We had a vacation at my Mom and Dad's over Christmas and New Year's, and I wanted to give you a little glimpse of how we do vacations while on the SCD.
We started out before Christmas on an overnight drive...and then stopped the next morning in Las Vegas. Stopping overnight isn't true Jim-&-Erin-style travel, but with my recovery from recent surgery we decided to take it a little easier this time. (Believe it or not, we've found that it's actually easier for us to drive straight through the night and through the next day than to stop at a hotel - the kids sleep through the night in the car making for less stops, and we have to deal with less traffic along the road!)
We looked for a hotel with a refrigerator in the room (of course, most hotels will provide one if you ask). This helped to store my precious SCD yogurt and cheddar cheese. We brought two coolers - this cooler with ice, yogurt, cheese, and other food and drinks for the rest of the family. We also brought a dry cooler for items like sunflower seeds (these from Trader Joe's), Mariani Trail Mix Honeybars and Seseme Honeybars (bought at Walmart), honey, raisins, these Larabars, plastic cups and plastic silverware for eating yogurt and honey or other snacks along the way.
It was great to arrive in "the land of In-N-Out Burger." :) We stopped at In-N-Out several times both along the way and while we were running around town. This is my standard order: "Double meat, with lettuce, tomato, and grilled onions only, protein style." I sometimes order it well-done, and sometimes with a Diet Coke.
On Christmas Eve we had a get together with my Mom's side of the family. It was so fun to be together in one place! This year to make it easier on my Grandma, we each brought an appetizer to share. We ended up having a feast! And it was fun to see what each person brought. My mom and I put together one of my favorites - bacon-wrapped dates...they are simply irresistible! And so easy to make! Stuff one unsalted almond into a pitted date, wrap in a half slice of pre-cooked bacon, and hold it together with a toothpick. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes. (We used pre-cooked bacon from Costco.) This would be an excellent appetizer anytime for a party. We actually served these at our wedding for an appetizer reception. Yum.
The kids stole the show with their Nativity play!
A day at the beach was definitely in order, as the weather was warm enough and we don't live near any beaches. Our middle boy especially loves the beach and was aching to get down there! It felt so good to soak in some sun and fun! Close to the beach is the Crab Cooker, a favorite restaurant of ours with a fun, laid-back feel and quirky decor. We met my parents there for dinner and I ordered the Light Eater, which we have verified is just grilled fish with butter and Paprika on it. With a side order of tomatoes it was a good meal.
My mom is fun to visit because she's always thinking up new SCD meals! She made some SCD Nachos using yellow squash as a base (sliced and boiled for a few minutes until barely soft and drained well). She made sides for everyone like ground beef, homemade guacamole, chopped tomatoes, cilantro...and I added a spoonful of SCD yogurt on top instead of sour cream.
Jim and I celebrated ten years of marriage with a trip to a hotel by the beach! I think my favorite part was the breakfast in the hotel dining room each morning. It's pretty easy to find SCD-friendly breakfast foods and I thoroughly enjoyed the wide variety of available foods! I ordered an egg, avocado slices, fresh fruit, bacon, and fresh-squeezed orange juice. I also asked for hot water and added my own decaf black tea bag. They provided some little jars of delicious European honey.
The beach was cold, but we were determined to enjoy it anyway! It didn't hurt to have a jacuzzi to soak our freezing feet in after we got back, though! Jim enjoyed taking some pretty sunset pictures.
I hope you've had a great Christmas, and Happy New Year!