Spontenaity and Ice Cream….

As much as I’d like to always be 100% paleo, I just can’t do it while traveling. Besides, I like to be human and experience the same things as my standard American diet eating co-humans.   So how do you do it?  And worse still, how to you plan to be spontaneous with it?  I have learned that you can be spontaneous, to an extent. You just have to change your spontaneity just a little. I know that my days of buying an ice cream while walking down he boardwalk are gone- at least for now. Maybe the world will one day have alternatives.  Sometimes I am lucky (and brave) enough to try a sorbet (some still contain dairy- and it’s hard to know w/o eating). Also, btw and snow conesyryps can have gluten, too.  So for severe allergies- proceed with these options with caution. But the one place that I can typically satisfy a need for ice cream on short notice- grocery stores!  They are my new favorite drop in spot.  So with the tiniest inkling that this evening would be a good one to have a little ice cream (while watching 4th of July fireworks)- I decided on the way back to the hotel from the beach- we stopped off at the grocery store for a pint. I considered also buying paper bowls or screw top disposable bowls, but with only two of us, we will do the romantic thing and share right out of the carton.  So spoons (which I actually try to keep a few in my cooler), and a pint and a ziplock (to contain the mess- also try to keep a few stocked in the cooler) and I’m good to go.  And it was phenomenal!  Not quite the same as buying it from a shop, but probably cheaper, and as it turned out- we were the only ones eating ice cream- so we looked like we knew how to party (and we do!) 

Oh, and if you are ever in Rehoboth, DE- let me spare you some of the grocery store scavenger hunt- skip Giant and Safeway.  Go to Foodlion.  The Dairy Free ice cream is in the “health food” section.  


National Harbor


Capital Wheel


The Awakening

Today we took a spur of the moment trip to National Harbor. We needed to get out of the house and move a little. And I was hoping to change a few attitudes with the scenery. Once we were parked, we walked right past the Farmer’s Market straight to the Peeps store. That is right- year round you can satisfy your need for sugar-coated creatures in a rainbow of colors. You can also buy just about anything that they could get to sit still enough to put a picture of a peep on- including t-shirts, pillows, stuffed animals, key chains and that’s right- even pet toys (cats and dogs!). I thought what better way to change moods than loading everyone up with sugar. Maybe not the responsible parent thing to do, but occasionally I think it’s ok.  


Peeps Mobile

Patty chose party cake flavored peeps.  Shawn- Strawberry Reunion Mike and Ike’s, Ryan finally settled on Jurassic World Mike and Ike’s and me, I couldn’t pass up the standard cherry Mike and Ike’s. We ate those under the pavilion by the water and watched the Capitol Wheel. It took a little convincing, but finally the chicken (aka Ryan) agreed to go on. So we did. It has a great view of Alexandria and all the way up to DC.  Even though he day was hazy, we could still easy pick out the  Washington Monument in the distance. 

        We opted out of buying the photo that they took as we boarded. I rarely like those. Afterwards, we strolled down the street and right past the build-a-bear. Which instantly made my wallet much thinner as I shelled out for two bears- one Elsa bear and and Iron man bear named Eepik.  Oh, and and outfit for each- the full Elsa costume for one, and Yoda- complete with light up lightsaber for the other. Holy Cow! I didn’t realize that I could possibly spend that much on a teddy bear!!  But I did learn that if the bear is ever lost, and someone finds it and returns it to a build-a-bear store, they will scan the bear and mail it to the registered owner. Pretty cool!  I also sprang for the bear skater strap that essentially allows the kids to sling it over their shoulder like a purse. I figured a bear leash was essential to ensuring I wouldn’t find a bear in my mailbox one day!  

Next we strolled up to the Gaylord Hotel and embarked upon a Peep Pursuit.  They have 9 stuffed animal peeps hidden throughout the atrium of the hotel. If you locate 7 of them, you can register for a sweet treat from the peep store. We found the base 7, but did not locate the 2 bonus peeps. 

Peep Pursuit

By this point, stomachs #1 (aka Patty) had been whining about being hungry for almost 2 hours, so we decided to stroll back down to McCormicks and Schmicks for dinner.  They have a somewhat small gluten free menu, but it’s certainly better than nothing.  And since it includes scallops, I am a happy camper. I was also quite pleased that they didn’t harass me about swapping out the kids sides for things from the gluten free menu. The only gluten-free thing on their menu is a bunless burger- which is a staple to my two kiddos. I only wish the fries also were gluten free. But at least they had roasted corn and roasted potatoes so the kids were satisfied. 

I have to say that it is quite pleasant sitting here on the patio looking over the water while waiting for our dinner to arrive. And I’m only a little concerned about the thunder I hear in thy distance. And I’m thankful that we have an umbrella above us- just in case the heavens open up.  Not so much because i don’t want to get wet- that might feel good. But because I don’t want my dinner to get soggy. 

I’ll post more in a few- once we actually eat the food!  And I’ll try to snap a picture or two- if I can before the food gets inhaled. 

