"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.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


It's back to The Banks!

Thursday, July 19 - Thanks to yet another cheap flight to Norfolk, VA, from Nashville via Southwest Airlines ($39 each way!), we got another chance to grab some beach time in what is fast becoming one of our favorite places to visit:  The Outer Banks of North Carolina.  Our friends, Nate and Ginny, grabbed the flight deal as well and joined us for their first visit to the OBX.


After we landed, we ate a late lunch in Norfolk at a Diners, Drive-ins & Dives TV-show star called Doumar's. This car-hopping drive-in hasn't changed much since it started way back in 1934.  They are famous for their barbecue (which was tasty) and the fact that the original Mr. Abe Doumar invented the waffle ice-cream cone.  The photo above shows his invention still working today and making all their cones by hand (and machine).  The cones were delicious especially with some butter pecan ice cream in them!  Speaking of D,D & D, we came to find out that the show and its host, Guy Fieri himself, were in the OBX the following day doing a taping at on one of our favorite restaurants, Tortugas Lie).   

We got a sweet rental car from Avis, our first Subaru Outback.  We made a few quick stops on the way south into North Carolina at the Weeping Radish Brewery, then at The Outer Banks Brewing Station and then a Brew Thru (photo above) to stock up on more "provisions"'  for the long weekend.
The drive down was gorgeous as usual. 
Our first dinner in the OBX was at The Atlantic Coast Cafe in Avon.  Delicious, fresh seafood!
After dinner we took a walk on the rickety-looking Avon Pier.  Despite its appearance,
the 600'- long, pier  built back in the 1950s must be a sturdy one to have survived so many hurricanes.

We rented a large house through the Outer Banks Motel in Buxton called the Dillon House.  It had tons of room for us and was very quiet.

Friday, July 20 - Beach time!  We had tons of fun boogie-boarding and beach lounging. 
The booming waves were huge and the surf was very strong.
Afterwards, we opted for some boat drinks at Dirty Dicks Crab House.  We drove down to
Ocracoke Island via the ferry and did a little shopping.  Unfortunately, it was too windy
to rent bikes as we had planned.  We ended our visit with dinner at Howard's Pub.
Saturday, July 21 - We started today with a drive up to Kill Devil Hills to a kite festival at the Wright Brothers Memorial.  We were hoping for some more beach time later today,  but some bad weather dashed our plans.

We opted for dinner and drinks (this was Ashlee's blueberry martini) on the sound-side of the
OBX tonight at The Sandbar & Grille.  More great seafood and a wonderful sunset view.
We lazed around our rental house for the rest of the evening watching movies on the
sweet big screen TV in the den.

Sunday, July 22 - Back to the beach!  We grabbed some sand near the beautiful Cape
Hatteras Lighthouse for another day of seaside fun.

 Ashlee is now officially addicted to boogie-boarding.
After driving up to the lovely sound-side village of Manteo for dinner at
The Full Moon Cafe & Brewery,we dropped by The Elizabethan Gardens for what was
advertised as an after-dark "Gardens-a-Glow" event.  Unfortunately, without our knowledge, the
festivities had been cancelled due to bad weather earlier in the week??  Oh well, it looks lovely
through the locked fence and it will have to be on our list to check out on our next visit.
Monday, July 23 - It was early departure from the OBX for us as we headed back to Norfolk to catch an early afternoon flight back home.  Another great trip.  Come on, Southwest, run that sale again!!  We can't wait to come back!!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Browne Recluse

July 18, 2012: 

 I, more than Ashlee, have wanted to see Jackson Browne play live for a long time, and I finally got a chance to catch this reclusive Rock-n-Roll Hall of Famer at none other than the historic Ryman Theatre in Nashville.  Ashlee is all for trusting me with seeing shows of artists she's not really familiar with and having it work out great.  Cases in point include Toad the Wet Sprocket, Better Than Ezra, Roger Waters, etc. So we were hoping for the same affect here. Along with me and Ashlee, our friends John and Monique went as well.  Thanks to them also for grabbing the tickets while we were out of town when they went on sale.  We had good happy-hour appetizers and drinks beforehand at the bar at Ruth Chris Steakhouse.

The show to be honest was a bit underwhelming for a couple of reasons.  Granted, Browne, is just a man and his piano or guitar most of the time anyway, so we weren't expecting a really lively stage show, but the song selection was a range of deeper cuts and very few of his popular hits, so casual fans (like Ashlee and Monique) became a bit restless with the performance and I don't blame them.  Another problem was that overall, Browne himself, sounded great in voice and instrument, but his backing band was a bit lacking in my opinion....well, other than when he brought out the great Jerry Douglas (photo above) for some dobro accompaniment to give his California-vibe songs a bit of that Nashville twist.  It was a good show overall, but just not great, and that's going to happen from time to time.  It's still good to say we've seen this legend live and in such a beautiful and historic venue.   Thanks again, Nashville.

