As I said in an earlier post, I have been on 12 different flights in the last 5 weeks. I love traveling...really I do, but this past few weeks was a bit much even for me. From a food perspective I have some pictures to share, some anecdotes to tell and some lessons learned to share with you.
Last year my friend Ina from Gluten Free Delightfully Delicious told me she was going to Hawaii and we discussed some traveling options for eating. I hate to admit it, but it is true, I was so jealous, I was happy for Ina but a bit green with envy. I thought I would never get the chance. Then...my husband surprised me for our 25th anniversary with 8 days in Hawaii! We were working with a limited budget and trying to get the most for our money and I discovered that many of the Bed and Breakfast's cost less, a lot less, than hotels, AND they include breakfast. We stayed every night in a B&B and didn't spend over $130 a night.
One of our favorites was the Liloki Inn on the big island of Hawaii. It is run by a chef who really out does himself each morning. The above picture is the breakfast appetizer. We ate a huge vegetable fritata along with all this fruit. The owners grow their own Passion fruit (Liloki), avacado, and coffee right on the grounds of the B&B.
Call me sheltered but I had never seen coffee beans before, they call them cherries when they are ripe enough to pick because they turn this beautiful red color. They grow everywhere on the wet side of the island and there were even road stands set up for people to bring their "cherries" to sell to coffee companies.
Another great find was the Shabu Shabu house in Honolulu. We have been to the "hot pot" style of cooking and eating before, but on vacation it turned out to be fabulous meal. Shabu Shabu means "swish, swish" in Japanese and these restaurants are springing up all over the country. Each diner gets their own hot plate and cooks their meal of vegetables and meat at their table. You begin by ordering your choice of meat, noodles and vegetables which are brought to your table raw. Your hot plate is filled with broth and your choice of seasonings (garlic, hot peppers, onions etc.). When the broth is boiling you "swish" your meat and vegetables in it until they are done to your taste, eat them and cook more. The great part is that whatever your diet is you can customize your own meal. I had beef and vegetables, including pumpkin and 5 kinds of mushrooms.
A few highlights of the trip were snorkeling, which I had never done before because I used to get sick every time I got in the water. It was so fun to be able to enjoy the ocean. We also took a 6 mile round trip hike over lava beds to see where a lava flow is going into the ocean. Incredible! And something I would not have been able to do a few years ago, before the SCD.
A week after getting home from Hawaii I went with my parents to visit my great aunt in Mississippi, also a first time trip. I learned from her what true Southern Hospitality is. She customized every evening meal around my diet and cooked some delicious foods, check out this pork roast from her. I appreciated so much her time and efforts, it was a fabulous visit and I learned some new family stories, reunited with relatives I haven't seen in my adult life and got to see a part of the country I hadn't seen before.
Lastly my youngest son and I tagged along with my husband who was traveling for work to Orlando, Florida. Like I said before, I am a bit sheltered, and no I hadn't been to a Disney theme park before. Disney World was amazing in every way, it truly is a happy place. The food though....the food was incredible! I had done some research to find out if we could take food into the park or if there would be some options for us there as my son eats gluten free. I found many blogs and websites where people praised the restaurants and said they offered many gluten free choices. We feasted on roasted turkey and fresh green beans, sugar free sorbet and fresh berries and my son had the "best hamburger and fries ever". Each restaurant sent the chef to our table who helped us choose from the menu and then customized our meal according to our diet. One restaurant even made gluten free gravy and dairy free mashed potatoes just for us! They had gluten free cookies and brownies as well as gluten free hamburger and hot dog buns all over the park. They made it very easy for us to eat well.
I am back home for a while now....back to my real life. What a great month!