Day 5 - Packing More Than Clothes.

I'm sooooo excited that I get to spend a week in St. Louis with some very gifted people.  My dad is a writer.  I write, but am not necessarily a writer.  I'm honest with myself enough to know that there's a difference.  But somehow I still get to go to an amazing Writers Conference.  And I'm stoked.

Of course, I'm knee-deep in a Saturday afternoon with the kiddos, laundry, and a suitcase.

This is the first solo trip, however, where I've found myself packing food.  I called ahead and discovered that my hotel room will have a mini-fridge.  I'm sharing my room with someone who I'm sure will be lovely, but I don't want to make a bad first impression and hog all the cooled food space.  So I'm packing a cooler for the trip along with a bag of items that won't need refrigeration.  I'm relying on more convenience-style items than I would if I weren't traveling.  I don't want to have to take dishes or utensils along for the ride.

I 'food-stalked,' as Jaime calls it, at Walmart yesterday, and my plan is looking a bit like this:

In the cooler:

Boiled Eggs, Applegate Farms Hot Dogs, Celery Sticks, Wholy Guac, Blueberry Packs, and Fruit/Veggie Single-Serve Packs.

In the dry bag:

Canned Tuna, Black Olive Tapenade (it's approved!), La Croix Orange Sparkling Water (for when seeing everyone with a soda drives me green with envy), Raisins (I cured a sugar craving with those last night - and they actually tasted TOO sweet), Almonds, Macadamia Nuts, Larabars, Rooibos Tea Bags, and Al Pastor Taco Sauce (I even called Target's customer service line to make sure the Archer Farm's sauces had MSG.  Nope!), Coconut Butter, Cherry Tomatoes, Oranges, Apples, and Bananas.

So for breakfast I'm going to have boiled eggs, guac, and some veggies or fruit.

There is a continental breakfast-style break (where I plan to score some more boiled eggs along with some fruit) and a buffet-style lunch.  I'm hoping the buffet includes a decent salad bar - and that's where I'm going to bring in my can of tuna and dump it over the greens with a smidge of the tapenade.  Dinner might be my most difficult meal to navigate.  I don't think that is served buffet style, but plated, so I may run into challenges there.  Believe me, I'm not going to let this throw me off course.  I'll keep Larabars in my purse along with some nuts to tide me over until I can get back to my room for a healthier option.

Protein by far will likely be one of my most challenging food groups.  There is a pretty solid chance that it will be cooked - even grilled - in non-approved oils.  I really don't want to eat eggs for a week, so hopefully I'll figure something out!

The nature of my life involves lots of other opportunities for travel, so when I stay on track through this week, I'll set a model for myself that I can use again in the future.  Very excited about that!

Any tips to share or essentials you see I am leaving out?

Day 6 - Cruisin'.

Day 4 - I Still Miss Teatime.