Thursday, September 2, 2010

Our (Utterly Delicious) Summer Vacation

As promised, I'm back to blog about our gf vacation! It’s been a busy time for our family, getting kids back in school and moving my oldest into her college dorm--sad and happy time for me, but wonderful for her. She is exactly where she is supposed to be at this time in her life. Sigh.

Our vacation was long and wonderful. I really didn't want to return to the Oklahoma heat.

ry=400 train

One of the reasons I really want to tell about the food on our trip is to let others see that we really do eat well and eat gluten free. It’s not impossible. It’s not boring. It’s not even very difficult once we adjusted to it. Eating this way is not what we would have chosen—but it’s definitely doable—and very worth it.

When we vacation, we take most of our food with us. Lots of fruit, snacks, drinks, and special treats. We stay in places with kitchens when we can so that I can cook. Fun! But we used to do that before, too. We’ve always loved to picnic. This time, we took three coolers. When we stop, the kids run around and stretch their legs, and we make some great memories—much better than a mcstop. We’re a family on a budget. We always have been, and this is the way we have always traveled.

I made carrot/zucchini bread for our breakfasts the first few days.  I also made gf snack mix for the road. My kids love this, and I threw some in the oven the night before we left. (Recipes will follow.) Another time, for a trip this long, I would have brought more homemade goodies, but I was really sick for a while before we left, and that was all I could manage.

We had one big food goof (I’ll fill you in on that one later), but the rest of the trip was a breeze. A delicious, gluten free, vacationer’s breeze. YUM!

We limited our eating out, so I’ll divide this into a couple of posts by area. This first part of the trip was to the Grand Canyon (loved it!) and Northern Arizona. We were busy with outdoorsy stuff, made a few quick stops at Arby's, but otherwise ate our own food. We then moved on to southwestern Colorado.

When we checked with the local health food store about gluten free eating options in Durango, the store folks weren’t much help. We found out more by asking at restaurants, always our best resource.



We found this cupcake at The Yellow Carrot in Durango, Colorado. This  little bakery and catering shop had some of the most delicious gluten free baked goods we’d ever eaten. No kidding! We had two different gf cupcakes, two regular cupcakes, a piece of gf focaccia bread (wow), and took a gf shepherd’s pie back to our condo for dinner. The cupcakes were huge and cream-filled. Two people could have easily shared one. And the shepherd’s pie made a great dinner for road-weary traveler’s who’d been eating picnic food for most of a week.

In Durango, fresh off the road, we also wandered into this cool barbecue joint--Serious Texas Barbecue.

Durango bbq (3)

Right on the menu on the wall it stated that all meat and sauce were gluten free. We felt like we’d won the lottery. We ate outdoors in the cool air, there were baskets of flowers everywhere, and the food was delicious. My son is very sensitive to gluten, but he didn’t have a problem. One of the side sauces had berries in it, which we didn’t realize, so berry-girl ended up with swollen lips. A little Benadryl and she was fine a few hours later. 

This is getting a little long, so I’m going to put this up and continue in a separate post—but believe me there’s more wonderful food—and a train ride-- to come!



The Lady in (ever-increasing amounts of) Pred


  1. Sherry - this is so encouraging to me. I am contemplating going back to my very very very strict 12 step group that cuts out flour (of any kind) and sugar. I am trying to look at things in a new light - and the fact that you can take your whole family on a gluten-free vacation is amazing. Surely I can take myself on a sugar/flour abstinent stay-at-home adventure.

  2. Angi--Thanks. You can do it. As with most things, the beginning is the hardest part. I always say this, but we really do need to visit!

  3. I'm hungry now, and seem to have misplaced my mountains...