Tag Archives: Colorful Colorado

Glow sky.

So part of this whole “move out to the burbs” thing (which incidentally happened 4 years ago next month, 4 YEARS, people,) was my understanding of a need to force myself out of my comfy little urban safety zone.  For myself, but REALLY for my kiddo.

As much as I want Jr to love the city (and I really still do want that for him,) I wanted him to experience ALL the awesome that comes with being a Colorado kid.   Mountain adventures, of course… but also the wide high plains that spread from the base of the foothills; the history of the mining towns and windswept railroad stops turned suburbs; all the personalities and peculiarities of the different areas of our amazing home (hashtag native pride – sorry, I can’t help it….  I love my home state.)

Andplusalso, in general I want him to see his mom be brave. To break out and try things and have new experiences with him. To fill his heart and his mind with wonder and joy and excitement for everything.

That, good readers, is what brought Keri to Colorado National Speedway on a windy afternoon last Sunday.  With The Mr and Jr in tow. To wait until WAY past bedtime.  And then light shit on fire.


Let’s back up.

In early March after a couple of glasses of chardonnay (duh) one night, I got a text from a friend that Lantern Fest was coming to the Denver area.  It had only ever come as close as Colorado Springs, and I was equal parts enamored and anxious seeing pics from past events.

Jr LOVES him some Tangled.  He is in awe of the idea of the floating lanterns that Rapunzle’s family sets off each year on her birthday.

I credit the wine and the conversation that The Mr and I had been having that night, along with a “ITS YOUR LAST CHANCE AT THIS PRICE!” FB notification, because before I realized what I was doing, I had The Mr’s AMEX in hand and I was buying tickets and signing waivers and planning a great big surprise for Jr.

Oh hey, I dread fire.

Have I said that before?  I think lighting shit on fire on purpose is crazy talk. I was the only one in Girl Scout Troop 1062 to not get her firestarting/safety badge.

I still cook on our electric grill – 4 years past us giving up a highrise patio where no other grill was really allowed.
Our fire pit “burns” glorified cans of sterno instead of actual wood.

So lighting things on fire and sending them floating into the sky seemed about as dumb as could be to my rational mind….  But chardonnay causes bravery and love for my kid above sanity, so we were going, damnit.


The wind was whipping on Sunday when we arrived to partake in pre Lantern-launching events.  The first night of the event on Saturday had seen high winds and at the last minute the actual launch had been canceled by the fire marshal (understandable) so I was hesitant to tell Jr what the end goal actually was even as we staked out our spot on the motorcross hills inside the track. There were bouncy castles and dirt hills to run on and vendor booths to look at;  and a stage with hoola-hooping and dance contests and all kind of things to keep him busy.  Why disappoint with what might not be.

Except it was.

The sun started to set….. the wind was gone.

Festival staff started to light fire logs in metal buckets spread out throughout the track infield.  We broke out the provided smores kits and Jr toasted his first marshmallows with his newfound friend from our firepit.  Oh my heart.

He wrote his name on a lantern….. he ran around against the backdrop of the Colorado plains his momma loves so much in the dying light of the day.

The crowd was big, but when the time finally came, and the last light left the sky, all was quiet for a few moments that stretched into eternity as everyone lit their lanterns.

The Mr lit one of ours…. He held it not knowing what to expect, and then just as I was pointing out the flood of lights in the sky, up ours finally went as The Mr pointed at it.  Jr was fixated.

We watched the entire sky light up and float off. He kept his eye on our family lantern, as it mixed into the crowd of lanterns and floated into forever.

Silly Keri teared all up, of course, and we all stood and just watched the lanterns turn to glowing dots in the vast dark night.

Awesome.  Just awesome.

Of course there was the typical traffic jumble associated with any large event ending, AFTER we found the Mr Mobile which was much tougher to do than I imagined it would be on our way in.  But it just didn’t matter.  Jr chattered excitedly, not showing signs of the grumpiness that I was sure we would see 3 full hours past bedtime.   When we got home I stripped my sleepy, smiling boy of his smoky clothes and kissed his little head goodnight. His hair smelled like campfire…. like experience and adventure.

I can’t say for sure what those moments will mean to him as he grows; but in my mind and heart I will always have a little piece of him at 5 years old, in the glow of a thousand lanterns, silent and sweet in awe and wonder.

For that I will push out of my comfort zone always.

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Filed under Mom life, musing

(Semi) Local Love: Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar

Thank you, North Carolina, and thank you, Good Times.

Why for, Keri, you say?

For bringing Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar into Colorful Colorado -first in Cherry Creek, early this year – and now right into “easy Keri lunch commute” distance with the opening of the 2nd Colorado location in the shiny new Webster Lake Promenade at I-25 and 120th ave in Northglenn.

The smarties behind Colorado native burger chain Good Times saw the delicious genius in the North-Carolina-founded Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar, and boom – direct to Colorado came the GINORMOUS and creative burgers served in a rock-n-roll industrial setting. (Andplusalso, the best fried pickles I have ever had. And I have had my share of fried pickles… and your share… and the shares of many others as well. Trust Keri.)

I am not usually one to go tooting the horn of chain-y restaurants – but I was busting down the door to get inside when this location opened on Monday July 28th.   It isn’t THAT chain-y yet, but it will be, because it is just too damn good not to grow and grow. (You can’t keep a good burger down, people.)

Whatever the number of locations, the local connection and AHHH-MAZINGLY good food had me sold on this joint as soon as the Cherry Creek location opened. It is like North Carolina’s tasty gift to the Centennial State.

But here is the REAL reason I am writing about it and not just gobbling up bunless Frenchies and hoping it doesn’t get too crowded:

The staff at Bad Daddy’s is beyond just being “well-trained.” Each and every one of them is as knowledgeable as any staff member could ever hope to be about the Bad Daddy’s concept and menu, and that is awesome. BUT – on top of that, they are warm, genuine, inviting, and exude a true attitude of hospitality that isn’t fake or forced.

Breath. Of. Fresh. Air.

Tie the great food and stellar people up in a package that includes lots of great craft beer on tap (All three Broomfield breweries are currently representing – WOOP WOOP,  Big Choice,) and put a big “we have a sweet roof patio” bow on top of it, and you have a place that feels right at home in Colorado.

Check out their story and peruse the menu – which features not just burgers and bar fare – but also some tasty salads ,(or build your own with plenty of fixings to choose from,) and can we talk about the “Emilio’s Chicken Sandwich?” Because BUTTERMILK FRIED CHICKEN, is where it starts, my friends. Seriously.


Who’s ready for lunch? (Or happy hour. Or mid-afternoon snack. Or dinner. Or whatever – it’s burger time ANY time, just get me to Bad Daddy’s.)


Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar Northglenn

100 East 120th Avenue, Bldg B, Unit 120

(Located in the Webster Lake Promenade)

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Filed under Local Love