Cruisin’

Cruisin'

Why we bother to hire meteorologists in Minnesota is a mystery to me.
If you looked at the weather forecast, one would have closed the blinds, gone to the basement and hunkered down for a movie Sunday to pass the time.

Instead, we chose to muddle through the hot, steamy, overcast morning outside doing some yard chores. We were rewarded with scattered clouds by noon, and so with oldest leading the way, we hopped on the bikes and went for a cruise through the country. Those scattered clouds turned in to a glorious afternoon, perfect weather for a ride!

What a perfect illustration for living life on the plains of the upper MidWest, life for the moment, not the forecast. Here, you can’t trust the ‘experts’, so just go with the flow.

And enjoy the ride.


Gluten Free Travel: Introduction

I’m no spring chicken as I have 2 girls (now 17 & 19) who I had in my 30’s. Therefore, I was blessed with the opportunity to do some traveling before settling down after marriage. As memories come forth, inspired by current life, I’ll share some of those great adventures, but the ones that come to mind right now are from my childhood growing up on the west coast and visiting the Hawaiian Islands. 

My friends in the mid-west can understand the context of Hawaii, in that they ‘do’ Mexico. On the west coast, you ‘do’ Hawaii if you are able. Acapulco has gotten rather unsavory for families and Cabo San Lucas is expensive. Disneyland is not for everyone, Arizona is freakishly hot and dry. So, if you are able, you go to Hawaii. 

In the mid-west, the popular destination is Mexico, primarily Le Rivera Maya. Having lived in the mid-west now for over a dozen years, we have had fun planning Disney Cruises out of Florida to the Virgin Islands (when the kids were very little), Mexico multiple times in various locations, and the inevitable family visits to relatives in Arizona.(I swear, all old people retire in AZ) 

So, time came to plan our yearly winter get-a-way. You see, I have to get away from the frozen tundra mid-winter or I would perish, or be committed. Winters in the northern Mid-West are not only brutal, but obscenely long. Cabin crazy long. 

Hawaii was not my first thought, but I have a couple of friends on Facebook who live on the islands. Their constant posting of photos, the food they shared and the culture all reminded me of my trips as a youth and inspired me to seriously chat with hubby about a trip to the islands. You see, while as a native from the West Coast, I had grown up going to the islands, none of my family has ever been. So beginning back in the early summer negotiation talks went on with the family and hubby. Hawaii is no breeze to get to from the Mid-West. It’s expensive to fly, it’s a brutally long trip, and it’s expensive once you are there.  However, we had a secret card to play. My hubby has been flying extensively for going on 16+ years, and fortunately a majority has been with one airline. So accrued miles were plentiful enough to get us 4 first class tickets to Hawaii. Oh yes, we burned them ALL up baby!

I have a friend who is a travel agent, and she foubnd us up with some very reasonable (and CLEAN) condos and the plans were set. This however, is the first time since my daughter was diagnosed as gluten intolerant (and we have discovered recently dairy protein or dairy fat sensitive). I can think of worse issues to have, but I will confess, the islands are a challenge. You see, soy and breading are a big part of the food culture here. Many things that are not breaded have soy. Fish dishes you’d expect to be ok, have soy or contain flour.

So this is the introduction to our families journey, gluten free traveling. I hope others can benefit from it. 

 (part 1: coming shortly)