I still have so many posts to catch up on from the last couple of weeks, but today I’d like to talk about my experience this weekend while it’s fresh in my find.
I flew to St. Louis this weekend to meet up with my amazing friends Lisa and Mandy. I can’t tell you how much I love these ladies and I can’t tell you how good it was for my soul to get to spend time with them. As an added bonus I also got to make some new friends and share laughs with Becky from Love Every Day Life and her husband Ben and Nilsa from SoMi Speaks and her husband Sweets and their ridiculously adorable son Gavin. You know how sometimes a group of people meets and it just clicks. This was one of those times.
All in all it was a great weekend, however there was a truly crappy food related incident at the end.
I don’t really talk much about how incredibly awful it is to have potentially fatal food allergies. The reason I don’t talk about it is simple; I don’t want to think about it myself. Make no mistake though, it is awful, but I still need to live my life so most of the time I need shut those thoughts off and just push through.
Traveling with food allergies is not easy. I’m sure that if you think about it for about 30 seconds you can think of the many ways in which it would be difficult for food allergic people away from home and you’d likely be right about all of them. What you may not think about though the actual travel itself, the getting there and getting back on planes trains and automobiles.
Getting there is usually not so bad as I can just pack a cheese sandwich and some snacks from home in my carryon. My return trip is another story. Often I don’t have access to a supermarket or refrigerator before my return trip which means buying food at the transportation hub. Sometimes I can find cheese or yogurt in a refrigerated section. Usually though I’m not that lucky. Most often the only things I can find that are safe for me are processed packaged crap. You know, the kind of stuff that I never eat.
After a day of travel that involves nothing than chips and pretzels I always come home feeling sick so imagine my excitement that the breakfast buffet at our hotel had 4oz containers of yogurt that I could grab. It wasn’t my favorite kind of yogurt as I prefer to buy plain Greek yogurt and mix in my own fruit, but still those 4oz of Yoplait strawberry was a God send compared to what I knew would be available at the airport.
Lisa’s flight was leaving from a different terminal so after saying our goodbyes to her, Mandy and I made our way through the security line. We both put our luggage on the conveyer belt and walked through the metal detector. At the other side of the detector though, we heard the TSA agent who was screening our luggage call for a rescreen. Another agent came over and picked up my carryon and brought it over. “Is this yours?” he asked. “Yes,” I replied and instantly I knew, it must be because I hadn’t taken out my iPad!
The agent unzipped my bag and reached inside as I prepared my apology. The words were just about to form on my lips when he said in a stern voice, “This is not allowed!” as he held up his hand to reveal … yup you’ve probably guessed it by now… my yogurt!
I was literally stunned. All I could do was stammer, “But it’s not liquid!” because, uh, it isn’t! I was rewarded with a sharp look and was informed that my yogurt would be thrown out and my carryon rescreened. I. Was. Pissed. But as all travelers know that the TSA and their arbitrary rules have you by the balls. I am not the type to keep quiet when I know I’m right, but in this case there was no point. If you argue with a TSA agent all that will happen is they’ll go all SEAL Team 6 on you, take you in to a room meant for dangerous yogurt wielding criminals and then hold up everyone else on the security line in order to prove a totally useless point so instead I just sat there and watched him throw my yogurt away.
Mandy’s flight left before mine so after saying goodbye to her I wandered the terminal looking for something to eat. As expected there was no yogurt, no cheese, nothing remotely resembling real food that was actually safe for me. My lunch consisted of a bag of cheezits and a bag of pretzels. I felt like crap. Awesome.
So here’s a big ol’ thank you from this allergic traveller to the TSA for keeping the world safe from potential yogurt bombs. I’m sure everyone reading this will feel a little more confident next time they fly.
Ughhhh how crappy – I’m so sorry! Hope you were able to eat something delicious and filling when you got home – and SO great to meet you! (Look for a photo recap post tomorrow)
It was SO wonderful meeting you!! It didn’t feel like we were meeting for the first time and our little group really did hit it off fantastically. It was so much fun to just sit in the lobby and talk and talk and talk. And annoy the football fan who got to hear about boys and smell nail polish. 😉
BUT – that sucks abougt yoru yogurt! I hear you on traveling wreaking havoc on you. I have not been preparing very well lately, so have been eating crap in the airports when I don’t have enough tiem for an actual meal. There is a restaurant in the MSP airport that has a great GF menu, so I try to get to the airport early enough to eat there whenever I can!!
Totally cool meeting you, too. I love that we took hold of that lounge area and made it our own living room. I’m pretty sure some of us even took our shoes off to get more comfy. I only wish we could’ve hung out longer. I mean, seriously!
You know what totally sucks about that yogurt thing being banned? We’ve brought squeezable tubes of mushy baby food and they’ve never been questioned. I mean, each time we did bring them on, our bags were rescreened by hand (and everything was removed) … but, they always let us take it with us (even in Boston, which always seems to be one of the strictest security lines I’ve ever seen!). It’s so stupid how inconsistent the rules are from one airport to the next! Sorry you wound up with a starchy diet on your way home. =(
Yes, thank you TSA for making sure we are all safe from that dangerous dairy weapon and an even bigger thanks for wasting yet another perfectly good serving of food
It was equally good for my soul to spend time with you this weekend! I wish times like this weekend could happen so much more often. I miss you already! NYC or Cleveland must happen soon.
This is just so annoying. Especially since in my experience, if you have a child with you, they would have let you get on the plane with it. I seriously had so much food in my carry on last time I flew and not all of it was obviously for my baby. But nobody batted an eye! I had a tonnn and it was all thrown around my heavy carry on and I even had a sippy cup of water that I forgot to get out. Yes, an agent did look over it once it scanned through, but didn’t say a dang thing after she looked through my bag. That is stupid. And then the PRICEof things when you do find something you can eat. Ugh.