Dear Holly: Your Ability to Make Friends Instantly

5 years, 6 months.

Dear Holly,

In my mind, you are a quiet little girl, outside of our home. That’s how I imagine you.

But maybe not…

Because you have this habit of bonding very quickly with other girls your age.

Like this week when we were taking your brother to Taekwondo; as we were opening the door, I heard someone shout out, “Holly!”

She ran over to you and hugged you; then she touched your hair, saying, “Look Holly, we have the same color hair!” And the two of you giggled like besties.

Turns out; she’s in your P.E. class at school.

I remember this happening after your 1st first ballet class, as well. I heard, “Holly! Give me a hug before you go!”

When we got back to the Jeep, I asked where you knew that girl from.

“From dance class. I just met her today, Daddy.”

I have a feeling this will be normal for you: The ability to immediately befriend other little girls your age.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: You Were the Flower Girl in a Wedding This Weekend

5 years, 4 months.

Dear Holly,

It’s been a year and a half in the making: Finally, this past weekend you were the flower girl of my friend Kaylie’s wedding in Arcadia, Indiana.

I’m not sure who was prouder: you, or me.

You looked like such a doll in your flower girl dress.

You loved getting to be not only part of the wedding ceremony itself, but also being able to join in all the fun at the reception.

It was a special time in your life, and even though you’re only 5 years old, I believe you will always look back at our trip to Indiana with fond memories.

 

Love,

Daddy

Is Downtown Golden, Colorado Vegan-Friendly? Easy for a Plant-Based Diet? Yes.

Yes. You can easily survive on a vegan diet in Golden, Colorado. I experienced this myself last week when my wife and I mapped out our own “plant-based” tour of Golden.

I have to say, though- it didn’t take much effort. We learned that most restaurants in Golden have at least a couple vegan menu items, or they will find a way to modify an menu item to accommodate.

Somewhat curious on several menus was the presence of the jackfruit sandwich, as seen above. By default, it was my favorite- and my go-to menu item whenever I got the chance.

Specifically, I had it on two different occasions at Buffalo Rose, which would easily become our favorite restaurant.

And while I normally don’t indulge in dessert, I was so glad I made the exception for their coconut flan; see below.

My wife was crazy about their “cauliflower buffalo wings”:

As well as their hummus plate:

If you’re in the mood for Thai food (which I always am, after spending two summers there in college), then you will surely enjoy Thai Gold Restaurant.

And you will definitely want to check out Tributary Food Hall & Drinkery, which contains several different “street style” restaurants featured inside the building.

I personally recommend Kona Bowls Superfood, as seen at far bottom.

For breakfast each morning, we enjoyed trying out each of the local coffee shops.

In other words, we did intermittent fasting in the mornings, as we would have some coffee and then immediately going on a 2 hour hike until it was time for lunch.

So we only ate two meals a day: lunch and dinner. Our breakfast was coffee, plenty of water, and the hike.

It goes hand-in-hand that with Golden being surrounded by so many state parks and hiking trails, Golden would naturally draw in people who would demographically also happen to appreciate a plant-based diet. If that’s you, then make your way over to Golden!

Dear Jack: Going to Olive Garden is a Special Treat for You and Your Sister

9 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack,

Last Friday while Mommy and I were enjoying our final full day in Colorado, you and your sister got to go somewhere special for dinner: Olive Garden.

Shortly after you arrived, you quietly announced, “Wow, this Olive Garden is really fancy!”

I find that hilarious because I’ve never known you to be impressed by a “fancy” restaurant.

It’s funny because when I was a kid, my idea of a good time at a restaurant was any place where the meal came with a toy and where there was a playground to enjoy after I ate.

But now, for the modern kid in 2020, maybe Olive Garden is the new McDonald’s!

Love,

Daddy

Our 1st “No Kids Vacation” in a Decade: Golden, Colorado

Nearly a year ago, my wife and I performed a song I wrote called “We’re Gonna Leave in the Morning”; which was the imagining of my wife and I taking a responsibility-free road trip together.

Last week, we made that fantasy a reality when we spent 4 days out in Golden, Colorado.

We rented a modernized carriage house that was just a couple of blocks from all the coffee shops and restaurants.

It was was only about 10 blocks away from South Table Mountain Park, where we were able to spend a couple hours hiking to the top; which oversaw the Coors plant.

And it turned out that we essentially only spent a total of $9 in entertainment the entire week, as we ended up taking a different 2 hour hike each day we were there. Only one of the parks we visited had an entry fee. It wasn’t the legendary Red Rocks

It was Eldorado Canyon State Park.

That view was totally worth the nine dollars though. Right?

Growing up in northeastern Alabama, where my home was surrounded by DeSoto State Park and Little River Canyon, I always imagined that Colorado would be a good fit for me.

I was right. If only I had my Jeep Wrangler with me while we where there…

We perfectly enjoyed our trip to Golden, Colorado- to the point we have decided we need to make this an annual tradition for the two of us.

The experience reminded me of the verse in Ecclesiastes (9:9), which I based my recent song from:

Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.

Not only was it great quality time for to the two of us at amazing location, but it helped realize why this trip was superior the 6 hour drive to the Florida coast from our home near Nashville.

Because on a beach trip, we’re mainly just sitting around.

But on a Colorado vacation, we’re constantly moving and exploring.

That’s how my brain registers “rest and relaxation”- by being out in nature and burning calories the whole time.

So if that sounds like a vacation to you as well… then maybe you are also of the demographic who is called to the state of Colorado!