Who: VN Editorial Assistant Anna PerainoWhat: Visiting the two people who gave me life (or so they tell me)
Where: Denver, Colo.
When: April 22-24, 2011
Why: Because I love my parents (and vacations)
The Scoop: My parents recently made the move to Denver, Colo. from Houston, Texas, and so I decided it was my duty as a loving and selfless daughter to take a free flight (thanks, Mom and Dad!) to The Mile-High City and visit them. After spending almost every Spring Break of my childhood skiing the Colorado Rockies, it was fun to explore a city I had driven through dozens of times, but never spent time in. After getting in late on Friday night, we awoke on Saturday morning to chilly weather and cloudy skies. We spent the morning hanging out at the Denver Botanic Gardens, where we saw a ridiculous amount of tulips (my fave), daffodils, and hundreds of other flowers. Before we left, we checked out the Tropical Conservatory, filled with orchids, elephant ears, and some really cool zebra-looking leaves.
After vegging out at the gardens, we headed to VN-recommended veg eatery City O' City, a really cool and off-beat bar and restaurant right down the street from the Capitol. Being Perainos (read: eaters), the parents and I shared The Sherman, a BBQ tofu sandwich, the Max Burger (sans cheese, of course), some house-made French fries, and the Animal Lover's Pizza with cashew cheese instead of mozzarella. It was all supremely delicious—my omni parents scarfed it down!
After coming out of our food comas, we headed to nearby Boulder to check out the town, and then went to one of the best dinners I've ever had (see, told you we were eaters). We went to Root Down, an omni eatery focused on sustainability and deliciousness. I'm serious, the food was amazing. While there is meat on the menu, Root Down is super veg-friendly, with markers on the menu for gluten-free and vegan items. I ordered the Organic Roasted Baby Beets to start, and then ate Organic Tofu Marsala with candied Brussels sprouts and a dried cherry-scallion risotto cake. Dessert was completely delectable—a seasonal fruit crumble stuffed with apples and topped with homemade coconut- and soy- milk ice cream.
On Sunday morning the parents and I woke up early to get in a hike at nearby Roxborough State Park, where we enjoyed more chilly weather and spectacular rock formations. Before I knew it, it was time to head back to (also cloudy) San Francisco. I am pretty freaking stoked that my parents now live in Denver, and can't wait to go back again soon.
Who are those good-looking ladies?