Type 1 diabetes makes everything about life much more complicated

It involves way more planning than we’ve ever done just to head out the door on a daily basis. However, we don’t let that stop us from adventuring like we did on this most recent road trip to Napa Valley, CA. My husband had a long weekend off all the way up util the Fourth of July. So, we decided on driving up to Napa since we’ve never been before – even when I previously lived in Southern California on my own. We managed to book a pet-friendly hotel at the Meritage Resort and Spa. The road trip plus one bathroom stop and another stop for lunch at Denny’s along the 5 freeway on the way to the hotel took about a total of 7 1/2 hours. FYI, Denny’s has the nutritional menu on the table for every item! Stay away from their fluffy pancakes unless you wanna be “high” (BG over 200 mg/dL) for hours post-prandial. I failed that even using Fiasp in the pump, but at least she was content and fell back asleep on the way north. Read more about our experiences using Fiasp here.
First thing we did once we checked into the hotel was unload the cooler and put the insulin, other perishable snacks, and drinks in the fridge (scroll to bottom to view Packing Lists). I packed two Kona Longboard bottled beers for my hubs since he’s not a wine drinker and I knew he’d want one as soon as we got in through the door. Afterall, he did drive most of the way north.
Next, we headed to the hotel’s Siena restaurant that serves delicious California and Tuscan-inspired cuisine. It was definitely comparable to some of the restaurants we’ve dined at in Milan and Venice, Italy during our honeymoon. Wait service was excellent and wine was exquisite, of course. I love casual dining restaurants where I can feel comfortable in my daily attire while enjoying a fine meal. It’s always best to book a reservation especially on a weekend, but we were always sat immediately on the two occasions dining-in.
For dinner that night, Coral enjoyed her linguini with butter sauce. My Hubs, started off with the glazed pork belly appetizer while I had the heirloom tomato salad for my starter. For his dinner, he devoured the BBQ Glazed Short Rib while I savored my seared scallops with roasted cauliflower and cauliflower puree. The pinot grigio I ordered paired nicely with the scallops. This mama was the only one who ate low-carb that night. Honestly, if it wasn’t for eating low carb, I’d have to work out harder at the gym and go more than twice a week.


