Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Packed Snacks and Lunches for a Family Weekend Away!

Friday, 9/20/13 through Sunday, 9/22/13 - Hubby was going to Rose City Comic Con in Portland, and they were paying for his hotel room. He was a guest of honor or something. Whatever. Anyway, so since he'd be driving down anyway, and his hotel was free, it was like a free family weekend getaway! Except I was stuck with the kids most of the time...

I had a bunch of extra prepped melon and veggies left over from an event, and didn't want them sitting alone at home all weekend, so I jammed as much as I could into three of our EasyLunchboxes - one for each day we'd be gone. And brought a few empties to divvy each day's share into along with other leftovers and foods brought along.
Because Portland is a haven for vegan (dairy-free) and gluten-free foodies, and because our travel expenses were basically free, I only planned for packed lunches and snacks, so that we could explore the local cuisine for breakfast and dinner.
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Day 1: Road Trippin'
PBandCo peanut butter packets, Wholly Guacamole mini cups;
organic celery, tomatoes, carrots, honeydew, plum, apples
I packed as many honeydew slices, cherry tomatoes, cut celery, and baby carrots as would fit in the large compartments, then added side compartments with some apple and plum slices that also needed to get used up. 
We snacked on one of the boxes on the 3-hour drive down (the one with the plum. They don't stay good as long as apples!) And passed around the mini Wholly Guacamole cup for dipping. Mama was in charge of putting peanut butter in the celery sticks though! 

As it happens, NW VegFest Portland was happening that same weekend. So I planned to take the girls to that at some point. But then, lo! It turned out to be at the same convention center! How perfect was that? We could wander back and forth, eating samples at one end of the convention center and annoying Dadda while he was trying to work at the other!

Day 2: VegFest and a Surprise Visit!
Part of the kids area of VegFest had a vermicomposting expert with trays of compost and worms! The girls went wild for them! I finally had to hustle them off when they started trying to smuggle worms into the stroller! NO THANKS!

They also had free face painting (versus the comic con's $3,) and they not only were offering all kinds of elaborate designs, but the make-up was all dye-free! So Mama didn't have to worry about any of it rubbing off onto little sampling hands!
Z had only had her face painted once before, after years of refusing to even try. We'd been at Trader Joe's and I told her that if she let them try, she could pick something for them to paint on me. She ended up sitting long enough for a whole butterfly, and Mama got a mustache. o_O

So I was shocked when she went for the full-face design of an angel. And went back for touch-ups throughout the day, and again the next day. And refused to wash it off, and wore what was left to school on Monday!
I was so impressed, and Z loved it so much, that I ordered some Elegant Minerals face paint myself when we got home! Z wants me to paint another angel on her face, but I just don't think I'm up to the task.
I had brought the second packed box fruit and veggie box, plus guacamole and peanut butter, and had some bagged Naturebox snacks, all stuffed in the bottom of the double stroller. But really, we got so many free samples, no one was hungry! The girls were ravenous food samplers, and I often had to give up my sample to a little someone who had loved it so.

I was so excited to meet fellow bento blogger Jessie from Chaos and Confections! She lives near Portland, and had some time to come and troll VegFest with me. She brought two of her daughters, one of whom was going through allergy testing and was restricted from a bunch of different foods. It was hard finding safe things for her to sample, but they found some, and her daughter also found a new food to love - pumpkin seed butter! I love when trying new things pays off!

Day 3: ComicCon
For our final day in Portland, I packed each girl a lunch to snack on as we wheeled around, but also for the drive home, if they had any left.
E's Lunch
Wholly Guacamole mini cup, celery, tomatoes, carrots, leftover kale salad
from Mama's dinner and leftover GF dairy-free mac and cheese (Veggie Grill)
E is a bit more adventurous than Z, and had enjoyed my salad from Veggie Grill the night before, so I gave her some leftovers for lunch the next day, plus some of their leftover gluten and dairy-free macaroni and cheese (also from Veggie Grill.)
She also got more veggies to dip because, well, she's willing to eat more veggies than her sister! Plus she doesn't eat tortilla chips properly, and keeps trying to swallow larger sharp chunks. And chokes. No thanks.

Z's Lunch 
Wholly Guacamole mini cup, whole grain tortilla chips, carrots, sugar snap peas, leftover DF GF mac and cheese
Z got chips. And fewer veggies. That's how we roll!

Tools of the Trade

Rose City Comic Con didn't have as much to draw the girls in, so we only made short forays into the dealer's area before heading out to the lobby to get the stinkeye from judgy parents as I let the girls go up and down the escalator without me. I got tired of escort duty after about the fourth trip. Which gave me ample time to photograph some amazing costumes. While keeping one eye on my girls, of course!

I also managed to lure them into posing for a picture with a Star Wars fan club raising money for charity. The girls were entranced by the costumes.
So the comic con wasn't a total bust for us. Plus Z found one of the artists who does My Little Pony comics, so we bought her a signed copy. Start 'em young...

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