So I ordered the pan-seared scallops that came with spinach and crab potatoes. Yum! The potatoes were amazing! I’m pretty sure they had cream/cheese in them. And crab is an iffy for me as well. I will pay for that later, but they were very good going down. Praying that my stomach won’t protest too much. Shawn ordered the New York strip with asparagus. All he could muster was a meh. Not sure if that was at all tainted by his back pain. Ryan didn’t like the char marks on his corn- he is picky like that. But the burger disappeared in short order. Patty loved her potatoes. And the burger disappeared too fast to be tasted but I’m assuming that meant it was good. I did snap a few pics before it was all devoured- though not all of them are prior to sampling. I’m lucky the phone didn’t get eaten in the process!  


New York Strip


Pan-Seared Scallops


Burger and Corn






Product:3.0 Stars (3.0 / 5)
Service:4.0 Stars (4.0 / 5)
Accuracy:4.0 Stars (4.0 / 5)
Atmosphere:4.0 Stars (4.0 / 5)
Gluten Free Options:3.0 Stars (3.0 / 5)
Average:3.6 Stars (3.6 / 5)

And last but not least, we stopped by the Peeps store one last time for our “sweet treat” for completing the Peep pursuit- a chocolate covered peep- which for Ryan they happily exchanged for a sample of Mike and Ike’s- a gluten and dairy free alternative.  I also picked up t shirts for the kids. I have to buy them clothes anyway, so why not buy them cute ones from places we visit?

All in all a great day. And a long drive home in a torrential downpour. Thankful for the 4 brand new tires and 4wd to keep my sleeping babies safe as I leisurely drove home. Goodnight!

Packing for the Cruise

So I’ve been mostly silent so far, letting Shawn do most of the blogging about the trip. That is because he makes most of the reservations. I then figure out how to get us and all the stuff we need packed…..

So if you’ve ever read a blog about cruising, there are a few things you already know. The first being- the staterooms are small!  And if that isn’t hard enough, cruises have dress codes at dinner, formal parties and on the Disney ships- pirate night. Which means Ina given day you need 2-3 different outfits (and don’t even get me started on the shoes!  

Packing for the trip is a challenge even for a veteran traveller (like me).  And I can also tell you from experience that it isn’t fun furiously searching for a shoe when you are late for dinner.  The way to have a stress free vacation is to get your stateroom organized. 

Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way- bring hangars. I like to bring used dry cleaning hangars.  The beauty to this- at the end of your trip you can leave the hangars behind to make room in your bag for a few more souvenirs. 

I would plan to bring several, but if you runout and want more, check the laundry rooms on the ship. There is usually a collection from previous guests. And of course, you can always ask your room steward for more. You may also want to bring clothes pins to help hang pants, skirts, etc.  Hanging will also help wrinkles fall out.  But Imore on wrinkles later. 

So I’ve learned that the walls on the Disney ship are magnetic. So this time around I’m bringing heavy duty magnetic hooks. Thea Weill be places to hang lanyards with our room keys, excursion backpacks, etc.  also, I’ve read that Disney no longer allows over the door hooks due to damage to the stateroom. I was considering bringing padded shelf liner (or the stuff you can put under rugs to stop them from sliding). I’ll probably bring those as backup, but I’m planning on using the magnetic hooks for the shoe rack as well. 

I’m actually bringing two. One I will oily use for shoes and I plan to put that on the door that can connect the rooms (since we aren’t traveling with extended family this trip).  One will probably go on one of the walls and I can use it for things like clean socks and underwear. Or maybe other small things- water bottles, toys, and  maybe sunblock. 

I also have a hanging rack for the shower. Disney does provide shampoo etc.  which is great, but unfortunately my super sensitive skin just doesn’t like it so I bring my own. It’s really too bad, because I love the Disney products. Shawn loves them too. 

So my other packing tip- plan to do laundry. That is correct- I’m advocating chores on vacation. I used to go I incredible efforts to launder and pack every item of clothing for the kids so I could be laundry free. Only to then be stressed once u get home to get it all washed again. Now I bring about 60-70% of what I need and wash while at sea.  

I know it doesn’t sound like fun, but it isn’t too bad.  So, in order to do this, I pack a few laundry supplies. The laundry detergent packs are fabulous, but I have just brought powder or liquid.  If I bring powder, I measure it out in snack size ziplock bags (buy quality freezer bags) and then put them into a outer bag- just to be safe from leaks. No need to bring quarters on the Disney ship- you scan your room key and charge to your account.  And never fear- they do sell laundry soap on board of you forget. But supplies are limited and they at not have your favorite type. 


So I wanted to give you a quick update on what we used and what we didn’t.  I ended up not using the shoe racks. We just didn’t seem to need them. But the magnetic hooks were Fantastic!  Each of us had hooks for our swim suits, goggles and sun shirts. I used a hanger to help hold the shirts and my suit. This allowed them to dry quickly in the cool, air conditioned state room. We also each had a hook for our stateroom lanyards. We couldn’t hang anything very heavy- far less than the 20lbs the magnets were rated for, but it still helped immensely with suits and lanyards. I think I’ll add a few more next time.  

I also recommend packing a small bag to take to the pool to hold keys, phones, sunblock, kindle, goggles, etc. No need for towels- the ship provides those at the pool. 

Overall, we were well packed. The bagged outfits for the kids was awesome. It helped them focus on getting dressed and they always had mom-approved outfits w/o a fuss! I will certainly do that again!