Dear Holly: You Love Going to Marshalls with Nonna!

4 years, 4 months.

Dear Holly,

I have a feeling you might have initiated the idea to go to Marshalls, while Nonna and Papa were taking care of you when Mommy and me were in Colorado a couple of weeks ago.

Needless to say, by the time you got back from the store, you ended up with a new pair of light-up Minnie Mouse shoes, a Paw Patrol “smart watch” toy, and a tin of Paw Patrol cookies.

When you go with Mommy and me to Marshalls, you simply are looking to see what you will ask for the next time Nonna and Papa are in town!




Dear Jack: Teaching Your Sister to Shoot a Bow and Arrow

9 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

Because of your continued interested in learning how to shoot a bow and arrow, we have now set up a target range in our backyard.

Mommy and I recently made a small investment in getting you and me our own “professional practice bows” to train on.

That means you donated your Nerf bow and arrow to your sister.

You even gave her a free lesson.

Granted, she stood a lot closer to the target than you and I stand when we shoot arrows at the target.

It was about a year ago that you first showed interested in archery.

I’m glad to see we are able to make this a reality for you.



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!



Dear Holly: Your Idea to Make Pumpkin Pie with Nonna

4 years, 4 months.

Dear Holly,

Knowing that Nonna and Papa would be coming up to take care of you while Mommy and I were away in Colorado, you put in your requests ahead of time:

“I want to make pumpkin pie with Nonna.”

So I let her know to bring the supplies up from Alabama.

You loved getting to make the pie while we were gone.

It was ready, perfectly in time for our return.

For the record, the pumpkin pie was exceptionally delicious!

And to think, this all happened because of your idea!

You thought of it all yourself. It was a plan that came together!