Just once I'd love to go on vacation and not crap my pants. Is that too much to ask?
Since I have celiac disease (an autoimmune response to gluten that rips apart the villi in my small intestine and causes a variety of sickness including the aforementioned crapping of the pants) sometimes it IS too much. But god willing, I'm making it my personal goal to not only take on some international travel without getting sick, but to take people with me and protect them as well.
The thing is, when you're on vacation, you don't want to do things you "should" do even if those things mean the difference between being allowed in the hotel pool, which clearly states, "Do not enter the pool with active diarrhea," or having to sit on the sidelines, sweaty and racing to the bathroom. But most of us don't have a personal assistant/food taster to make sure we can dine and get our vacation on in peace. That's why I'm doing this whole "Gluten-Free Tour of Ireland" thing. I'm going to be that food taster/personal assistant to any gluten-free people who have had enough of stressful vacations.
I realize a gluten-free tour may not seem, oh I don't know, like a great time to some of you, but for those of us who spend way too much of our vacation time haranguing wait staff and chefs, we really know that if someone else is willing to make sure we can eat safely, well, that's truly a vacation.
Before I hear anyone start bellyaching about, "Oh, you gluten-free types don't know what you're talking about. It's all in your head, blah de blah de blah," I'd love to say one thing: YOU DON'T KNOW FROM BELLYACHING.
I've boarded a plane at least half a dozen times after being on vacation, visiting family or friends, when I wasn't in control of what I ate and, guess what, I got some gluten in there. Do you know what it's like to fly across the country when you have it coming out of both ends and there's turbulence and not enough water and you've got the window seat? Yeah, that's why I'm doing this whole gluten-free tour and busting my butt to make sure that doesn't happen to my fellow gluten sensitives. Also consider it a service to those of you who would have to sit next to us on those flights. You're welcome.
I've already been working with a crew in Ireland to locate the most gluten-free friendly chefs, hotels, tours, and snacks so I'm ready to go with my bad gluten-free self and take anyone else along for the ride. For this trip we actually have a world-class chef who is incredibly excited about creating an entirely gluten-free meal for us because he's kind of been into the whole gluten-free thing for awhile. A chef! Who loves gluten-free! I don't know about you, but I've found it challenging to woo anyone in a restaurant into believing gluten-free cooking is a worthwhile endeavor. But this guy, the guy who is feeding us in Dublin? Well, he is gluten-free IN.
So naturally, I feel really proud about taking this on for those of us who are used to suffering through meals when everyone else is whooping it up and relaxing. I'm going to make the gluten-free relax. Whether they like it or not. You should totally come with. Let's vacation, people! As if we were normal. Who's in?