I love to travel. I mean, I AM the TRAVELING Zipperhead right? The thing is, since we’ve had a baby, or since I was pregnant really, we don’t travel much. We would take a big trip once a year, but we haven’t gone on vacation in almost three years.
We are dipping our toe into traveling again, but we started small. First There was the three hour trip to go to Sea World. The trip was good over all, the hotel stay, the park, all that was great….. Except the drive. It was a disaster. Our little one was so upset the WHOLE drive, both ways, that we had to keep stopping. So instead of the 3 hour drive, it took 8. Ok, no more car trips for a while, I get it.
Well, between school, the little person, and the hub’s work schedule, we neeeeeeeeeded to get away. Where do I run to when I’m beat? The Tetons. I don’t know why, but I need to absorb some mountains to recharge my battery. I can look into the mountains, not even just the Tetons, but any landscape in WY and feel better. Calm. I’m not really a calm person, but I can relax here.
So we traveled, on a plane, with a toddler. Have I mentioned I hate flying? Like terrified? But I did it, and we got to Jackson alive and well…… This time.
If you’ve never been, Jackson is a fun town. The residents are part ski bum, part hipster, and part artist, but they are all friendly and helpful.
It’s summer, but as you can see above, in Yellowstone there is still snow. We sat at old faithful and got snowed on and sleeted (is that a real word?) on, then had T-Shirts on later in the day at Mammoth Springs.
This is the time of year when all the babies are out, and the elk are still in velvet.
We didn’t see many babies, in fact, we only saw a baby black bear, but I was not about to get out to go look at him closer, or take pics, because even if you can’t see the cub’s momma, she’s still watching you. We did not see any moose, in fact, the last time I was here, five years ago, we didn’t see any either. I’m thinking they don’t exists anymore. If anyone ready this, has actual real proof of moose existence, in the last year, please let me see it. I think they are extinct and no one is telling me about it. It’s a big, moose, coverup.
On to the really important stuff… What do you EAT when you travel with food allergies? Well the answer is sadly, not much. If you are lucky, you will find a place like Lotus Cafe where they make amazing food and not only understand that people have food allergies, and offer alternatives, but they train their employees to ‘get it’ so we are not made to feel like a burden, or drama queen when we ask if there is gluten. We don’t need to whisper, shy and embarrassed, only to be met with the look of annoyance or just dumbfounded.
This is important, if you work in the food service industry, you need to make sure your employees are educated. I’ve talked before on how the diet craze has give those of us with allergies or Celiac’s a bad rap, but if you work in a restaurant, you need to know what’s in the food and how it’s made. I ate a a few places in Yellowstone, and while they were helpful in finding me the information on what I could eat, not many knew what to look for, or what was even safe. The only place I could even find a gluten free menu in the park was at Mammoth. They have hot dogs, and I had the man at the ice cream bar show me the ingredients to see if it was safe. He had never heard of a gluten, nor did he know what it did. He was three feet away from the guy who sold me the hot dog by the way. Behind the same counter. This did not give me a warm fuzzy feeling about what I was eating, but I was safe. I did not get glutened….. there.
I’ve been coming here for a long time, and one of my favorite places to go has always been Signal Mountain. Every year, my grandparents would take me to the park, and we would stop at Signal Mountain, sit on the patio in front of the lake, watch the Tetons, and eat their mountain of nachos. Imagine my delight when I looked online and saw they not only had a gluten free menu, but a big one. There were a lot of options, not that I noticed them all, I saw the nachos on there and that was all I needed. I ate as many as I could, and took the rest back to the hotel for breakfast. Now imagine my heartache when, after dinner, I went through the two gift shops only to get cut short. I was sick. I had been glutened. I know exactly what happened too. The nachos are on the regular menu too, so when the waitress gave them my order, she didn’t tell the kitchen that I had an allergy, so there was no attention paid to cross contamination. This is another example of just not training their staff. Sad too. The nachos are great, but until they train their employees better, I just can’t recommend this place unless you are a gluten eater.
We left Jackson to go visit my family in another part of the state, only to find that on a mountain pass, we would have snow. Not just a flurry here or there, but actual snow. The pic on top? That was taken on May 29.
As were these: