This Christmas we surprised our children with a road trip to Grandma and Grandpa’s new house just outside of Las Vegas. One big concern: traveling gluten-free. The following post includes journal-style updates on how we tried to do the trip on a budget while staying gluten-free.
December 26, 9:00 p.m.: Savvy Celiac Travel
We’re on the road. 11 hours into a 24 hour road trip to Pahrump, Nevada – about an hour outside of Las Vegas. As I write this post, we’re somewhere in western Nebraska. On this trip we chose to rent a mini-van. We took off from the Twin Cities around 10:30 a.m. on December 26th. We decided to bring food instead of spending valuable time and money eating out on the trip.
There is a fine line between not enough and too much food. When we left the house I figured we were armed with enough gluten-free food to get us where we need to be. So here’s what we did: We packed a cooler with pop, juice and water, as well as gluten-free bread/muffins/hamburger buns, shaved turkey, cheese, mayonnaise, carrots and some leftover pineapple. In a box we put Cocoa Pebbles, gluten-free pretzels, Cheetos, and some treats like fudge and Laffy Taffys.
Unfortunately, lunch and dinner consumed the the two packages of Hillshire Farms Oven-Roasted Turkey. Lunch may need to be at McDonalds tomorrow, we’ll see. But we have a lot of snacks still which will help us get by – to a point. My biggest concern is the bread on this trip. It is a problem. It is very dry and crumbly. Ida, our exchange student will reluctantly eat it. But she’s a good sport. Emma won’t. It must be warmed up in order for her to eat it. She’s been eating “turkey rolls” (rolled up turkey slices) instead of sandwiches. We have a long way to go — I better take a break and get some sleep.
December 27th Gluten-Free Journal Entries
It is now 4:03 a.m. and we are into Utah after a very snowy and long trip through Colorado. I’m about ready to take over driving for my husband who’s really been driving hard since about 8 o’clock last night. I’m on about 4 hours of sleep – at best. But that’s four more hours than he has had. I am thinking about what the girls will eat for breakfast. I would like to stop and sit down and have eggs and such, but I’m not sure my let’s-not-stop-unless-we-have-to husband will go for it. Right now, I’m eyeing what’s left of the cheese, but feel bad taking it from my gluten-free girls.
It’s now a day and a half later. We arrived in Pahrump around noon on Saturday December 27th and I basically took most of the day to recover.
When I last “journaled” during the trip, I mentioned I was thinking about how breakfast would work for the kids. We ended up eating at a Denny’s in Cedar City, Utah. It worked out great. Here’s a good breakfast tip for you when eating out. Ask the restaurant cooks to microwave your eggs! It was a great solution a server came up with at a local Perkins restaurant in the Twin Cities a few years ago. We usually get two eggs and fresh fruit. Sometimes we come armed with a small baggie of cereal and order milk and a bowl as well. But on this particular outing to Denny’s we brought in some Kinnikinnick Chocolate Chip Muffins. I have found it’s easier to bring something in to a restaurant like that when you’re also buying something else.
Breakfast was very tasty. The manager told me the cook thought the eggs actually looked better coming out of the microwave. I recommended they use that tip whenever they are asked about cross contamination on the grill or griddle. What I like about the microwave solution is that it’s easy: easy to order and to make and as a result, easy to comply with the request.
We finally made it safely to Pahrump and now are settling into some home cooked food and tons of gluten-free goodies made by my mother-in-law! YUM! Monday, it’s off to Las Vegas for a day of sightseeing. I’ll have to do my homework to find a good place to eat.