myself out there and I do not have thick skin! That being said, I also find there is such as stigma around all of it that I do wish there was more openness and more of a conversation about it and the most I can do is be part of the change.
Other than during pregnancy, this was my first vacation EVER where I think I had even a day where I did not drink. I am not going to sugar coat it. It was HARD. We were at Universal Studios with the kids so it’s not like this was a vacation that should be a big drinking event. Nonetheless, it felt like alcohol was EVERYWHERE. They are even selling it while you are waiting in line for certain rides. Don’t get me wrong, the version of me that drinks thinks this is a fantastic idea!
I don’t know what it is but there is also something about being on ‘vacation mode’ and at a hotel that just makes the drinker in me want to have a drink. Our hotel had a bar next to a beautiful window overlooking the lake and the parks and it just seemed like such a nice area to sit, relax and have a drink.
I did consider a few times caving and having just one, but that can be a slippery slope. I also wanted to be able to say that I made it through a complete vacation without drinking. I learned that sadly, for someone who does not drink sodas, there are not many fun non-alcoholic options. At dinners I stuck mostly to unsweetened ice tea or sparkling water with lime. I don’t know if this is a thing with other people but Peter and I for some reason will not think twice about the calories, carbs, sugar and side effects of an alcoholic beverage, however, we hesitate to order non-alcoholic beverages like lemonades because of the ‘diet’. I don’t feel I came out of this with too much advice on enjoying an alcohol free vacation, but I guess tip #1 would be- HAVE THE DAMN LEMONADE!
Haha So I did have the damn lemonade, but I made sure it was worth it! I don’t know if you have ever had Auntie Annie’s lemonade with pretzels but it’s so good! It’s almost like a comfort food thing for me because I used to love getting the pretzels with lemonade at the mall as a kid. I thoroughly enjoyed this and it’s a combination I had not had in YEARS!
I don’t know if this is specific to Universal but the mocktail selection is sad- as in non-existent. They tend to use many flavored liquors in their cocktails so without the alcohol there is no taste to it. I approached a cart at Citywalk and tried ordering a non-alcoholic ‘Ketel Cooler’ and was told this would basically be club soda because all the taste was in the flavored Vodka they use. Bummer.
We did have dinner at Jake’s American Bar located at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort and they were able to offer a fun mocktail! On the menu it’s called ‘Pink Horizon’. It was lime juice, cranberry and sparkling pink grapefruit. I felt the lime gave it the bitterness an alcoholic beverage would have. It also comes with alcohol if you choose to drink.
In the parks, I found Harry Potter is where it’s at for the fun non-alcoholic beverages. They sold ‘gilly water’ which is a flavored water. This was fun because you’d chose your ‘elixir’ and pour it into a normal water bottle. They had different flavors to choose from. I went with the fruit punch since the attendant said it was her favorite. It was a little sweeter than I would like but it was different and something fun to try!
I also tried the famous ‘Butter Beer’. Despite the ‘Beer’ in the name, this is non-alcoholic. The lines for this are usually insane and we are not Harry Potter fans so for us making the lines didn’t seem reasonable. The lines to purchase butter beer are no joke much longer than lines to purchase actual beer. We did find a little bar that sold it, along with alcoholic beer, and there was not a long line so we took our chance to try it. It’s a sweet drink so I did not see the hype as far as the lines go but it was not bad! I think I would prefer it in a smaller dose. I had the ‘on the rocks’ version and it had some bubbles to it which made it fun. There is also a frozen version and I was later informed there is a hot one as well!
I definitely wish there were more mocktail options or at least La Croix which is my go-to these days but I made the best of it. I did try a few things I would not have usually tried had I been drinking alcohol. At the end of the night I never regretted my decision not to drink and it definitely helped me make it to my early morning workouts! Maybe next time when I’m farther into this journey I’ll have more tips to share! Haha
Thanks for visiting!