July 4, 2019

free food, the search for GF, a fiasco

My collection of food that I hope to pack
 for our upcoming trip to Vancouver. 
It is a CHORE!
I bring my own food/the family's food when we travel.  The plan is two fold:  budget boost and stupid-ass celiac disease.

Before I drove to Ed's orientation (hoping you didn't just moan, 'Oh, not orientation again'), I called the school to ask about food during my visit.

I was excited to learn that we would have a lunch and a dinner included for one of the two days (free food excites me more than complimentary buttons).  Great.  Then I asked about gluten free menu items.

The phone answering lady asked someone else:  gluten free options available.  Sweet.  I eat salad at home everyday for lunch, and I gravitate towards salads when I go out because it is not a dish that restaurants typically cross contaminate.  I have been on my fair share of college visits, and most have a salad bar area.  I did not anticipate any issues.
I didn't take photos during my
herded-towards-God-knows-what experience,
 but this is what lunch looks like at our house - for  my kids. 
I snapped a picture of  this because I was
making the PB&J sandwiches, which is
something they do themselves - obviously,

When it was time to eat lunch, I had no idea where my car was.  I was glad I didn't have to race to find it, eat, and be reunited with Mr. Temper and the rest of the parents, who practically all hail from the same damn state.  I assumed all systems were go after my advance research, so I followed the crowd to the place where we were guided to eat.

That was all the guidance offered, unfortunately.  Swamped by hundreds of parents, the place was up for grabs in minutes.  The cafeteria was divided into various kinds of food (sandwiches, sushi, hot dinner food, etc.) - kind of like the food court at the mall, but no one told us what line was for what kind of food.  Their lines were deep enough and the signage misleading enough, that I had no idea what line I was in and what I was waiting for.  I hated to give up my place in line to get in another unclear line.

I grabbed a side salad from a free standing cooler- but the label described it as having been prepared in a place that also handles wheat.  I held on to it just in case, but I typically don't take chances.

A gaggle of pre-teen, camp attendees were unleashed on the scene moments after the hundreds of orientation parents.  I have no idea what the camp was for - my guess:  gifted kids lacking social skills.  I heard a few of the boys scold orientation folks for not lining up correctly.

When I got close enough to the front, I realized that I couldn't eat the sandwiches.  I got out of line and passed the sushi option.  I hesitated at the hot food line but there was so much gravy on everything I figured it too would be a waste of my time.  Why the Hell did they not have a salad bar?  Or a clear gluten free designated area?

The last stop boasted a line brimming with at least 50 people.  I was positioned at the front because of having gotten out of the other line after moving up front, but I was NOT in the line.  Looking lost, I just leaned across this made-to-order-panini counter and asked the server if she knew where I could get gluten free food.  She suggested a pizza place in another building or part of the same building.  I do NOT eat gluten free pizza because the cloud of flour mixes too easily with the 'gluten' free offerings.  She said she had a southwest gluten free wrap.  Sold!  (oh, but there's more . . . going to save it for next time cause I don't want to bug you with a long post.  Please come back.  There are near-tears, embarrassing situations, and happier meals ahead).


M.L. James said...

Oh no! What a mess! I guess you survived to tell the tale, though! Look forward to what happens next! M.L. James aka Mona

Busy Bee Suz said...

Omg! Sounds chaotic and I’d be hangry by now.

Marie Smith said...

It’s not easy to find something edible when one has digestive issues. I prefer to eat at home.

You visited my blog today and asked about the location. I live on Prince Edward Island in eastern Canada and write about life here.

I will follow your blog.

Ernie said...

I definitely survived. The embarrassment left a mark, but I did get to eat.

Ernie said...

Ha! Yes, hangry sums it up. I kept thinking 'but I called and I asked!' Grrr.

Ernie said...

Awesome! We are in Vancouver currently and we are loving it. Coach arrived today with the 4 boys. I brought food for a few days, but he was burdened with bringing the rest of the food. I made several meals and droze them. It helps when I travel to not have to worry about accidentally getting gluten while eating out. That, and it costs a FORTUNE to feed this crew at a resteraunt.