More about my Mexico trip….
Just when you thought airplane food couldn’t get any worse, imagine being on a five-hour flight that goes through lunchtime and has no gluten free option. In other words, you are served nothing – everything on the tray has been cross-contaminated by wheat or other gluten or could have been and is therefore suspect – so you are left to your own devices.
I don’t know about you, but fruit, nuts and fresh vegetables only get me through a few hours, not from 6 am (when we left our house) until 2 pm (when we were scheduled to arrive at a family member’s in Mexico City).
So it was –
Instant soup for me, just add hot water. Microwavable brown rice for my six-year-old daughter. There is no microwave on the plane, so they heated it up as best they could (trying not to burn the plastic). Mine was more edible, if not wholesome and wonderful, but I couldn’t get her to eat soup. Instant noodles didn’t appeal to her either.
Somehow we made it through and lived to tell about it (aided by the beef jerky I mentioned in my last post), despite the fact that 8 hours of travel time became 32 hours with the unfortunate event of a volcano in Mexico City that stalled flights for 24 hours, and even longer with some airlines. I was glad that I had not brought fresh food to eat on the plane – a fortunate bit of foresight – because it would not have made it through the 24-hour delay until we caught the following day’s flight.
On the flight back to New York, my daughter refused to eat the rice and would only have a box of Corn Pops we had snagged at the hotel. At least she ate something.
We had an awesome trip, but I am not sure when I will be up to doing that again. Maybe we will only choose destinations with shorter flights or only airlines that have gluten free options. But even with a shorter flight, you can get stuck if the plane is delayed. Airports aren’t any better, as we took the shuttle from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 on the advice of a blogger that there was a great gluten free restaurant in T2 at JFK. What was a “great restaurant” turned out to be an offering of Kind® bars and the like, not much better than what I had in my bag. Oh, and they had yogurt too, which I’d already had for breakfast. What a fun way to spend a day in the airport as we tried to sort out another flight!
Finally, I kid you not, I ordered a baked potato at Wendy’s and asked them to confirm beforehand that it would be served closed, without anyone cutting through the foil wrap. To make a long story short, the order was “not communicated properly” and what turned out to be the last baked potato in the entire restaurant was contaminated by a used knife. Needless to say, we got a refund. I am surprised to this day that I made it through the afternoon in relatively good spirits, without crying even once. (My entire first year of being gluten free was marked with tears of frustration about my new diet.)
So the next time you (gluten-eaters) complain about airplane or airport food, remember this. As the old saying goes, it’s better than nothing….
A special thanks to my patient husband and son, who do not need to eat gluten free but nonetheless need to live through our sagas. They are truly the best.