Food Finds · Trail Cooking · Travel

Denver and Some New Snacks To Check Out

It had been a few years since I went to Denver, but I had a conference calling to me to attend, for food allergies. And honestly, I needed a reason to leave the island. I have been so busy the past 8 months that I don’t get anything else done.

One bonus about island living is we have this amazing shuttle company that drives the island and takes you directly to the airport. I have to say, I feel sorry for those who don’t have this!

The ferry ride was slow. Orcas were in the water. A good excuse for enjoying the views silently and slowly.

I tried out the light rail from the airport in Denver and it wasn’t bad, but very, very rocky. If you are not sitting, you will need to hang on, till it gets into city limits. Still, for $9 it is a viable option. The stations are well-lit and patrolled by transit police. However, you do have to cross live tracks to get off the stations.

I love the sunrises in Denver. I can’t see ours at home, due to a ridge behind us. We get amazing sunsets, but there is just something about the sun rising over the east, over Denver.

Part of why one goes to conferences is the swag, you know….and unlike most conferences, I like the ones that send you home with full suitcases of food! And as usual….my suitcase got searched by the TSA coming back. I always pack it so you know they are clueless. A friend told me that once the agent snarled at her “Why is your suitcase full of food?” When replying she had been at a conference the agent muttered back “Why don’t you shop at a grocery store like a normal person?” HAHAHA…sure buddy.

This was my second time attending this conference. I go for the companionship mostly. It helps every few years to sit down and feel normal – surrounded by others who understand you. Parenting a child with severe food allergies isn’t an easy job, and I don’t mind it – but sometimes it’s just good to be able to unload onto those who know the fear. However, for me, the hardest part is they honor those who have passed away – all children. I cannot be in the room when they do. The only way you exist as a parent to a child with food allergies is to focus on everyday and not put focus on what ifs. You train for it, you lecture them on safety. A big topic was on bullying of children with food allergies and how to change it. That was a huge thing for me. I came out revitalized for his school.

But for the less sober and depressing, the expo is what I love. Talking to companies and their reps.

One highlight for trying was Enjoy Life Protein Bites. Alistaire cannot have them, but I can – so I enjoyed the many samples they handed out. (They use sunflower protein is why). They come in small Grab & Go bags as well – meaning they are great for snack bags. One note: Keep them away from small children, as they are shooter marble sized – cut them into quarters to avoid choking issues. Taste is like a healthy truffle!

Because you know: I do love someone with food allergies. Little man! Freeyumm is a great company that Alistaire can have about half their line.

One of my favorite finds was Veggicopia’s hummus (2 flavors) and a black bean spread/dip. All are shelf stable for easy packing. They also make the line of Mozaics chips – which are very good. Amazon has a grab and go pack that is all shelf-stable – perfect for hiking. They also make tiny bags of green olives with no brine (and more types are coming!).

Sunday I woke up to snow falling…..and wow, it was cold. I have gotten a little too used to living on an island where it’s around 40* at night. It was in the 20*’s. I was a big baby and got an Uber to the airport….hah.

Pro-tip: Make your own trail mix from the hotel’s concierge lounge if you happen to be at that level. Thanks unguarded jars. Sure beats paying for snacks at the airport 😉

The weather was gorgeous coming home, as we crossed the Cascade Mountains. Rainier under the wing, Adams to the far left, and then Hood way over.

And when a pilot gets that close to Mount Rainier, he’s a great pilot!