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!

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!

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

Three weeks ago, our family was able to drive a brand-new 2015 Chevy Colorado crew cab from our home near Nashville (TN) to Montgomery (AL) as we supported our nephew Matt graduated Air Force boot camp.

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

Though he’s from Sacramento (CA) where my wife is from, Matt’s boot camp was coincidentally assigned in Montgomery, which is in driving distance (about 4 hours) from where we live.

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

When Chevrolet found out we were going to be the only family members able to see Matt graduate, as the rest of his family is on the west coast, they jumped at the chance to provide a vehicle to help us make the journey.

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

Chevrolet is a big supporter of our military, providing discounts to Active Duty members, reserves, veterans within one year of discharge – including spouses of the U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, National Guard and Coast Guard. The discount can be combined with most current incentives. Here’s a link to Chevy’s site for more on their military discount.

I have to point out that the general public was thoroughly impressed by the mere sight of the 2015 Chevy Colorado. During the week I drove it, I had people approaching me asking about it.

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

Here’s my walk-around video I made:

When you see the truck in person, it’s hard to look away. And not simply because it was yellow; but because it’s very clear this is a tough truck.

I filmed my son’s and wife’s first reaction to it when I pulled in the driveway. I promise I didn’t prompt them to say anything; I just let the camera roll. Their reactions are completely sincere.

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

On the way to our hotel near Maxwell Air Force Base there in Montgomery, we stopped at Mellow Mushroom to have dinner with our son’s good friend, Sophie, who coincidentally moved away last year from Nashville to Montgomery.

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

The next morning we attended our nephew Matt’s boot camp graduation. He happened to be at the end of the parade, holding a rifle, next the flag bearers, so I got a good shot of him for my video.

Afterwards, we had some time to hang out there on the base and catch up with him. The Chevy Colorado provided a much needed break from the heat outside, leading up until it was time to eat lunch there at the base.

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

But first, Matt gave us a tour of Maxwell, showing us on the jets, which my son was impressed to see.

Eventually, we had to say goodbye to Matt; though we should be seeing him again when we make our annual trip to Sacramento, next month.

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

It goes without saying we are more than proud to see Matt began a career that involves serving in our military. He has what it takes!

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

The road trip wasn’t complete without a trip back to my hometown in Fort Payne (AL), on the way back to Nashville.

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

Our niece Calla had her 4th birthday party! So to make things even more fun, our family shot a couple Jack-Man webisodes.

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

By the way, Jack-Man is a web series that my son Jack and I do, in which he is the superhero and I am the arch nemesis. For webisodes 14 and 15, the 2015 Chevy Colorado serves as part of the plot device.

So it’s apparent we had a wonderful road trip. We look forward to reviewing more Chevy vehicles in the future!

And now I will close with my video which features the events mentioned above:

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

2015 Chevy Colorado provided courtesy of Chevrolet for promotional purposes.

Quad Cities Proximity Initiative: Pretending You Know Where a City Is

Most Americans don’t know the capitol of Vermont or which states border Colorado, without cheating and looking at a map. Because like taking French or Spanish in high school, if what is learned is not applied on a semi-regular basis, then that knowledge disappears. Especially when it was just rogue memorization for a test we took a long time ago.

Since we don’t really know much about American geography, we use a system that gets us by. It gives the illusion that we are experts, when really we are just BS-ing our way through the conversation. I call it the “Quad Cities Proximity Initiative”. Most states consist of a minimum of four cities that we’ve at least heard of that pretty much cover the 4 corners of the state, even if we’ve never been to that state before; here are a few examples:

Ohio (Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati, Cleveland).
New York (New York City, Buffalo, Syracuse, Albany).
Florida (Jacksonville, Orlando, Tallahassee, Miami).
Georgia (Atlanta, Macon, Augusta, Savannah).

Here is an example of how this system works. The other day at work a guy from Indiana was trying to tell me where his hometown is. He said, “It’s about 50 miles south of Indianapolis…” Immediately I started shaking my head with an enthusiastic “oh yeah, yeah” which unabridged, it literally conveyed this message, “I am very familiar with the city you are talking about. I’ve been through there several times. Of course I know that place…” All because I have obviously heard of the state’s capitol, Indianapolis.

There are exceptions to the Quad Cities Proximity Initiative. Texas is huge and has more than 4 familiar cities; it has about 7. And there are those bite-size states like Delaware, where it doesn’t matter what city the person says, because the state only has 3 counties anyway.

When a person names a city I’ve heard of (even if I have no clue where in the state that city is) I give them confidence in me that I am following their lead in the conversation. It’s that simple. No need to stall a conversation because I can’t visualize where the city is. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. Unless I’m driving there.