"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.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A few little sumpin' sumpin's

A few activities of note over the past three weeks or so:
Friday, February 8:  We attended the first of four sold-out shows for comedian, Drew Carey, at Zanies in Nashville.  He was pretty funny and his insight behind his new gig as host of "The Price is Right" was hilarious.."cash, cars and trips!"  He also had a pretty good opener by the name of Brendon Walsh. Our front row balcony seats were great.  Thanks to our friends, Wayne, Mike, John and Monique for attending with us.
Saturday, February 9:  We went and saw the re-release of the 1987 classic, "Top Gun" as it was presented in IMAX and 3D at Opry Mills Theaters in Nashville.  The 3D wasn't that big of a deal, but the IMAX conversion was excellent.  Maverick and Goose never looked so good...or BIG!!  Thanks to our friend, Mike, for attending with us.

Thursday, February 14:  We spent Valentine's Day at home this year and made some kind-of last-minute reservations for dinner at a new Italian restaurant over in East Nashville called Pomodoro East.   The food was very good and reasonably-priced, and Ashlee's violet martini (photo above) was tasty.  We have been looking for a good Italian place in Nashville and  we will definitely be back here, especially when it warms up because they have a sweet patio seating area as well.

Friday, February 15:  We weren't really planning on going to see Kid Rock at The Bridgestone Arena in Nashville (not our particular style of music and not our favorite music venue), but when a pair of tickets became available and were offered to us by our good friends, Chris and Tarryn, we decided to give it a go.  The concert wasn't half-bad and the guy is definitely a showman.  Our seats were good and dinner before the show at Big River Grille was tasty.  Thanks again to Chris and Tarryn for the invitation as well as their friends (and now ours), Stewart and Stacey, who also attended dinner and the show.

Monday, February 18:  We took advantage of the President's Day holiday today and slipped over to Belcourt Avenue in Nashville  for a late lunch/early dinner at Belcourt Taps (tasty "stuffed" burgers and good beer on tap) and then walked back across the street to The Belcourt Theatre to catch The Oscar Nominated Short Films (live and animated) for this year.  This has become a bit of a tradition for us the past couple years in preparation for the upcoming Oscars ceremony and the coinciding party we are invited to each year at our friend Brenda's house (see below for more info).  This year's entries weren't as good as the previous year's in our opinion, but all of them were interesting.  No clear-cut winners could be determined by us in either category, so it's anybody's guess who will win.

Saturday, February 23:  We were down in Chattanooga visiting Ashlee's mom (who continues to recover nicely) and since her house is a construction site currently due to a bathroom remodeling project, we decided to have a bit of a "stay-cation" by booking a cheap room (thanks to Hotwire.com's buy-it-blind program) at the historic and lovely Read House downtown.  The room was great and the bed was amazingly comfortable.  We slept in the following morning after a great dinner across the river at the Brewhaus, which has quickly become one of our favorite Chattanooga eateries.

Sunday, February 24:  We were invited again and attended again our friend, Brenda's, fantastic Oscar party and had a great time as usual.  Brenda added a twist this year by inviting all guests to dress in movie-related costumes if they wanted to with a chance for prizes.  I am proud to say that Ashlee took second place (which was a DVD copy of the soon-to-be-crowned Best Picture - "Argo") with her funny rendition of the bounty hunter, Django from another best picture nominee, "Django Unchained."  My costume mimicking the android, David, from my favorite film of the year, "Prometheus" didn't fare as well, but I liked it and it was damn comfortable!  Thanks, as always, to Brenda for throwing such a fab soiree of great food and good times.

Monday, February 25:  Tonight, we decided to plunk down some solid cash again and get our favorite Nashville Predator seats down on the glass behind the visitors' penalty box (we've sat here two other times and loved it).  Our friend, Mike, was in town and had never sat on the glass, so we figured that was as good an excuse as any.  Well, we couldn't have picked a better game to sit where we did.  There was  lots of action and scoring, lots of penalties for Dallas giving us a chance to razz the players sitting in front of us.  A couple of them were once again willing to read our signs for them:  "Never heard of you???"  and "ESPN is reporting you just got traded!"  and acknowledge us with a smile and a laugh.  There was a huge glove-dropping fight in the 3rd period, and finally, and best of all, the Preds had a dramatic comeback and overtime win of 5-4.  We had a pre-game dinner up in The Suite Spot up in the Patron Platinum Level of the Bridgestone Arena (access granted by our fancy tickets) which serves high-end concessions (the Buffalo chicken mac-n-cheese and the spicy southwestern meatballs were excellent).  Thanks to our good friend, Wayne, for coming with us again as well.

