Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Gluten free travel weekend: Success again!

This weekend we went north again. The Mike had a 100mile bike race to do and the guy he was going to go with somehow did a face plant of some sort, scrapped up his face and got staph infection. (gee, I'm not sure why J didn't want to go do this ride?, (groans)).  The fabulous Mike had already taken off the afternoon thinking they'd leave early, so he ran some errands, brought me lunch from one of my favorite places (a steak salad with pico and corn salsa, cheese and guacamole), then went to renew his passport for his epic event next summer. 

I almost always get to drive on our journeys and this time was no exception.  As we neared the large metro city limits, the Mike was using the phone and/or findmeglutenfree app to find a place to eat (I'm not sure what he was using, I was driving!).  He picked Wildfire.  This place was a really cool place, easy to find near/at the mall and it had great ambiance: it was a 1940s themed restaurant. Different areas of the place were named different historic rooms.  

What made it awesome for me? The waiter arrived with bread for the Mike and then he said, "your GF bread will be out shortly" Say WHAT?  I get gluten free bread in a restaurant?  The last time that happened it was a Brazilian restaurant and they use tapioca flour, and it was about four years ago!  WOW. I am hooked on this place! Thank goodness it's several hours from us, otherwise our wallet would be looking quite sad.  

My apologies for the dark photo, I didn't want to use the flash in the place!
Photo left: Parmesan crusted fresh Alaskan Cod for Mike, with asparagus.  Middle of photo:  Butternut squash with pecan butter;  Bottom of photo:  Salmon cooked on cedar plank with mashed potatoes.  Sorry, the bread round didn't make it into the photo.   Mashed potatoes were part whipped and part chunky. They must mix the two together to get this fabulous texture. Mike said his fish was quite flaky and definitely fresh.  The squash was really good (when isn't butternut?) and my salmon piece was quite large and very yummy.  We didn't save room for dessert, but they did have GF chocolate cake (flourless). 

On we drove and finally arrived at the hotel.  The clerk let us know there was soup on for arrivals (how sweet is that!, though we weren't hungry at all).  He use to run Ultras. ULTRAs EEK.  Wow. I was in awe of the clerk already!  He said he'd never run a marathon, but he enjoyed half marathons the most and he just liked to run and run and run, so he ran ULTRAs!   He said he gave it up because of back issues, but misses the freedom of running. That's pretty much a great way to describe powering one's own body and having the fresh air hit one's face. 

The Mike 27ยบ temps!
Saturday was bright, sunny, and cccold.  Thankfully, the wind had died down and it was only about 5mph, so not bad at all.  The Mike's race/ride started at 9am. He was thinking to finish around 4pm, so I had most of the day to myself. :-)  YEAH.  

I went out on my 9 mile run [prepped to go in my mizuno breathe thermal top and over coat, smartwool neck gaiter and hat, my whistle/weapon and long running pants for the chilly weather] . . . there was a short paved trail beside the start area, but it only went about two blocks further. Luckily, there was a wide gravel shoulder along the roadway and I ran on that quite easily.  The surface was frozen, so I didn't have to worry about sinking into the soil!  I love rural areas. . . pretty much every vehicle I passed, even though I was on the really wide shoulder, gave me at least half of their lane, putting more distance between me and the autos.  Quite nice. The roadway had a big of a short climb, steady work, and then a descent, then a climb again.  At the top of the second climb, I turned onto a gravel roadway. I was getting freaked out by running on a roadway that paralleled the interstate system! Especially when there was an off-ramp from that not too far away.  The dirt roadway was pretty hard and compact, more sand than just clay and dirt like we have in my state.  It was definitely easy to run along and made enjoying the great wide countryside so much better. 

The only scary part of my run was when I was passing the area of the road with a dead skunk in the center of the lane and the oncoming car was unable to move over because of an oncoming car for it. . . I was freaked it might have hit the skunk, but PHEW, it didn't and I was safe from the smell. 

1737 calories burned Midnight to 11:08am and 18,385 steps taken!  Phew.  

After getting back to town, with no water left :-( , I made up my protein shake, changed clothes at the nice facilities (which is rare to have such nice facilities for such a bike race!) and headed to the outlet mall for COACH sales :-)  . .. and Nike sales and New York & Co sales :-)  Amazingly, I didn't find a pair of shoes or boots I wanted. Did I say I was sooo glad to have gone with Mike this weekend?  

After shopping, I headed back to the town, headed to the grocery store and picked up some ham and cheese, along with Pecan crackers for lunch.  I read for a bit and then took a well deserved nap.    

After that, the Mike enjoyed some chili and breads people had provided and then got headed back home.  We stopped at a camping supply store and he picked up a camping/sleeping mat for his expedition next summer. . . For $20 more he bought the THIRTEEN MONTH warranty on the mat!  Wow. He's going to be sleeping on this thing for three weeks straight.  Definitely purchased that warranty!  

Seriously large food!
We were both getting hungry, him from burning sooo many more calories, and me for not having had much of a lunch. . . We stopped at Jason's Deli.  I had seen this before and thought it was more like a subway. . . oooh, how wrong I was!   This was more like a deli, (duh moment) as the name suggests.  The Mike had a spicy chicken wrap with soup and I had a sandwich from their GLUTEN FREE menu!  YEAH!  UDI's whole grain bread, thick sections of turkey and ham, spinach and avocado.  I didn't ask for chips, but it came with them anyway. The manager assured me that yes, they make it gluten free, including protecting the sandwich from the normal work surface.  I know this is a chain and I highly recommend them for GF dining! 

Seriously! HUGE!

Yes. I got a to-go box for half of it! 
End of the day, and drive home!  3,169 calories burned and 26,887 steps taken (must have done a lot of walking at the outlet mall!)  

Home finally Saturday and had a fabulously lazy Sunday. . . Made bacon (Beeler's, nitrate/nitrite free) and from scratch pancakes for breakfast, with a little bit of yard work tossed in for a day!  

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