We returned from vacation today. I have to admit that I was a little nervous leaving home without a solid grasp of what we can now eat. I worked out wonderfully. We ate like gourmet foodies (I think), and enjoyed every day. I really recommend that anyone with multiple allergies stay at a suite when traveling for more than one night. It is such a stress relief to know that you can always have safe food when you get back to the hotel.
We love Homewood Suites, but recently stayed in a Residence Inn. (A mistake by the way, for those of you who are allergic to animals. I did not know ahead of time that they allow animals. My eldest is VERY allergic to dogs, and I must admit, I freaked out. The manager did put us on the 'pet free floor'. She seemed okay in the room, but after 10 minutes in the lobby, she needed a Benadryl and a bath.) I digress.
I love having a full kitchen to cook in, and knowing that I can stock it with whatever foods I want. Granted, it is not fully stocked with all of the utensils that we get spoiled by in our own kitchens, but it has what you need to cook for a week. It is a luxury worth indulging in. Most families spend money eating out at restaurants the whole week, so grocery shopping is a money saver that can offset the added expense of a suite.
I will say that we had two restaurant experiences on our trip, both of which are worth sharing. Quaker Stake and Lube had an impressive knowledge of the allergens on their menu, and the waitress seemed genuinely concerned with accommodating us to the best of her ability. We had more options there than I would have imagined.
We also tried Houlihans. The waitress seemed unconcerned with learning about what would be safe for us, and suggested that instead of learning what is in the barbeque sauce we just order our chicken/salmon plain. I was so mad at her lack of concern and effort that I was ready to walk out, but the visit was saved by the appearance of the kitchen manager. He took us very seriously, and made the eldest feel like a princess by making her a special dish and delivering it himself. Kudos to him!
I think I am done rambling for now, I just wanted to offer encouragement to those who are wary of travel. It can be done, and done well. We had a ton of fun, ate well, played well, and felt normal the whole time. What a great relief!