I used to love road trips. As a kid in the back of my dad’s station wagon, fighting with my brother, feeling the wind whip my hair, stopping at all those dumb roadside attractions. When I didn’t have to pee every five minutes, and didn’t have to worry about what I ate. Ah the good old days!
Those days are a distant memory. Since Mr. gallbladder went kablooie I have spent my life making sure I know where every bathroom is within a 20 mile radius. Adding gluten and dairy intolerance to the mix gives a whole new meaning to gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now!
Any time we would go visit my in-laws at their fabulous river house in Virginia, as soon as my hubby would say, “we are getting in the HOV lanes”, my heart would drop with a sickening splash into my stomach. I would make sure to eat a light lunch. Something I thought wouldn’t upset my delicate tummy. Scrambled eggs maybe, or French toast. Nothing to drink but a few sips of water. Then, praying to the saints of traffic and digestion, off we would go.
Meanwhile, the little gremlin who resides in my stomach-you know the one with the pitchfork- would inevitably start dancing and chanting, “road trip, road trip, she’s on a road trip” as he cackled with glee. As traffic came to a complete standstill , it would begin. The rumbling, churning, and and that uh oh feeling of impending doom. So far my luck has held out. But I still dread HOV lanes.
Recently we took a trip down to Tennessee. Hubby is retiring and we are looking to relocate from the Northeast. I knew ahead of time that it would be a challenge but I had no idea just how difficult it would be.
Like most people with food allergies, I am most comfortable in my own kitchen where I have total control over what I am eating. I did some checking ahead on restaurants that were gluten free. Ah, but add dairy free to that and your options quickly dwindle.
I made sure I brought gluten free snacks with me just in case I had to ” break glass in case of emergency”. The easiest part was when we were right off the interstate. I got so familiar in fact with Cracker Barrels menu I could recite it in my sleep. I also Googled my little fingers off. Thank God for the Internet and wifi!
The best website for findi g a gluten free restaurant by state is
If I had to do it over again there are some things I would do differently.
I would bring a cooler. Sandwiches and fruit would have been great
I would get a room with a kitchenette. I think it would have been easier and cheaper to cook my own meals.
I would have made reservations. On our first night we ran into NASCAR and everything was booked. We we tired and hungry and our dining choices were limited.
As I have said before, even with all of these challenges you can have a great road trip. All it takes is a bit of planning and lots and lots of luck.
I can feel that wind now….