I'm getting to be a pro at this whole road trip thing. After having to take a couple of trips to central Illinois last summer, I found myself back in good ol' Peoria this weekend. And because I've been there, done that, I got a little lax in my planning. It all worked out in the end, but it reinforced some things to remember in the future for road trips:
1. Don't assume anything. Seriously. Luke and I stayed at the same hotel we did on our last visit, the closest thing Peoria has to an upscale joint, and it included a breakfast fit for royalty. Well, for most people. For me, it included a banana and yogurt. But I banked on that banana and yogurt, and when breakfast time came this trip, there were none to be found. Luckily, I had a couple of muffins and some applesauce in hand, otherwise it would have made for a hangry morning.
2. It's not fun to eat JUST because it's gluten free. We planned on lunching and dinnering at a joint I had loved in college, known for its hippie sensibilities, amazing hummus and carafes of sangria. The problem was, even though they have several GF options, nothing really looked good to me. So after inhaling the hummus for lunch, we opted to find a place with more variety for dinner. I realize that I was lucky to have multiple options, and if this would have been the only GF place in town, I would have had to suck it up and eat something I didn't love, as long as it was safe.
3. You CAN be pleasantly surprised. We were out in a shopping center I'd not really frequented in my undergrad days, when what to my wandering eye should appear but a little health food store. I brought a ton of food down with me, but couldn't resist checking the place out and found myriad awesome GF products I hadn't seen before, including Kinnikinnick K-Toos (which taste so much like Oreos I've had to hide them from Luke) and some delightfully pumpkiny Desert Essence lotion (never tried Desert Essence before - totally a convert now).
4. Keep your smarts about you. We picked Biaggi's for dinner, since I love our location up here. And my server was great and knowledgeable, and I felt totally confident eating there. The wine helped. That said, we ventured back for lunch the next day. Different server. Different feeling. I didn't get glutened, but I did not feel as confident as I had the day before, and when the server packed up our leftovers, he definitely slung my sister's (non GF) pizza crumbs all over mine. Needless to say, no leftovers for me.
5. Much like a Boy Scout, always be prepared. Even though we had a list of safe restaurants, access to grocery stores for fresh fruits and veggies, and a microwave AND refrigerator in our room, I still over-packed food. And I'm glad. Because I didn't know we'd run into the central ILL equivalent of Whole Foods. And if I would have relied on restaurants and the hotel to feed me, I may very well have been hungry, or at least unsatisfied.
All in all, I had a nice weekend trip away, and it makes me feel like possibly braving another one in the future. Do you have any road trip staples? Are they all cookies?