"To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield"
- Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1833

"live deep and suck out all the marrow of life"
- Henry David Thoreau, 1845

"Some guys, they just give up living
And start dying little by little, piece by piece
Some guys come home from work and wash up,
And go racin' in the streets."
- Bruce Springsteen, 1977

"...to the heart, there's no time for you to waste.
You won't find your precious answers now
by staying in one place."
- Frank Turner, 2009

"The best things in life aren't things.
They're living and breathing."
- Michael Franti , 2011

"I owned every second that this world could give,
I saw so many places, the things that I did"
- Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, 2014

All written content and photos by Rob Fulfer unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The LonLisBar Trip 2010/2011 - Off to Europe

December 26, 2010 After celebrating Christmas in Chattanooga, we drove to Atlanta today to board a plane bound for Europe. This was our main present to each other this year for Christmas and we call it The LonLisBar Trip since we are visiting London, England then Lisbon, Portugal, and then Barcelona, Spain, in a whirlwind one-week trip. It's a style of vacation that we refer to as guerrilla-travel: a fast-paced agenda that takes in as much as possible in a short amount of time. It can be tiring and it's definitely not for everyone, but we enjoy the results from it. We have gleaned the basic principles of guerrilla-travel from past trips and experiences including our honeymoon where it was first suggested by Iceland Air the concept of "playing over" instead of "laying over" in a city on your way to somewhere else. We took a three-day layover in Reykjavik instead of a three-hour one on our way to Germany. From our several cruises we have taken, we have adapted the style of quick visits to places to get a feel of them to decide if we want to come back for longer stays. From our past travel successes, we found air packages inside Europe where we visited Venice, Italy, then Zurich, Switzerland and spent a night in Paris for the same price as a round-trip ticket would cost, and then in Australia a few years back where Qantas Airlines offered the same price for a ticket from LA to Sydney, then to Adelaide and on to Brisbane and back to LA, as it cost for just a round-trip from LA to Sydney and back. This LonLisBar package we set up through Orbitz.com using their "multiple destinations" search engine. We got flights from Atlanta to London, then London to Lisbon, then Lisbon to Barcelona, then Barcelona back to Atlanta for just a bit more than it would have cost for just a round-trip to London and back.

We were very fortunate to dodge an amazing amount of unseasonable weather both here in Tennessee where we got a very rare white Christmas (5 inches of beautiful slushy snow - photo above) and in our first destination, London, England, which had been besieged by even rarer ice and snow the previous week. So much so, in fact, that it basically shut down busy Heathrow Airport for three days before Christmas causing a huge amount of flight cancellations and stranding thousands of fliers. All our flights were booked on British Air and other than a slight delay on take-off at Atlanta, we had no problems with any of our flights due to weather the entire trip. The roads were in good shape thanks to the temps hovering around freezing and we had a nice drive to Atlanta where our friend, Terry, was kind enough to park our car at his place and take us to the airport. The flight "across the pond" was pleasant and since it was overnight, we were able to sleep fairly well thanks to our two-seat-only row in the back of the plane.

Following is a day-to-day account of the trip.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Big Bang Theory

We had a great time this past weekend sharing time with friends. On Friday night we met our friends, John and Dori, at the Big Bang Dueling Piano Bar in downtown Nashville. We have enjoyed this place a couple of other times with them, so when Rob bought a Groupon for entrance for four people, we knew exactly who we wanted to invite. The place was a ton of fun as usual and we sang along to dozens of great classic songs, some new, popular ones and even a few surprises...who knew Kings of Leon's "Sex on Fire" could sound so good on piano!? Not only are the songs performed by truly gifted musicians and vocalists (photo above), but people watching is a hoot as well with lots of folks getting up and dancing and sometimes basically making fools of themselves...you gotta love the combination of alcohol and democracy! Thanks to John and Dori for coming out. They headed in a little earlier than we did for the drive back to their new house in Hendersonville. Plus, Dori is preggers...shhh, don't tell anyone yet. We grabbed a room at the downtown Hampton Inn to avoid any possible DUI problems and to gain a few more Hilton points for use farther down the line. Saturday night we hosted a holiday cocktail party at our house with a little twist. To attend, all we asked was that you make a donation of at least $10 to the "Save Cummins Falls" project (see earlier blog on this worthy cause) in nearby Jackson County. We had a large turnout despite some inclement weather (heavy rain most of the night and a cold front coming in behind it turning everything to ice). Ashlee had the house looking great with her decorating, and the smoked brisket we ordered from the new Blue Moon Barbecue here in town was a big hit. Thanks again to the following list of friends who attended: Joy, Paige, Brenda, Danny, Jim, Wayne, Chris, Tarryn, John, Monique, Nate, Ginny and Emily. Everyone made it home safe and it was a great way to kick off the holiday season.