I have something to admit – I’m going to be a Grandfather soon and I have never been outside the United States. Yes, I have a passport, but I’ve never been to Mexico, Canada, or any other foreign country.

I’ve been very lucky, though, to have traveled to many parts of this country and to have stayed at some very luxurious hotels and resorts. In addition, in over thirty years within my profession, I’ve been in many incredibly beautiful homes throughout the Denver metro area and Colorado. As spectacular as these places are, what strikes me most are the professionally designed environments that bring the indoors and outdoors together. I know I’m not alone, because everywhere I go I see restaurants expanding their open air seating and lounging areas with beautiful decks and patios.

For example, during a recent trip to Austin, Texas, I saw many restaurant and hotel rooftop decks. In Minneapolis, the Union restaurant has a rooftop deck with, of all things, a retractable greenhouse! And the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, they have acres of tropical jungle under a glass roof. Despite all of these examples, and despite all of these wonderful places, there’s no place I would rather be than right here in Colorado, outdoors on a deck or patio, with music or the game playing in the background.

This is as good as it gets – relaxing, reading, barbecuing, watching a ballgame, and visiting with family and friends – all with a refreshing beverage in hand. The convenience of no traffic or travel, little or no expense, fresh air and openness, and the landscaped surroundings, bring a sense of nature and health without ever leaving. As Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home.”

I wish everyone a leisurely and enjoyable summer, wherever you may be.

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