It is true that one must plan things well when one is traveling with young ones. There is nothing that turns me into a Debbie Downer faster than hungry toddlers and no food options in sight. Their blood sugar can plummet faster than dotcom stocks at the turn of the century. When the boys start whining for food, my jaw starts to tighten and my sentences get shorter and shorter while my husband makes ill-advised comments about the sort of experiences that will turn our boys into men.
In order to avoid this sort of scenario, I have become a big fan of the packed lunch. Early in our camping adventures, we learned that a well-stocked cooler saved us from awful experiences with overpriced snack bars and mild attacks of marital discord.
We are now champs at pulling together lunch before we leave the campground in the morning. We follow a simple formula: PB&J or tuna/chicken salad, veggie, fruit, and chips or pretzels. Boom. Done. Honestly, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich tastes awesome after a three-mile hike with a thirty pound kid strapped to your back. Try it sometime. You’ll see.
But then, despite all of your best planning and packing, you pass by Curtis’s All-American Bar-B-Q. And you look at each other and know deep down that no packed sandwich can possibly keep you from pulling into a BBQ joint run out of a school bus.
If you are driving through Brattleboro, pay a visit to Curtis. The Bar-B-Q is great, the sides are just okay. But nothing beats hanging out with the dogs outside the bus while you wait for them to make your lunch. Or watching the pork and chicken get cooked over an open fire while a four year old invites your kids to come on back and hang out. Or gnawing the meat off the bones while your boys play with a yard full of toys next to the picnic area.
The bottom line is that there are very few places like this around. So when you pass by them in your travels, make sure you ditch your well-laid plans and embrace any food that is served out of a bus. Know that we are all a little bit better after roadside BBQ. Or maybe just a little bit bigger. Six of one..