Freedom Friday: Allergen Free Weekend in Colorado

September 27, 2014

A much needed, pre-birthday mini-vacation to the mountains was exactly what the (holistic) doctor would have ordered for me last week and she would have been 110% right. Freedom Friday chick packed her bags and headed west for four days (the longest time I have ever been away from my pup-babies! Yikes!) and recharged and rebooted her heart and soul. There is so much truth behind the John Muir quote, “The mountains are calling, and I must go,” which now proudly adorns my LSAT study notebook.  Being born 3 miles from the salt water beaches encircling Long Island and growing up only ever 10 minutes from the shore– sea-level defined– I find a sort of refuge and optimism in the high, ever sky-reaching, never ending Rockies. Don’t get me wrong, I love my home, Long Island, but the mountains will be my life’s eventual backdrop.

In a way, I look at the forests of the Rockies as representative of the amazing melting pot that is Long Island and my family and friends, though the individuals (trees in the case of the Rockies, people on L.I.) standing one next to another may look totally different, they all strive for the same basic goals in life: joy, success and a certain kinship to one another. I realized this while hiking to Emerald Lake with my best friend Tara and while hiking among hundreds of other families, couples, children, seniors, etc.  I also realized how truly lucky we are to exist in a world that still cares enough about nature to conserve it for future  generations. It is so easy to be disappointed in humans, to become disheartened at all that we as humans have done to harm other living things, but if you look around, you will see that we still love nature: we prefer to live on “tree-lined streets”; we love a home with a “beautiful view” or an apartment with direct access to nature trails. This warms me and comforts me as I think that we are perhaps not as shallow as we think of ourselves, and if we stop and listen to that “call” from the mountains once in a while, we could all have our faith a bit restored in humanity.

See below for a few photos of my amazing, rejuvenating weekend in Colorado where I stopped at a few delicious restaurants and had some vegan, and semi- and fully-allergen-free meals! YUM!


Garden of the Gods, Colorado


Vegan Felafel at Heart of Jerusalem Cafe in Manitou Springs, CO


Idaho Springs, CO The Original Gold Rush Town!


Driving to Breckenridge, CO


Breckenridge Brewery Where I ate the DELICIOUS Edamame Hummus (AVOID if you have a soy allergy!)


Edamame Hummus CONTAINS SOY! Allergen-Free except for SOY!


Breckenridge, CO


Breckenridge, CO


South Park City, CO


Missing my pups!


Ghost town of South Park City, CO TOTALLY worth the trip!


Allergen Free minus the gluten in the felafel and pita which is completely able to be substituted for extra hummus or salad or grape leaves ! Heart of Jerusalem Cafe in Manitou Springs, DELICIOUS!


Rocky Mountain National Park


Beaver Dam in Rocky Mountain National Park!

Aspen trees

Aspens and Pines


ALLERGEN-FREE AND DELICIOUS! Super hot salsa at Illegal Pete’s in Denver! Free during happy hour! Complete with Omission Gluten-free beer!


Selfie in the Rockies

More Freedom Friday: Best Gluten Free Beer List

Fudgy Zucchini Brownies

Related: Vegan in Paris: Restaurants and Cooking Guide

Photo: Kate Coffey

Contributing Editor Kate Coffey is the founder of Forever Fascinated Blog, a vegan, the lucky co-parent to Miss Wednesday the Wonder Pup, a French speaking/lover of anything French U.S. Army Wife who is on a mission to spread the good word about living life to its fullest! You can also follow Kate on her Instagram and vegan organic pet treat shop, Wednesday Cafe.


always stay inspired!