We have taken a few vacations since my daughter and husband were diagnosed and I know we will be taking many more. I am putting our experiences here in case they help anyone else. I know it is intimidating to research new places and hope that you are making the best eating-out decisions. I figure every bit of info helps.
We took our first GF vacation over spring break. It took a lot of planning and packing to make it work. In retrospect, worrying about how to make it work was actually harder than making it work.
I packed a variety of snacks that included crackers, peanut butter, homemade trail mix, beef jerky from Trader Joe’s (I was the only that liked it), and a few things that I am forgetting. I also ordered pre-made meals from Go Picnic. I have to say that I was not impressed. They are basically a collection of processed foods in one box. I could do the same thing myself, probably have it cost less and guarantee that the kids actually liked everything in the pack.
Before we left, I created a “Gluten Free Survival Guide.” I included sections for snacks, menus, forbidden hidden gluten ingredients and safe medications. Knowing that we were heading into smaller towns in Wyoming, I found a Wyoming Celiac group and asked for restaurant suggestions. Even with all of this planning, there were still times we were flying by the seat of our pants. Usually we got lucky.
Our favorite restaurants included Los Agaves in Sheridan, Wyoming, Kiwi in West Yellowstone, Montana, and Lotus in Jackson, WY. As always, Chili’s pleases the entire family and one of our favorite chain restaurants when on vacation. We found a fairly knowledgeable person when we had dinner at the Yellowstone Mine in Gardiner, MT. However, we had a close call at breakfast there, the next morning. The hash browns were a no-no. My husband specifically asked that they not be put on his plate. Of course, they were on the plate when it arrived at the table. When we asked for new omelet, the waitress asked if we could just cut off the part of the omelet that they touched. Ummmmm…no??? Luckily Laura brought her own cereal to breakfast that morning, so we didn’t have to worry about her.
We did have one miserable failure in Keystone, SD. We ate at Joshua’s Place, which might be a defunct restaurant at this point. They did not have a clue what they were doing. They mixed up my steak with my husbands. He got the marinated one, and I got the one straight out of the package. We should have figured that out after the first bite. Both steaks were equally overcooked, but Dave’s was tender and mine was as tough as shoe leather. The poor man was in such pain on our long drive home the next day.