What's a Bunbury?

We took a quick weekend road-trip up to Cincinnati to check out a new music festival called Bunbury.  The decision to make the trip was easy due to the fact that several bands were playing that we wanted to see and our friends, Derek and Laurie from Wisconsin, who we met on a music cruise last year, were going as well to celebrate Laurie's birthday.

Thursday, July 12, 2012:
Maui? Fiji?  Nope, just Horse Cave, Kentucky on the drive up
after work tonight.After leaving Tennessee and rain,
the weather cleared for us for most of the weekend.

Friday, July 13, 2012
We got a hotel room at a Hilton in Florence, KY
just south of Cincinnati across the Ohio River.
We slept in since the music didn't start until after noon.
We had brunch at Izzy's, a popular regional sandwich shop
featured on Man Vs. Food.  We didn't have the guts to
order the 5 lb. reuben,, but my pastrami on rye with
accompanying potato pancake were plenty filling and delicious.

The Bunbury Music Festival takes place right on the banks of
the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati.  There are six stages
in total set up along the river.  This is the mid-sized Landor stage.
Some of the better performances we saw during the afternoon
hours included Brent Kirby, LP, The Airborne Toxic Event
 (in the short video below) and The Henry Clay People.

This is another mid-level-sized stage sponsored by Bud Light.
There was plenty of room for viewing and the crowds were tolerable.
The evening performances included a great set by one of our
favorites, O/A/R, ( short video above) and a festival-best performance by local
favorite, Foxy Shazam (the video below is just a brief part of their
wild on-and-off stage antics).  The headliner, Jane's Addiction, was a
bit disappointing as it seems time has caught up with these
once cutting-edge rockers

Saturday, July 14, 2012
After arriving back in downtown Cincinnati before the music
started on Day 2 of Bunbury. We walked across the Ohio
River via The Purple People Bridge, a converted auto bridge
connecting Cincy with Newport, KY.  We had brunch at
another Man vs. Food star, Tom & Chee's, a gourmet
grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup restaurant.
This is the"BananaRama."  A dessert concoction at Tom & Chee's
consisting of a grilled glazed doughnut surrounding fresh
caramelized bananas and melted Gouda cheese.
Yes, it was outstanding.

The weather was a bit more threatening today and one of the first shows we saw
by Imagine Dragons (video clip below) was in a light rain shower.  However,
it didn't last long and the sun broke free of the clouds and left us with a fairly
nice, albeit steamy, afternoon and evening where we caught other
good performances by The Gaslight Anthem (second video clip below)
and headliner, Weezer.

Sunday, July 15, 2012
Since no bands we were interested in were playing until
late on Day 3 of Bunbury, we decided to head home a bit early
after having a delicious birthday brunch for Laurie at Virgil's Cafe
in nearby Bellevue, KY, which has been featured on Diner's,
Drive-Ins & Dives.  We enjoyed our brief visit to the
Cincinnati area.  Above is another nice view across the Ohio
of a neat, new condo building in Covington, KY called The Ascent.
We are going to keep the Bunbury Festival on our list of things to possibly do again in the years to come.  For a first-time festival they had a great line-up, were very organized and reasonably priced.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The boys from Chelsea vs. the boys from Shepherd's Bush

No, this blog entry title isn't about a soccer match in West London.  It's just the only way I could think of linking two events  together that we attended in Nashville over the last couple weekends. 

Saturday, June 30 - They "boys from Chelsea" are the comedians,  Jiffy Wild and Josh Wolf' from one of our favorite TV shows, Chelsea Lately.  They were at Zanies Comedy Club tonight.  They were both great and we even got to meet them after the show.   We had dinner beforehand at the always-delicious Whiskey Kitchen.   Thanks to our friends, Chris, and Tarryn (pictured above with Ashlee and the Chelsea boys), for coming along with us.

Saturday, July 7 - The "boys from Shepherd's Bush" are probably better known as the rock band, BUSH, who were at Marathon Music Works tonight.  After a long hiatus, the iconic band from the 90's is back with lead singer and front-man, Gavin Rossdale, looking and sounding as good as ever.  The one and half-hour set included all their old hits from their masterful debut album Sixteen Stone as well as new stuff from their most recent project The Sea of Memories  plus a damn fine cover of The Beatles' "Come Together."  During one of the songs off the new album called "The Afterlife" Gavin even came singing through the crowd and popped up right behind us before we even knew it.  The show was excellent from start to finish. Below is a brief clip of some of the first single "The Sound of Winter" off the new album. Our faith is restored somewhat in MMW as a venue now as the sound was pretty darn good.  We were much closer to the stage than the previous show we attended which might have helped as well.  We will definitely give this venue another try as they keep bringing in great acts.