Denver Bucket List

Here we are this morning with everything we own packed into a Honda Pilot, setting off to our next adventure.

It goes to show that once you put your mind towards a goal, things can happen very quickly.  Here is a photo of our home from a month ago and another one from this morning, with just the backpacks that we’ll take for our RTW trip.

Though we are excited about what’s ahead, it is bittersweet to leave Colorado. Here is where we met, fell in love, and got married. This will always hold a special place in our hearts.

And so on our last day here is our love letter to Colorado, the list of places and faces that have made this the place where we became a family.

Where Everyone Knows Our Name
We don’t eat out very often. We live in the LoHi area of Denver where there are tons of high priced options for those we like to been seen in the scene at places like Avanti, Linger, LOLA, Forest Room Five, Williams and Graham. When we we were single, these were all the hot spots for dates.

Now as a married couple, we prefer nights in cooking or when we do go out, it is usually to a handful of ethnic (namely Asian restaurants). We love that at most of these places they greet us by name when we walk in.

  • Pho 95 : This is  Jesse’s default dinner spot when Quan is away on a business trip. They keep track of where she is around the world and ask about her trips when comes in.
  • Los Porceros: After our trip to Colombia we came home craving ajiaco and found this little gem!
  • Vinh Xuong: We love the Banhmis here so much we ordered dozens for our wedding guest post wedding.
  • US Thai: One of our earliest date spots, this is where we had our first kiss and where we went shortly after Jesse proposed at Sloan’s Lake.
  • Domo: Though they don’t take reservations, this Japanese farm house restaurant is our favorite spot to take visitors especially when it’s warm enough to sit out in their garden. Don’t forget to check out the dojo and cultural museum that’s part of the complex!
  • Sherpa House: Lhaka and Dickey Sherpa, previously Everest guides built this beautiful slice of Nepal in downtown Golden. Here is a community within a community including a restaurant, brewery, landscaping business, apartments and cultural center staffed with their Nepalese friends and family. We had our Chinese and Jewish wedding ceremony in the Sherpa House garden where our family and friends toasted and sang to us in celebration. The Sherpa House staff all participated in the festivities and since then each person comes out and greets us every time we eat there. There are two grandmothers that are part of the Sherpa family and often patrol the restaurant. One of them loves speaking to us in Nepalese. Though we don’t understand what she is saying the kindness from her and the staff of the Sherpa House makes this our favorite place in Colorado.
  • Maci Cafe: Our neighborhood coffee shop, we love the staff and its friendly owner Massimo. Jesse’s been going to this cafe for years. Prior to Quan they knew him as “Exact Change” or “Medium Coffee” because he’d go in with exact change for his medium coffee and never speak to any of the staff.  We’ve since corrected this and will dearly miss our  interactions with Massimo, Vlad, Annie, and Christina!
Declared husband and wife in the Sherpa House garden


A Slice of Shanghai In Denver 

Since arriving to Denver 3 years ago, Quan has been on a quest to find her favorite  Shanghai things in Denver:

  • Min’s Reflexology: Communal room, $25 massages, don’t expect luxury but very effective (if you like intense accupressure massages)
  • Lao Wang: Authentic Soup dumplings (小笼包). Run by an older husband and wife team, don’t make the mistake of asking for water before they feel ready to serve you. Otherwise, no soup dumplings for you!
  • New Peach Garden (Or as we call it NPG): Humbly touting themselves as the 6th Best Chinese restaurant, we think NPG is #1!
  • Kings Land: This is where we go for dimsum. You’ll often see a table of kids working on homework inside the restaurant or playing in the parking lot. These kids also compete in dragon dancing competitions around the world. Shortly after they competed in the dragon dance world championship in Malayasia they performed the dragon dance at our wedding.
The Kings Land kids performing at our wedding


Purple Mountain Majesty: The Great Coloradical Outdoors

One of our favorite things about living in Colorado is the accessibility to Nature no matter the season. This is a list of where we typically spend Shabbat, some of our favorite outdoor activities around Colorado:

  • Vasquez Wilderness Area: Our blog cover photo was taken here. The trail starts across the street from the Berthoud Pass parking lot on the Continental Divide. This is great place for trail runs and our favorite hike.
  • Stand Up Paddleboarding: Jesse got Quan an inflatable SUP for her birthday in 2015 and this has been a favorite summer past time, some favorite places: Gross Reservoir, Union Reservoir, Bear Creek Lake
  • Brainard Lake: A great destination for hiking in the summer and snow showing in the winter. There’s a hidden hut deep in the woods that is often staffed by volunteers that offer soup and hot chocolate to passerbys.
  • Skiing: As a Colorado resident, the  Epic Pass was a phenomenal deal which enabled us to make the most of ski season. Our two favorite mountains are Vail & Arapahoe Basin
  • Rocky Mountain National Park: We come here all four season for the many hikes as well because this one of the most scenic drive in Colorado.  This is the main reason we get a yearly National Park Pass.
  • Colorado Springs: This our favorite day trip to places like Red Rock Open SpaceGarden of the Gods, the Manitou Incline,  and most recently The Seven Falls Zip Line & Ropes Course
  • White Water Rafting in Ft Collins 
  • Colorado 14er: We plan to do a different post on this, but this is one of Jesse’s favorite activities. In 9 years in Colorado he’s summmited 20 peaks. Quan has summited 3 in 3 year.
  • Vital Yoga: While not an outdoor venue, Colorado is the epicenter of yoga and Vital is our #1 studio. Vital is where Quan completed her second YTT, taught briefly, and is the home of one of the best yoga communities she’s ever been a part of.
  • Red Rocks: This is one of favorite date places during the outdoor concert season and also where we got married, need I say more?
Our wedding ceremony at Red Rocks

Date Nights

  • Lakeside Amusement Park: Rickety coasters, questionable safety standards, and one of the best sunset views of the mountains in Denver. Our favorite memory here is when the merry go round music  broke so the ride operator belted Take Me Out To The Ball Game at top of lung while the ride continued. #PassionAtWork
  • Rocky Mountain Hot Air Balloon: An engagement present from our family, this was one of the last activities we did before leaving and an amazing way to say goodbye to a place we’ve loved so much.
  • Class At Sushi Den: Also a wedding gift, this was a fun night hosted by the owner who probably could have had a career in stand up comedy.


There Are No Words

Finally, places are beautiful because of the people who occupy their space. We feel lucky that we met each other here. While we leave here together, it is bittersweet to say goodbye to our friends in Colorado.

You were each such an important part of our time here and will forever have an imprint on us. It’s not goodbye, it’s 再见 ”until we meet again.”

With Love,

The Golombs

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