As for her BGs that night, it took a bit more effort to keep her in range due to all that butter making her insulin-resistant. Around 2am, I finally set a temp basal increase for +70% for one hour in addition to a few prior corrections or boluses. The High Alert setting on her Dexcom G5 is at 170 every day and most nights. Sometimes, I’ll raise it a bit and bring it back down when she’s back in range. I finally stopped hearing it “BEEP!” almost two hours later. She woke up around 9:00am in the low 100s just in time and in-range for breakfast-in-bed! We had poached eggs, chicken sausage, a fruit platter instead of toast for both main dishes, and a sausage, cheese, mushroom omelette. I try not to mess up her BGs in the AM so the day starts off right – especially after a rough night like the one before.
We explored the hotel grounds and winery a little until we finally asked for directions on how to get to the Crush Sports Bar & Bowling Alley. Yep! They have a freakin’ bowling alley at this resort! However, I’d skip the nachos next time unless they update their recipe. Mama don’t like cheese sauce, but the real deal with melted shredded cheese. They need to skip the pickled red cabbage too. Anyways, despite my sore stomach after eating some of those damn nachos, I still managed to kick my husbands butt at bowling. Coral, of course, is excused, but loves to win at anything.
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(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); After our bowling sesh, we headed back to chill in the hotel room until some old friends who live about a half hour away came over. Then, we headed down to the kid-friendly pool and jacuzzi. We Yelped a couple restaurants nearby and finally decided on another Italian restaurant. Food was pretty good, not worth blogging about, but service was lacking. We said our “goodbye’s” or a hui hou which means “see ya later” or “until we meet again” in Hawaiian.
On Monday, we headed to the Sonoma Traintown Railroad which we previously found and purchased a Groupon worth for one visit (free admission and parking), four train and eight ride tickets for $45 (valued at $60). We made the mistake of walking into the gift shop prior to doing the rides since Coral absolutely did NOT want someone else getting the same huge coloring activity book as the one she picked out. We convinced her that the cashier would hold onto it until we got back. First, she took on the plane rides and tried her best to maneuver the lever to either lower or raise the plane. Then, we went on the train ride which took us around the park and made a pit-stop in the back where there was a mini town and a small petting zoo with goats and alpacas. They were very hungry and dove their mouths into our hands as we tried to feed them. Coral enjoyed exploring through all the downscaled versions of a school classroom, firestation, and barbershop. “Toot! Toot!” The train conductor sounded off. We returned to our train car and headed through tunnels, past a waterfall, and back towards the main entrance.
Coral’s “T1d Won’t Stop Me” t-shirt available on Zazzle.com/t1dlife
It was a bit past 1pm and unfortunately, there wasn’t anything worth eating at the Traintown. I Yelped another restaurant nearby and we ended up driving into downtown Sonoma. Super cute town with lots of little boutiques and restaurants. We had lunch at La Salette Restaurant, a Portuguese / Mediterranean wine bar with a classic casual atmosphere. Thankfully, they weren’t crazy busy when we walked in and were greeted and sat at our white linen-covered table right away. For my appetizer, I had the wood oven-roasted octopus that was so tender and divine. For entrees, I ordered the Pacific Wild Caught Bluenose Sea Bass Filet served over a bed of collard greens and sweet corn. Hubs had the Arroz á Valenciana – paella like Portuguese classic with linguica, chicken, shellfish, and saffron rice topped with aioli. Coral failed to eat her Portuguese style mac n cheese and preferred to color in her new book instead. Now, I’m even more convinced that I must either travel to Portugal and find another restaurant like this one in Los Angeles in the meantime.
We still had seven ride tickets remaining for the Sonoma Traintown, but it took Daddy some convincing to head back. Luckily, I was driving and made a U-turn right back towards the Traintown! I believe we had to just let Coral eat some more Veggie Chips and pop a few gummies in her mouth since she skipped lunch to prevent her BG from dropping below 70 mg/dL. Her and I went on the carousel ride, per her first choice, while Daddy took some photos and video on the side. I guess she’s no longer scared of carousels! Next, she decided we should go on the ferris wheel and that was rather relaxing. It’s nice to know she’s not afraid of heights either. After that, I asked if she wanted to go on the small rollercoaster even though it’s really fast and could be scary for her. “Yeah Mommy! Let’s go!” Okay…the ride operator had to slow and bring the ride to a stop back to it’s starting point since she started screaming and crying not even 30 seconds into it. Oh well…we tried! Lastly, we had one ride ticket left and that brought us back to the plane rides. This time, she managed to pull the lever to raise the plane and push it back to lower it. I believe this might’ve been her favorite ride because it wasn’t scary for her and she felt in-control of it. Before leaving the Traintown, I picked up my own souvenir – which I rarely do, but loved this vintage-inspired graphic t-shirt with rolled sleeves and a raw cut hem.
We finally headed back to the hotel, fed and walked Joey the MinPin, and freshened up before a little wine tasting. No trip to Napa would be complete without wine tasting! The Meritage Resort has their own Estate Cave where the spa and Trinitas Tasting Room is located. You can select from a petite menu of carefully crafted wines with both red and white varities. Coral snacked on the complimentary crispy bread sticks while I sipped and savored each wine individually. 
Afterwards, we headed back towards the main hotel for dinner at Siena restaurant. This time, I ordered the Meyer Lemon Tagliatelle with parmigiano reggiano. It was delicate with a hint of lemon which was definitely unique. I always need protein with my meals to stay fuller longer and requested they add grilled chicken on top since it didn’t come with any meat. Coral enjoyed her amazingly delicious hand-tossed wood-fired pepperoni pizza [with my help]. Daddy devoured his pork belly appetizer again and Grilled Korabuta Pork Chop with roasted forest mushrooms and a garlic riesling butter sauce. It sure is nice to eat out every now and then so I can get a break from the kitchen. Some carbs are totally worth it like most of our meals were!
That night, she did much better with her BGs. I tried to organize our single large suitcase to prep for an early check-out Tuesday morning. Again, I Yelped another restaurant, this time along the coast, where we could stop for lunch on the way south. We drove through the redwoods along the 101 south until we reached Phil’s Fish Market & Eatery in Moss Landing. This place was packed! Just finding parking was kind of pain since their front lot was so small. It’s better to just park on the narrow street. We stood and waited to order at the cashier for quite a while, grabbed our utensils and drinks and found a table in the covered patio to place our number at the edge for the food runner. Don’t expect excellent table-side service at places like these. It’s a go order and pay at the counter and get your hands dirty kinda place. Which I totally love! Similar to Neptunes Net across from the popular surf break County Line between LA and Ventura along PCH. Hubs had fish n chips, Coral barely ate her fried zucchini, and I devoured [and shared a little] of my whole Maine lobster. I snapped a couple pics of the coastline and seagulls before we had to head back to the car for the remainder of our five hour drive back down to LA.
I’m glad managing her BGs was totally doable on this mini vacation. However, I can’t say that I’d ever want to drive on the 5 fwy again because it’s so desolate and the majority is one to two lanes only. It was pretty cool driving past all the farms, cows, and Lost Hills oil fields though. Taking the 101 fwy south is a lot more scenic, but allow for an additional hour or two to the road trip. Since we’re from Hawaii, driving anywhere for longer than an hour without traffic feels like a really long time. This was definitely the most time we’ve ever spent in a car as a family. At least you have the ability to stop where and when you need to for bathroom breaks, more fuel, or emergency snacks versus being stuck on a plane with a bunch of strangers.

Which brings me to the following – be prepared! See the checklist below on what to pack when on a road trip (right click, save, and print). It’s very similar to my previous blog post about Traveling with T1d. Don’t let the ‘betes get you down and just get the heck outta town!

Mahalo for reading,
Shelsea
P.S. Other additional items needed if bringing along a pet are pet waste bags, a poopie bag dispenser, collapsible bowl, leash, harness, car harness, pet bed, puppy pee pads, substantial amount of food, doggie treats, and a dog toy. FYI, I also design and sew dog accessories inspired by Hawaii culture and the coastal lifestyle known as Island Doggie.
Packing Checklist
Road Trip Packing List

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