August 7, 2017

traveling with food: a few of my mistakes

There is a GREAT amount of planning and prepping that goes into traveling with your own food supply, especially for a family of 8.  Running into glitches must be expected.  In case you ever decide to sacrifice your sanity to save a few bucks, I'm going to share the issues I've encountered.  I invite you to learn from my mistakes:

Exhibit A:  a flat Stanley style nutrigrain bar!
1.  OVER PACKING:  I have never actually counted the number of granola bars or snack items my kids eat on any given day.  Perhaps this is because Tank could drastically skew the results for any eating measurement guide, depending what full box of something he chose to ingest the day of the study.  This lack of information forces me to estimate.  When I travel, I grab LOTS of EVERYTHING that they munch on throughout the day.  As a result, we have abandoned a fair amount of cereal and other items in hotel rooms rather than bothering to cart it home.  Oh, the number of granola bars or Nutrigrain bars hat have been pressed into a paper thin form that no one in my family would ever eat.  As much as I love saving money on restaurants when traveling, I DETEST WASTING FOOD.  I've adjusted.  I now pack potentially squishy bars in a somewhat sturdy Tupperware container, so they don't get smashed.

2.  SHIPPING STUFF TO MYSELF:  A few times before traveling, I've shipped boxes that I've packed full of cereal, applesauce cups, goldfish crackers, granola bars, paper products, treats, etc.  I check with the hotel in advance to be sure that they will hold this box until I arrive.  Last summer when I took the four youngest to Orlando, I shipped two boxes to the hotel.  I hadn't counted on the fact that the 'package room' wouldn't be open on a Sunday, which was of course the day we arrived.  I kept calling the front desk asking about my loot.  At first I was just told to call back.  My hunger pains grew, as did my impatience.  After a few more calls, someone finally told me that I couldn't access the room that stored deliveries because it was a Sunday.  I described my health  dilemma (Celiac disease) and I pointed out that the hotel assured me that my genius food-in-a-box plan would not be a problem.  The next thing I knew I was driving in a hotel vehicle with the maintenance man to retrieve my boxes.   Just before I was forced to eat my young.

3.  FORGOTTEN ITEMS: I'm human, so a few times I have gone to a lot of trouble and forgotten something important.  Back when I took Laddie to look at two schools before he chose a college, I inadvertently left an entire cooler at home.  It was spring break, and I was bringing the other kids along with me to swim in the hotel pool and eat complimentary college cafeteria food (this is an exciting past time for them, especially if the school offers a serve-yourself frozen yogurt machine.  What can I say, they don't get out much).

Eddie decided at the last minute not to come.  I had given him the option of not attending in part because he wasn't planning to attend either of these colleges.  He was old enough to stay home during the day while Coach was at work.  This bummed me out though, because he tends to be my most helpful kid.  Coach was already at work when we were leaving.  It was tough trying to corral 5 kids and their stuff into the car on my own.  We had to meet a football coach at a specific time, so I was trying not to run late.  Speeding was out of the question.  Obviously.

If memory serves, and it usually does, I believe the car packing went kind of like this:  'Oh, that's cool, you guys just sit in the car and watch me bring EVERYTHING out - can I get you anything while I'm up, and sweating?'  This made for a grumpy start to the trip.  We still had the dry food that I had packed and the a fore mentioned meals on campus, so it wasn't a total disaster.

Typical amount of stuff I haul for a weekend away - and that's just the food!
Oh, but I'm just getting started.  I have many more lessons to share- some you might consider hair-brained.  In my next post I will describe Tank's imitation of me in a panic over another forgotten item.  Stay tuned . . .

No comments: