Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Food Revolution Road Trip11 Day 6: The Travel Gods Hate Me

Where we are: Rapid City, South Dakota

Plan for the day: Shopping, Ellsworth Air Force Base

Food Revolution Challenge: Overeating guilt and possessed hotel fridges

It's day six, and I have resolved to quit viewing my dinner as a 'treat' when I order something. After nibbling on yesterday's largest sandwich I've ever seen, I felt really awful. From now on, I'm going to be smarter.

The weather is weird-one minute hot and muggy, the next cool and cloudy. Thunderstorms spring up in the afternoons and dump rain while lightening flashes, so we dress in layers and bring our coats with us where ever we visit.

This morning, we decide to visit the Ellsworth Air Force Base and the Minuteman Missile Site. After loading up on Starbucks coffee, we're off to see the airplanes.

Air and Space Museum, South Dakota, plane, fighter jet, Rapid City

We board a shuttle and are taken around a working air force base as well as to see the site of the missile, which is really fascinating. As we go through the tour, we notice that the base has everything anyone could possibly want. The guide talks about the incredible fitness facilities-something like 3 Olympic sized pools, gyms, the works. There's a pause, then Kevin turns to me and says, "if they are so interested in soldiers' health, then the bunch of fast food places are kind of an oxymoron, don't you think?"

Huh. Interesting observation, really. The museum is fantastic, and we truly enjoy it. I love reading about the candy bombers of World War Two, and Kevin has an interest in the Berlin Wall. We talk about what we both remember about it-John from actually having been to Germany when it was there, and me from just graduating from high school when it was torn down. The interesting thing is that I grew up knowing the wall was there, but never the history behind it-so it was very interesting to read about as an adult.

Rapid City clouds, storm, clouds, thunder

The weather began to turn ugly and rather than stand out amongst a bunch of metal planes, we chose to go back to our hotel for lunch and then head out to Custer or Hill City to look around. I've been stealthy about the fridge this year, making sure that it's turned down and all our food doesn't freeze. Even still, things get a bit too icy.

I eat a little more of the biggest sandwich ever. Why didn't I just throw the thing away? Disgusted at myself for not being able to waste food, and even more disgusted that I'm still eating this massive sandwich that's slightly frozen, I pitch the rest in the trash. That's when Kevin notices something interesting.

"Mom, these containers from the restaurant are from corn." He turns it over in his hands, looking thoughtful. "If all the corn is genetically modified, and we start using it instead of oil in things like plastic, what if there is some disease that wipes it all out?" Our eyes meet. I know where he's going.

"We're screwed, then. And what about people who are allergic to corn? If it's in these containers, then what?"

Smart boy, that one. I don't know how to answer him.

Browsing, Hill City, Fourth of July

The weather is dry in Hill city and we browse through the shops. Families crowd the tiny stores while small kids whine for candy, parents chastise them, and we make a break for the exits. We do find some interesting places where Kevin buys a pair of climbing shoes and I score a cute dress to wear to BlogHer in San Diego this summer.

Soon, it's dinner time again. This time, I lobby the boys to try a different restaurant, but am unsuccessful. We are back at the Firehouse, but I'm smarter. Instead I order the Ahi Tuna Salad, which is absolutely amazing, and not big at all. Can I live on salad the whole holiday? I'm not sure.

Back in our hotel, I prep for the drive to Utah tomorrow. This time, I'm getting creative. I had noticed hard boiled eggs in the breakfast bar, so I'm going to use them to our advantage. I've never had to cook from bits from a breakfast bar or leftovers, but desperate times call for creative measures. Kevin and John look on as I slice and chop veggies into a huge salad, and then package it all up in containers. There's cheese and crackers, trail mix, fruit, hummus, and lots more to keep us fed and watered all the way through the Rockies.

Now this is how we should be eating, I think as I clean off my knife and tuck the salads into the fridge with a smile.

Never tempt the vacation Gods, people.

Two of the salads were frozen solid the next day.

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