3 Hots &
a  Cot

Pit Stops & Detours

December 3, 2013

The Gold Standard of an Olde Tyme Christmas

‘Twas three weeks before Christmas, when all through the state

Every creature was rushing, hoping not to be late.

Most presents were bought at malls with scant care,

In hopes that family would be fond of those wares.

Our kiddos were rockin’ the latest threads,

While visions of X-Boxes danced in their heads.

And mamma in her yoga pants, and I in my North Face,

Had just braved the crowds…what a disgrace!


All the holiday commercials did clatter,

Over discounts and “door-busters” served up on a platter.

Away to Park Meadows we flew like a flash,

Tore open my wallet and emptied my cash.


We left the parking lot sad and depleted,

Our Christmas spirit broken – it needed to be treated.

When, what to our wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature town, complete with reindeer.


With a sign arched above, greeting “Howdy Folks!”

I knew in a moment - and then I spoke,

“We’ve stumbled upon Golden, I suppose,

‘Where the West Lives’ and Coors freely flows.”

With the town glistening, all decked out in lights,

A quaint hustle and bustle on this December night.

‘Twas their annual Candlelight walk, the flames flickered,

A welcome pause from the malls, no one bickered.

Now cycle shop! Now dive bar! Now Buffalo Rose!

On, deli! On, Woody’s! On Baby Doe’s clothes!

To the top of Mt. Zion! To the top of South Table!

Now support local business! I knew we were able.


We made a few stops, buying top quality gear,

Then found a cozy place for cocoa and beer.

I silenced my smartphone, not one little peep,

This magical moment uninterrupted by beeps.


And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the hill,

The voices of angels, a holiday thrill.

As I listened to the carolers sing their sweet sound,

I surveyed the scene and spun myself ‘round.


Like a Norman Rockwell painting come to fruition,

I knew this would become a yearly tradition.

At the junction of Mayberry and Main Street USA,

Lies a place called Golden, not far away.


Whether here,
Estes Park, or Manitou,

Breckenridge, Durango or the Denver Zoo.

Ride a train, toss a cake, Red Rum at the Stanley,

Run with Santa, see the elephants, and buy crafts so manly.


But if Colorado Rockies aren’t within reach,

Maybe you live on the coast by the beach?

There’s likely a local village near you,

That would welcome your family and shopping needs too.


Kick off this weekend with old-fashioned cheer,

Small towns are not just for snagging souvenirs.

Take a stroll bundled up with your main squeeze,

And tackle that Christmas list if you please.


After my family’s delightful diversion,

We packed up our bags from this successful excursion.

I heard myself self exclaim, as we drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas Colorado, and to all a good-night!"

April 5, 2013


Where: Top Golf (Dallas)
When: March 20, 2013
Who: Work peeps
Why: Team Building at Regional meeting

My coworker promised she was hatching a "fun" team building event at our regional meeting.  But when you get a bunch of sales cronies in foodservice together, that usually means dinner out at a nice place (think upscale steakhouse) with some pleasant chit-chat or full on belly-achin’ about the industry.

These team dinners are lovely, but after a while they all start to blend together in your hippocampus - or is it your frontal lobe? 
I forget.

My clever colleague ditched the usual agenda and corralled us to Top Golf (
www.topgolf.com) in Dallas, Texas.  Some folks went eagerly, some went half-heartedly, and some went into full on obstinate pre-teen mode: “But do I hafta?  I just wanna eat my token mid-rare filet and call it a night!”

Top Golf’s concept is the perfect marriage of bowling and a driving range. After getting outfitted with a bag of clubs and a bucket of balls, we were escorted to our reserved "bay".  Although we had to do the work (i.e. swing the club), the fancy computer system did the rest.  HAL knew who was teeing up, how far we hit it, where it landed, if bonus points were earned, and scored us accordingly.  Each player hit five balls.  Then the monitor summons the next golfer to hack away at the dimpled ball.

Growing up there was a healthy library of Golf Digest magazines in my family’s bathroom.  Although my mini golf experience vastly outweighs my real golf experience, I felt confident that all that time aimlessly flipping through articles about some guy named “The Shark” and another dude named “Tiger” was about to pay off

We put a friendly wager of $5 on the next game (punishing another twenty balls), and lo and behold, me and Big Bertha miraculously pulled out a narrow win thanks to a bonus point!  Woo-hoo!  Twenty Five bucks were all mine.  My Dad, "Mr. Golf Digest" himself, would be so proud of both my golfing and betting skills.  Disclaimer...my company does not endorse gambling.  So, let's just call this a "donation" to my wallet.

As we cheered each other on, we grazed on some tasty apps, burgers, and salads.  For a glorified "bowling alley" this food was restaurant-worthy.  As pitchers of beers flowed, our swings (coincidentally?) relaxed, and our scores improved. 

We concluded the night with cinnamon doughnut holes that arrived in a cute “caddy” of sorts, complete with two syringes.  Yes, I said syringes: one full of raspberry coulis and the other with warm chocolate sauce.  Nothing says "trendy" like interacting with your own dessert via injection, but it was all in good fun.

Top Golf's main presence is in the Lone Star state (five locations), with one location in Illinois, one in Virginia, and three in the UK.  Maybe you’ll run into Sandy Lyle or Nick Faldo there?

Kudos to my coworker for crafting a fun evening.  Although we were scored individually, the camaraderie, smack-talking, semi-illegal gambling, and odd medical procedures with fried dough made it a memorable Team Building event.  

BTW -  did I mention that I won? 

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