Last week I loaded up the car with a cooler, one suitcase and the babes and headed to Nashville. My youngest sister gets married in less than two months (!) and will be making the move to Nashville after the wedding so we decided to help her out with apartment tours. It’s hard to say no to a road trip when the guys have an away game so we decided to take advantage of being a 3 hour drive away from this fun city and hit the road.
We left at 6:30am (I love to get at least two hours of driving in before giving the kids their breakfast I packed- It breaks the time up well!) and arrived around 10 which meant we had plenty of time to eat. My sisters had their eye on a crepe restaurant called Red Bicycle Cafe which I researched and found offered gluten free crepes for the kids! Sold. I ordered them both a banana crepe and since they only had peanut butter, I ran to the car and spread some cashew butter on their crepes. Between the cashew butter, the honey and the bananas these two were in actual paradise. Yes, they licked the plate.
I was hoping I’d be able to grab egg whites here for myself but it turned out that wasn’t an option. I packed apples and cashew butter just incase which ended up being the perfect thing to hold me over until after we saw some apartments! My sister found the apartment of her dreams, the kids got to ride around in a golf cart, it was a win-win.
I’m not gonna lie- I had a hard time this trip. In fact, I sat in my car outside my sister’s said found dream apartment and cried. Looking up restaurant after restaurant of food I’d love to be eating is something I’m usually numb to. That wasn’t the case in Nashville. It’s the first time I’ve traveled without bringing all of my own food and having multiple days to cook. Since it was an overnight trip, I only brought a small cooler with two basil turkey burgers I made the day before, my cashew butter, yogurt for the babes, Oshiolema’s amoxicillin (good ol’ two week long ear infection) and the kids lunches for the car ride home the next day. I should have brought at least three meals to be safe. Better safe than sorry will be my motto going forward!
My sisters were so sweet to cater to what I’d be able to eat and was craving (salmon, veggies) instead of what they’d actually love to eat (pizza, burgers, pasta, all the things) which lead us to Cafe Roze.
I shared on Instagram the importance of bringing a base to rely on if your kids have food intolerances. Keogena and Oshiolema are gluten sensitive and don’t eat meat or dairy. This sounds much more intense than it really is but out of the four of us, the kids definitely have the easiest diet to accommodate. You’d be surprised how many options they have when we go out to eat! If worse comes to worse, they can always have veggies tossed in olive oil, fruit and some french fries on the side as a treat. Keeping our go-to store bought gluten free bread (Canyon Bakehouse) on hand as well as my favorite almond yogurt (Kite Hill plain) takes the guess work out of everything. For this trip, I packed two almond yogurts and some sandwiches just incase- they didn’t end up needing the sandwiches the next day which meant they went right back in the fridge and wound up as lunch the day after we got home. Win.
We spent the night before laying around talking and I cooked a quick box of our favorite Chickpea pasta for the kids and my sister for dinner. Early the next morning, since my sisters definitely needed a sleep in, I snuck the kids out early for a fun treat breakfast. We do very, very limited sugar at home. I don’t cook or bake with any processed sugars so I love for the babes to get to indulge whenever we travel and make it a special thing. A friend recommended Post East to us since she’s also dairy and gluten free and it did not disappoint! I got a smoothie that was delicious while I let the kids go all out. They had gluten free biscuits that looked absolutely delicious, a giant bowl of coconut yogurt and berries and some gluten-free waffles.
The checkout time for our Airbnb was 11am and our guys had a football game at 3pm so our window was a bit tight. We had lofty goals of all we wanted to see and do but in the end, we just settled on lunch before hitting the road. Biscuit Love and The Grilled Cheeserie are right next door to one another which was perfect for us. The Grilled Cheeserie has gluten free bread AND vegan cheese options! Their tater-tots were next level, too, which I can always get behind. You can make all sorts of amazing add-on choices like bacon and avocado and all the yummy things like that if more is more tends to be your motto.
As we placed an order for our food there, I made an online order (potatoes and egg whites) for pick-up at Biscuit Love. They were ready around the same time and when I went to pick it up, the manager looked at my bag and said to the chef “she said she doesn’t eat dairy- you cooked this in butter, can you start it over quick?” I just felt so well taken care of and was just blown away by that attention to detail. Trust me, I’ve learned from experience that many people don’t care what food aversions or allergies you have and will often overlook requests for substitutions.
I can’t wait for our next adventures in Nashville and am so looking forward to more little mini trips with the kids while it’s this easy! It won’t be forever that I can pack up my road-trip kit, fill a cooler and hit the road with no notice. I’ll soak it all up while I have the chance!
some favorites in my road-trip-with-kids kit I never travel without:
The two outfits I packed: