Sunday, September 23, 2012

Travelling vegan - our week long road trip

We have travelled with the kids before but this summer we took our longest vacation with both girls. My husbands cousin got married and we went to the wedding in Mission, B.C. Over the 7 days we drove about 2000 km there and back with several stops on the way. We didn't want to be eating out much for health and to cut down on cost so it took a little planning but the trip went very well so I'll share some of things that made this vacation one of the easiest we have been on.

Originally this summer we had been planning on taking a small vacation to the mountains to see my grandma for 4 or 5 days and that was all. Its only a 3.5 hour drive so it was in my eyes a perfect vacation (i'm not a roadtrip person - I don't like going for a "nice drive" I'd rather go for a nice walk) but when we found out about the wedding we had to change our plans a touch. We still wanted to go to the mountains for a few days to see a very special person.

Thats the girls with my grandma (their great grandma) and we are so so happy went made it down to see her this summer. She loves in Canmore and my Dad grew up in that area and we visited that area many summers when I was young so there are a lot of memories there for me and I'm so glad the girls love it too! Granny is 89 and she has some mobility issues but I think she is doing just awesome! 

We can't wait to go back and see her again very soon and where we stayed has something to do with it. We rented a condo for the 2 days we were there and it was the best place we stayed on our whole vacation and DH and I agreeded probably the best place we've stayed period. We had 900 sq. ft. of living area, a full kitchen, BBQ, huge master suite and a fabulous view. Above is the view I enjoyed on our porch drinking my tea in the mornings. Like I said - fabulous views :)

Having a full kitchen made it a snap to cook healthy inexpensive meals. Prior to leaving on vacation I had stocked up on lots of fresh produce and washed and cleaned lots of leafy greens so we had lots of salads and veggies along with brown rice, quinoa and of course beans. We also brought with us some frozen items like veggie burgers, amy's burritos (the dairy free ones), some canned soups and soup cups, fruits, granola bars, hummus, pretzels, instant oatmeal packets and non dairy milks - and Vega protein bars, these were so good!. We had a couple of coolers and lots of ice packs to keep everything cold travelling between places. 

This worked really well for us. Our first place had a full kitchen but it was the only place we stayed that had one. Everywhere else had at least a fridge and most places had a microwave. I never use the microwave at home but on the road in a pinch it was better than nothing.

Every morning we would get up and all of our hotels had a continental breakfast. Since we brought our own non dairy milk we were able to have cereals, oatmeal, fresh fruits, hash browns, juice, tea and coffee. Not too bad a breakfast. Then we would eat lunch in the car as we were driving. We munched on fruit, veggies, salads, hummus and tortillas, sandwiches, etc. And for dinner we ate either the same things as lunch or we warmed up veggie burger or burritos or soup. A few nights we went out - one night we went to a thai restaurant and it was fabulous - the food was so good and we order extras to bring on the road with us. Below is the girls enjoying a lunch of leftover thai and burritos.

Here is a picture of the bride - the wedding was beautiful - simply and elegant. It was a lovely time.

And even though we had a great time on our vacation we were happy to come home. Our last stop before home was Jasper and it was pouring rain and freezing cold - we thought it might snow! After walking in the rain all afternoon we wanted a hot supper that night and we lucked out - Famoso pizza is in Jasper and they have daiya cheese! After a cold night in Jasper we headed home the next day in the rain. Fortunately it was sunny and warn back home :)

And that was our trip! So what I learned is planning is key - bringing the right foods with us and getting creative with our hotel mini fridges and microwaves made a big difference. Wash and packed fresh greens can travel pretty well and we did too.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Summer Recap

I know it seems like a weird time to do a summer recap since its well into September but since this saturday fall offically starts I thought it was an appropriate time to do this. here are some pics from a great summer!

It was a very hot summer here this year! We had lots of heat and rainstorms many mights of the week which went we also had a lot of humidity. So we really needed to keep cool this summer and there were times it was too hot to eat so we did the best we could. Above is a picture of our lunch one day - banana peach "ice cream" made in the food processor. Quick and cool it fit the bill!

Also on the menu was cherry slurpies. DH and I aren't slurpie people so its not something our ids really ask for but when i saw this recipe I knew I would make it in the summer. Needless to say we made it many many times this summer and it was so good!

Of course one of my favourites things about summer is the farmers market. We certainly ate our share of awesome fresh produce this summer (and we grew some of our own too but more on that later!)

We kept cool and played with friends and our cousins. Here is Gabbie with my nephew Noah going down the water slide at grandma and grandpa's house. DH helped my parents build a front deck on their house this year and it was a very hot weekend, hence the water slide.

And of course Ollie had a blast keeping cool that weekend as well. Those two could spend every minute outside from the time they get up to the time they go to bed. And this summer the weather was so nice they could do that!

Of course we went to our favourite festival of the summer - Heritage Days! I believe there was over 65 countries there this year. Each country has a pavilion and they usually have arts and crafts set up on display and food for sale. We ate over 100 tickets worth of food in two days this year! It was an awesome weekend and we so look forward to it every year.  This dragon was from the Korean pavilion and there was 5 different coloured ones that went dancing around the park. The girls loved it! We also loved the Irish dancers, Korean sword display, the Caribbean dancing, 

And last with all that awesome summer produce we made our first fridge pickles! They turned out so well - we were very impressed. I had leftover brine so I decided to try fridge pickled carrots and they worked too!

There is one other big thing we did this summer and that was a week long road trip to a wedding in Mission B.C. I've decided to do that in a separate post because this one was long enough and I wanted to talk more about how easy it was traveling vegan with two young children. I learned a few tips that I will certainly use every vacation we take from now on!