Saturday, April 28, 2012

Traveling with Allergies + My trip to Oahu

Hey everyone!

The beach our house was on in Laie. Those are my feet.

I just recently got back from a trip to Oahu, Hawaii. It was simultaneously the best, worst, and first big vacation of my life! Before this trip I had never been on a plane before, so i was super excited! We stayed on the North Shore in a small town called Laie.

The plane was smaller then I thought!
One thing I would recommend, if you are visiting Oahu, only stay in a resort. We rented a vacation home and let's just say, we had some unwelcome guests. Nuff said. The island has several nice resorts. We stayed at the Disney Aulani Resort for a couple of days. The facilities where incredible! It was gorgeous, clean, and so accommodating. There were several pools, a stream you floated on in inner tubes, and two different water slides. You even had the option to go to the lagoon with white sand if you wanted to. Unlimited fresh clean towels, ice water provided pool side, even DVDs and games you can bring back to your room. It was the epitome of relaxing.

Due to our families many food allergies, our vacation took a little more planning then some others might. In order to continue a rotation diet, it was necessary for us to bring along frozen servings of different dishes and baked goods. At first we thought it would be easier to ship the food over frozen, but we soon found out that would cost about $300 to ship three day to Hawaii.Yikes! That's just a little bit steep. So instead we bought a Styrofoam cooler from the UPS store, filled it with the food, added four pounds of dry ice, and checked it on our flight. This cost about $60 total including the cooler and dry ice. If you choose to go this route, here are a few tips:
  • Get a note from your doctor. This sped along security checks exponentially.
  • Make sure to get to the airport early. Special arrangements take extra time.
  • Check the amount of dry ice allowed at your airport. At the time of our flight, the TSA allowed under 5 pounds of dry ice per shipment. We used 3.75 pounds and this kept our cooler frozen solid for 22 hours. We even had some left over!
  • Check a small suitcase full of your families favorite foods. We brought Enjoy Life Chocolate Chunks, made ahead bread mixes in Ziploc baggies, agave nectar, a bread pan, candy, seasonings, dried fruit chips, as well as regular chips. This makes it easier to organize regular meals with things you can pick up at the local stores.
Once in Hawaii, we made sure wherever we stayed had a full kitchen. First at the house we stayed at on the North Shore, then again at the Disney Resort Aulani. This way we were able to bake bread, as well keep food costs down. Our meals where typically burgers, BBQ steak, BBQ chicken and fish. Simple and easy to clean up. After all, nobody wants to dishes while on vacation!

Of course we ate at a few restaurants. Again, when it comes to eating out, a little bit of planning goes a long way. We first went to an upscale americana restaurant called Mac 24/7. This place was so amazing! My mom has very specific allergies, so she was worried about eating here. No need! They where totally accommodating. She ended up having steamed rice, fried eggs, and a mimosa. Someone else at our table ordered pancakes, but not just any pancakes. These were 3 14 inch pancakes done Elvis style with bacon, banana, and peanut butter drizzle! Needless to say she didn't finish them.

We also tried The Monterey Bay Canners restaurant. A fish restaurant with a dive feel, this is definitely a locals place. The staff couldn't have been nicer! The manager even went in the back and brought a raw potato out so we could see exactly what kind of potatoes where in a certain dish. Above and beyond! The simplest dish was the best. Steamed broccoli, cauliflower, and Yukon gold potatoes smothered in melted Parmesan cheese. Yum!

One thing this trip proved to me is that no matter how many allergies you have or where you are in your health journey, never count your self out. A few years ago my mom thought she wouldn't ever be able to spend the night away from the house. Now we are planning our next trip. Always look ahead! Things get better. Be brave. Aloha!
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