"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 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.

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