I like to think celiac has taught me two big life lessons. First, cooking can be dang difficult - especially when gluten is crossed off the ingredient list. Second, life doesn't like to go to plan. My family's adventure to watch the MLS playoff between Seattle and LA yesterday exemplifies the latter.
If "MLS" sounds like a dyslexic version of the ABC's, you probably aren't a soccer fan. But my parents and I - with my dad and I being past players - are pretty decent fans. So when we had the chance to see our first live professional game, we jumped on the chance!
We left the house at 10 am with an estimated 12:15 arrival time. With kickoff at 2 pm, we sat back in our gold Honda van and readied ourselves for a relaxing ride.
That's when the road trip from H-E-double drumsticks (it is almost Thanksgiving after all) began. Basically everything that could befall us did. I summed it in one Facebook status when I got home: A huge apocalyptic event had us inching down the I-5 for an hour and a half. Then we spotted a bunch of police cars arresting someone in a random road.
Minutes later, two ambulances happened. Then, on the return trip, we had to stop for gas in the ghettos. To finish it off, a back tire of the car right in front of us exploded. A series of unfortunate driving events one might say.
Life is like that, and celiac seems to increase the odds of a flat tire. You expect a normal Thanksgiving dinner and learn the neighbors invited us over this year. So you adjust. For my family, the turkey trot is happening a day early. That way I'll have my own box of festive goodies to bring to the gluten-filled neighborhood feast. Just like the drive, the dinner may have a few bumps along the way. A few quizzical glances. A few longing stares. (By them and me respectively.)
But I have no doubt that the laughs and memories will be worth it, just like the game. In the end, after a long 3 hour drive full of chaos outside and inside the car, we arrived thirty minutes before kick off.
Since the Stubhub Center offers limited gluten free options, I'd devoured my homemade pizza lunch and bliss ball snack before we rode the shuttle to the stadium. With my belly full, the plates of nachos and pretzels didn't even spark a hint of drool (though, in our sunny seats, the snow cones looked pretty cool!)
The game ended 1-0 in favor of LA, but, as the center's automatic camera captured, there was plenty of excitement along the way. I can't explain how grateful and excited I felt to see all the soccer studs battle it out in the flesh instead of pixels.
More than the game itself, though, I savored sharing a (rather eventual) adventure with my parents. For although we sure weren't laughing at the time, I have no doubt that the "Road trip from Hell" will pop up it's head in many conversations to come.
And, as the Thanksgiving turkey starts its flight to the kitchen table, isn't it the memories that matter the most? Not the food, not winning or losing - just enjoying the game that is life. Detours, gluten free diets and all.
Have you ever had a deathly road trip? What is one surprise life has thrown your way? Comment below!