"Twinkle, twinkle, little Dallas Stars."  Let's try and count all of them...one, two...three...oh, wait, I see another one!  Make that FOUR Dallas stars crammed into the penalty box.  Naughty, naughty, boys! 

Below is a quick a video of the opening puck-drop that gives a sense of how close we were to the lightning-quick action.

A pretty darn fun February if we do say so ourselves!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Friday, February 1, 2013:  We rented a car and headed south for a long weekend in Florida's panhandle to catch our favorite college basketball team, the Duke Blue Devils, take on the Florida State Seminoles on the road in some ACC action.

After picking up our friend, Mike, who lives in Chattanooga and who is also a Duke fan and had never seen them play live before, the three of us stopped for lunch in Atlanta at The Vortex.  The food was amazing and the downtown location is very cool.  We were lucky to get in right before it got really crowded for lunch.  We will be adding this place to our list of  Atlanta favorites for sure.

To break up a bit of the 7-hour drive south, we got off the interstate and headed into SW Georgia and stopped in Warm Springs about an hour out of Atlanta and the home of the presidential retreat (aka The Little White House) of Franklin D. Roosevelt. The place is quite lovely and the tour and museum were very interesting.  Ashlee had been here before but only as a kid, and we all agreed it was a great stop.  We highly recommend it.  The quaint home, designed by FDR himself is pictured above with a bit of that nostalgic Instagram look to it.

Next stop was another hour or so south in the good-sized town of Columbus, GA, at The Cannon Brewpub  located in the city's quaint downtown.  We were still full from the lunch at The Vortex so we just split a plate of blue-cheese chips and did some beer samplers.  Their beer is pretty good  For more on it, see my beer blog.

We arrived in Tallahassee around dark and checked in to the Doubletree Hotel near the state capitol and within walking distance of the Leon County Civic Center where tomorrow's game was being held.  None of us had really spent any time in Florida's state capital before now, but we have to say it's a pretty nice, albeit small, city.  The Spanish moss in all the trees just adds to the allure.
Saturday, February 2, 2013:  Since the game wasn't until 2 PM, we decided that since we were so close to the Gulf of Mexico, we just had to go see it.

Yep, he's real, and yep, he's every bit of six foot long, and yep, he's just across a small canal from us in the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge.  We saw a ton of wildlife during our short time in the refuge including tons of different birds and even a couple deer, but this big guy was the star of the day.  Kind of glad he was snoozing and not interested in us!!

We lucked up on our visit to St. Marks for a couple reasons.  One, the weather, albeit a bit on the cool side, was beautiful. And, secondly, they were having a festival in the refuge this weekend and the beautiful old (second oldest in Florida, actually) lighthouse (pictured above) was open (at least at the base) for tours.

We got back to Tallahassee in time to catch the pregame warm-ups for Duke and FSU.  The Leon County Civic Center is a decent venue and the view from our seats (pictured above) was good, but it's a bit aged as a facility, and we were surprised that the Seminoles didn't have their own arena on the large and quite nice FSU campus.  The game was a clinic from the start as # 5 Duke jumped out to a huge lead over the young and rebuilding FSU squad and cruised to a 19-point victory, 79-60.

We decided after the game that we wanted dinner on the water somewhere since we were so close and enjoyed it so much earlier in the day.  After a bit of Internet research back at the room, we settled on going back down where we were that morning to the actual town of St. Marks which sits on the river of the same name (photo above).

The Riverside Cafe in St. Marks is nothing fancy and their menu is fairly predictable in terms of seafood, but it was exactly what we were looking for as it sits not by the water of the St. Marks River but OVER it as part of a large floating dock complex there.  The temps dropped again as the sun went down and we were happy for the kerosene heaters as we ate in their partially open dining room.  After dinner we headed back into Tallahassee and found a cool brewpub/bar called Proof Brewing near the FSU campus and had a few more tasty adult beverages.

Sunday, February 3, 2013:  We packed up and headed north and stuck to the interstate for the most part as we wanted to make it back in time to watch the Super Bowl.  Our only diversion besides stopping for a gas and a quick fast food meal was in Atlanta again at the humongous IKEA Store for a bit of shopping.  All three of us came out of there with something which isn't hard since the prices are so good.  It was another good trip built around our beloved Dukies.  It's been fun seeing the Blue Devils play on the road the last few years, but we both agree we must get back to beautiful Cameron Indoor Stadium as soon as we can.  Next season, hopefully....GO DUKE!!  Thanks to our friend, Mike, for going with us on this trip and providing us with some excellent company.