Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Road Trip!

So we decided to take the kids down to San Diego last weekend. This was the first time that we left home for a significant period of time, without having control of our dietary situation. Experiences like these will help us understand how to assimilate into the general, non-allergic population. But in general, we were able to make it work. With a little effort!

I packed the car up on Friday. We had everything that Ella could possibly need. Lots and lots of snacks, including wheat-free blueberry muffins, rice cakes, fruit, gluten-free crackers and cookies, home-made breads, chesses, and sliced veggies. The hotel that we stayed at "provided" breakfast." We assumed that they would at least offer bacon, potatoes and yogurt, amongst their "many" offerings. But we discovered, first thing Saturday morning, that all they had was bread, bread and more bread. Translation: WHEAT! After sitting the kids down at a table in the breakfast room we decided to pull the plug and head back to our room so that we could eat the selection that I had brought with us. THANKFULLY, I had all of those options.

First, we headed to Sea World. After our grueling morning of denial, I decided that my focus would be lining out a lunch option. Right away, I noticed that there was a "Dining with Shamu" buffet. We booked a reservation, thinking that good 'ol Shamu might, at the very least, help our kids eat a decent meal. After glancing over the menu, I decided that this was a good way to go. Even if we had to sacrifice their future educational prospects to be able to finance the adventure. Anyway, it actually turned out to be a fantastic meal. There were many choices, and not just for the allergy-challenged family. Ella feasted on salad, fruit, potatoes, beef and chicken. And there were many dessert options including strawberries with whipped cream. Phew! And did I mention, SHAMU?

Dinner was just as easy. We found a place within the park that had smoked chicken and veggies. As well as salad and watermelon. Thankfully, both kids seemed to enjoy their meal. And Ella was able to end her day with a nice, hefty bag of cotton candy.

We decided to serve breakfast in our room on Sunday. Milo expanded his meal by eating most of Gabe's oatmeal. And then we headed out to the Wild Animal Park. It was your basic family, zoo excursion. All was going well until lunch time and we had to decide where to eat. For most families, this might be a conversation. But for us, it seemed like we were trying to debate who would be the best leader of the free world. After, many discusions and an evaluation of the elaborate park map, we selected a place that had "healthy" kids meals. It seems that the Gods were on our side as we were able to feed both kids without much effort. Hot dogs, Santa Fe Salad (black beans, corn, chicken, lettuce and cheese), fruit and rice saved the day. The kids were so busy having fun that they forgot to beg for the usual chicken tenders and bread. Oh, who am I kidding? There was LOTS of that. But we distracted them with all of the animals and carousel rides. We grabbed a couple of ice cream cones before hopping on the freeway, which sweetened the deal and made things just a little smoother.
Overall, we had a successful trip. With a little planning, we were able to make the journey feel pretty normal. And I have decided that there is some silver lining in all of this madness... my kids probably eat better than most American kids. Aside from the cotton candy! :)

No comments: