By the time we left Vegas, I was pretty exhausted from sensory overload. It was completely crazy!

Full-on!

Everything I expected it to be with all the bright lights, and so much more! As it turned out, Los Angeles was pretty hectic too!

Admittedly we were staying right in the heart of Hollywood, so it was like a lot of other really large cities, which I do find overwhelming at times now that we live out on 72 acres, but we did enjoy some great food!

We had dinner at a Japanese restaurant two of our three nights, which we all really enjoyed. Their sushi was lovely and fresh.

The highlight of Hollywood food-wise though, was definitely Mel’s Drive-In on North Highland Ave. I felt like I was sitting in Arnold’s from Happy Days! It was bright and colourful, with booths throughout the restaurant, and every table had its own jukebox! Best of all though, was the menu. Madeleine was able to tuck into a gluten-free burger with fries and enjoy a huge choc-chip milkshake that was gluten, dairy & soy-free! And apparently delicious because she wasn’t going to share it for love nor money!

One very happy girl!!!

Gluten-free & Dairy-free Flavour-packed Burger!

Mel’s Drive-in, Hollywood

A Jukebox in every booth!

Almond milkshake with cashew icecream and dairy-free chocolate chips

Great themed decor!

I felt like I was on the set of Happy Days!

The main reason we went to LA was to take the girls to Universal Studios. They have been mad Harry Potter fans for years and were dying to go to Wizarding World.

It was fantastic!

The day there itself was great, we had a ball on all the rides, and were lucky to have really short wait times – as short as 5 minutes for a lot of the day. And for lunch, where else could we go but Krusty Burger over in Springfield! They had gluten-free options on the menu, so you didn’t even have to ask them for it as a special request. I was expecting it to be pretty ordinary, but was really happy with how good the burgers actually were!

Hogwart’s Express

Hogwarts

Snow capped roofs

Butterbeer (not GF/DF unfortunately so Madeleine missed out)

Madeleine casting a spell!

Honeydukes

Do you dare to enter?

Chief Wigam

The Kwik-e-Mart

Officers Eddie & Lou

After our two days in LA, it was back in the car and time to head on up the coast through Kale-i-fornia (I have never seen so many fields of kale in all my life) to Monterey.

Monterey was gorgeous! Much more my pace after the craziness of Vegas and LA. We only had one night there so we went and checked out Tricycle Pizza for dinner. It’s a food truck, but in a permanent location so they have a shed with tables if you want to eat inside, or up the back of the lot, they have an outdoor area, like a beer garden, but without the beer.

There were wooden picnic tables and chairs, and a large play area for the kids with a ping pong table and cubby house!

When the pizza arrived, it was beautiful! Crispy and with a hint of smoke from the wood-fired oven, and the dairy-free cheese didn’t have that plasticky taste and texture that you so often get. Definitely worth a visit if you’re ever in Monterey!

The next day we went to the Monterey Aquarium which was incredible, and we even saw some wild sea otters before heading back to San Francisco for our last few days in the US.

One important thing I did learn in Monterey though, was how important it is to read labels properly! When I was making coffee in the hotel room for my husband and I in the morning, they didn’t have any milk in the fridge (he likes a splash in his), but they did provide “non-dairy” creamer. Because I’m a chronic label reader and have to see what exactly is in absolutely everything (I think it’s the Nutritionist in me), I picked it up and had a read of the ingredients, only to find that the “non-dairy” creamer actually contained casein – which is the dairy protein – and what people with a dairy allergy (like my daughter) are allergic to! So lesson learned, always, always, read labels thoroughly!!

Make sure you pop back next week to find out about the last few gluten & dairy-free treats we managed to squeeze in before heading home. We found a gluten-free bakery, and a shop full of charcuterie that made my mouth water!

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Fuss-free Gluten-free Breakfast

Stuck with ideas for quick and yummy breakfasts now that toast and cereal are out the window?

I’ve got you covered with over two week’s worth of sweet and savoury delights that are sure to inspire your mornings.

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