What My Vacation Taught Me About Food

I love vacations for many reasons; the much-needed break from everyday life, the extra time with my husband, the ability to focus on my kids without distractions, and of course, the food! I don't necessarily plan my vacations around food, but I'd be lying if I said that food isn't a big factor when we're planning our getaways ;).

My family recently took a trip to a little town in Idaho, close to West Yellowstone. It was so nice to get that break, and the fact that we went with 8 out of 9 of my siblings and their families and my parents and my little family- it was a big ol' party to say the least! We had a blast and while we were there, I actually learned a few things about food...

1. Everyone needs to eat. Consistently. One of the big reasons I like to plan ahead with food is because everyone needs to eat! This seems like a "well, duh" statement, but I find it interesting how often we forget to factor meals in when we're planning a big day of fun. There was one particular day that we were trying to pack a lot in- a visit to Jenny Lake and Jackson Hole, a drive through Yellowstone- it was a packed day! While we had made a general plan, we didn't really hash out the specifics of when we'd eat the packed lunches we brought. At one point (around 1), there was some miscommunication and tension started to build- and my awesome and smart hubby recognized it for what it was- everyone was hangry! He basically told everyone that he was stopping for lunch and everyone else should too- and sure enough, 20 minutes later everyone was happy as could be and ready to take on our adventure again! As fun as vacations are, they're definitely not fun when food gets forgotten. Food is important- and not just because it tastes good!

2. It's ok to splurge a little, especially when you're visiting somewhere new. My husband and I are working on a few goals (like finishing our basement and putting in a patio), and so we've really been aware of where our money is going and sticking to a budget. The first night we went out to eat, my husband looked at the menu and immediately got stressed because of the prices. They're weren't outlandish or anything, especially considering we were in a tourist town. Instead of stressing about the prices, I reminded him that we had budgeted money for food for this particular vacation, and we didn't need to stress about buying dinner because this was exactly what the budget was for!

3. It's also ok to reign it in and stay under budget. On another night, we visited a pizza place- my husband and kid's favorite food! At first, my husband wanted to order 2 different pizzas (they had some really unique varieties!), some cheese sticks, and a salad for me- because I'm not the biggest fan of pizza ;). After thinking through the order a little more, he realized that we really didn't need that much food. He knew the kids weren't as hungry (since they had been snacking all day), and he realized he really wasn't that hungry either, so we decided to get 1 large and 1 smaller pizza, a salad for me and nix the cheesesticks. It ended up being the perfect amount of food, and we easily saved $15!

4. Food creates an atmosphere. I'm pretty sure we all know this, but I think we take it for granted. The food we serve, and when we serve it, can totally change the attitude of a day or the atmosphere of an occasion. We played games a couple different nights in our cabin, and the first night, it was like everyone was only putting forth a half-effort. We had some people playing games, but most were acting tired and disinterested. However, the next night I set out some homemade Cookies n' Cream Chex Mix, and my mom pulled out a whole bag of goodies, which we spread across the table. The whole attitude changed. We had more people involved, but it also felt more laid-back and fun- just because of the addition of some tasty treats! It changed from an obligatory game night into a party!

Food is a big part of life, and it's not a bad thing to let it teach us a few things as we enjoy it! Have you learned any life lessons from food recently?

Picture Source:
  •   https://pixabay.com/photos/yellowstone-national-park-sunset-1589616/

    Camille Hoffmann
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
    Email the author! camille@dvo.com

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