As someone who knows exactly how to prepare for, and enjoy, a vacation without eating gluten, I’m here to say that four days into my epic adventure I feel like my body has exploded from within. Instead of blaming poor planning (I have a list a mile long of safe places, and an adorable map drawn by friends to boot), or an unfriendly gluten-free city (I’m in Portland, yo), I’ve decided that I’m going to blame my kids.
Honestly, it’s legit. After all, when you’re single parenting for a few days and navigating fun things and getting the hang of public transportation and are wrangling kids who wander into a busy street if you’re not watching carefully, sometimes you do find yourselves in a desperate place where you just need to put food into everyone’s body and no, you cannot figure out how to take the light rail to the best gluten-free Thai restaurant 15 neighborhoods away.
That’s when gluten happens.
That, and these other things have happened that I do believe have resulted in me wanting to curl up and take my “nap day” early on this vacation. Or just vacation sans children, next time. Yes, I’m sticking to my children blaming. Judge away.
- Trusting airport food after the server says, “Yes, we have wheat,” as you explain you can’t have wheat. Try to order naturally gluten-free and pray that she didn’t add “wheat” to the top.
- When you’re ordering a taco bowl at the Farmer’s Market and your kid says, “I think the flour and corn tortillas are on the same surface,” and you think, “Crap.” But it’s the only option you know is at least mostly gluten-free so you vow to only eat the bowl fillings and not the possibly contaminated tortilla. You break that vow.
- Sampling booze at an open market after schlepping the kids around all day and needing a drink, even a thimble-sized one, so much you don’t stop to inquire about the gluten content. In the beer capitol of the world. Bottoms up. And out, obviously.
- Using utensils and pots and pans at your rental house with just a cursory wash. You know better, but your kids are whining incessantly about being hungry so you just freaking do it, already.
- Going to the wrong pizza place but not giving a damn when they say they have gluten-free pizza, too. Sure, it hasn’t been vetted by other celiacs but you cannot figure out how to get to the one that has been, so you give up and start eating. At least it was delicious pizza. That came flying out of my body later.
So, yeah. I need to get my shit together (literally) and enjoy the heck out of Portland. Right after I nap.