Saturday, July 24, 2010

Food Revolution Road Trip Day 6: Overload

Jake models a raccoon hat at the Claw, Antler, and Hide Co. in Custer, SD

Things to Do, Places to Go!

-shop til we DROP!
-visit the Journey Museum

Food Revolution Challenge:
-restaurant portion sizes

Today is a shopping day. We love to shop in South Dakota, because things are so much cheaper than at home. Case in point? Lee Jeans for Hubs, $20 at JC Penny. At home the same jeans are $50. Hubs drops me off at the Gap while he and Jake check out their kind of stores, and after we reconvene at the hotel for lunch, it's off to Custer again. In fact, we've spent so much time in Custer this holiday that we're considering staying here next year.

While in Custer, Jake and I convince Hubs that we need to look in the Claw, Antler, and Hide Company. This store is not for the faint of heart because dead animals, their skins, claws, and antlers are EVERYWHERE.

Need a skunk skin? It's only $40, and it doesn't smell funky. Perhaps raccoon is more your taste. There's even rattlesnake, if you need it. But if you break the brightly dyed deer tails in the basket over there, you have to buy them. I'm a little disturbed about all these dead animal parts.

Hubs almost knocks a deer head off the wall when he looks at a sheepskin and I began to wonder if he broke a deer head, would they make us buy THAT and take it home? If the border guards were so upset over orange peels, I wonder how a whole animal head strapped to the roof would go over?

I can just imagine.

Later we visit the Journey Museum in Rapid City and learn all about the geology of the Black Hills, the Native peoples, and the history. We love museums.

Isn't that bead work amazing? I highly recommend the Journey Museum as a place to stop and learn about the Black Hills. We spend quite awhile there before zipping off to Starbucks for a coffee, then doing a little more shopping, because we can't help ourselves.

Jake buys an Mp3 player and with his technology needs finally fulfilled, feels whole once again until he realizes that he can't load music on it until we get HOME. We resolve that quite possibly, the boy needs a haircut and scope out a Great Clips for tomorrow. There's a little driving around as we visit lesser known areas of the Black Hills, and just putter around town.

That evening we dine at the Firehouse Brewing Co. again and I finally succumb to temptation. There is a cheesy, obviously fattening Southwest Chicken Burrito on the menu and I WANT IT. So does Jake. We take the plunge and order. I rationalize it to myself by saying that geez, we're on holidays, why not order some southwest style food?

Holy Mother of GOD. The waitress said it was big, but I didn't think it was THIS big. This is a platter, with a burrito easy 3-4 times the size of something I'd normally eat.

I nibble. It's SO delicious. Full of chicken, cheese, chilies, YUM. Normally I would have attempted to eat it, but this year is different. I slice off 1/3, eat the salad, and leave the rest, asking the waitress to box it up. Take it out of my sight, like...NOW!

1/3 becomes my lunch tomorrow and the last 1/3 is given to Jake, aka "Hoover Boy", once he's finished swimming that evening. He's growing and can afford the calories.

A challenge for us, in any USA restaurant, is the portion sizes. More often than not they are at least 2-3 times more than what we eat at home and sometimes the food is your calorie intake for the entire day. To avoid that, we often order off the senior's/light menu, stick to things like 1/2 sized salads, soups, chilis, we share items, or we eat some and leave the other half for lunch the next day. We always ask for no bacon or cheese (as in the Cobb salad, just extra chicken), whole wheat instead of white bread, dressings/sauces on the side, and veggies or salad instead of fries. It's hard, because I love gooey, cheesy, fattening food just as much as everyone else, and having the self control to only eat a small portion takes some serious self restraint.

This time, just looking at the plate reinforces Food Revolution Road Trip to me. While I love gooey cheesy, I'm not doing this again.

After dinner we walk around downtown Rapid City and check out some of the president statues perched on what seems like every street corner. Jake is bounding along like a giant puppy-I swear, that kid has grown just in the last few days. His jeans are too short, and we need to buy him runners soon.

Jake: "Mom, which president is this?"

Me: " I have no idea."

Jake: "Well he sure is short. Kinda like you and Dad."

Tomorrow: It's our last day in Rapid City! We chat with a Jake's hair dresser about Food Revolution Road trip, and go shopping again, find a relevant article in a local newspaper, and I explain the wonders of Kraft easy cheese to Jake.

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