"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.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Gettin' out of the HOUSE, a packed HOUSE, the Boat HOUSE, a little HOUSE and a great, big HOUSE by the beach

The early part of April 2014 had a few HOUSE-related experiences for us:

April 5 - We got out of the HOUSE and took a day hike at the new Cummins Falls State Park.  It's nice to know that our small contribution a few years back helped in making this place a reality and saving it from development.  We rewarded ourselves afterward with some ice cream at Cream City in Cookeville.
The HOUSE was SOLD OUT later that night for one of our favorite regional bands, The Dirty Guv'nahs at The Exit/In in Nashville.  It was a stop on their "Hearts on Fire Tour" in support of their latest record by the same name that we helped get made thanks to some contributions via Kickstarter (check the album credits if you don't believe us!!)  We had dinner at the always-good, Bosco's, beforehand with our friends, Danny and Wayne, who also attended the show with us.   Beside cuts off the great new record and many of the Guv's great older songs, they also did terrific covers of "Layla", "Are You Gonna Go My Way" and "Signed, Sealed, Delivered"
April 6 - We drove down to Chattanooga for the day to celebrate the 75th birthday of Ashlee's mom, Evelyn.   We had a great dinner with her at the Ichiban Japanese Steak House along with our niece, Ella.

April 7 - We became second HOUSE-owners today.  Before all the ooh-ing and ahh-ing starts, it's not that glamorous.  We had to buy a small, second house in our name for my sister, Melinda, to live in.  It's a long, frustrating story that doesn't belong in this blog.   But, we do feel fortunate to have gotten a pretty good deal on this decent, little foreclosure in Powell's Crossroads.  Thanks to Ashlee for spotting it on the Internet just a few days after it went up for sale because it wouldn't have stayed on the market long at the great price it was listed at, and thanks to our friend (and realtor), Mollie, for helping us close on it quickly and easily.  Afterwards, we took Evelyn out for another birthday meal and a sort-of celebration lunch for us at The Boat House in Chattanooga.  It was our first time eating there since it was The Sandbar Restaurant way back when and it was very good.    Thanks to all the April showers, we saw this beautiful waterfall on Hwy. 111 on the way home that evening.

April 12 -14 - We were invited down to the Florida Gulf Coast near Destin for a few days of  ocean and pool play.  The weather was pretty accommodating, so we gave it a go.
OK, so this HOUSE is a little nicer than the one in Powell's Crossroads.  Wow!  Nice job by Ashlee's sister, Paige, in procuring this beauty for the spring break week of her daughter, Ella.  With six bedrooms and seven baths, she had people coming and going all week like a little hotel.  Photo courtesy of:  http://rentals.fivestargulfrentals.com/la-brisa-vacation-rental

The house was just across the street from the beautiful sugar-white beaches of The Gulf.  The waves were nice and strong and the water was tolerable after a couple seconds of gasping.
Non-beach and pool time was occupied with good food and libations including a visit to the fairly-new Props Craft Brewery over in nearby Ft. Walton Beach and the beautiful Marina Cafe in Destin.  We tried to off-set some of those calories with some 4-mile walks in the beautiful beach-side community as well. 
OK, this is something new.  We had our picture taken by a professional photographer.  Ashlee hired the friend of a friend who lives in the area and does beach photography to get some family pictures on a beautiful evening while most of us where there.  This one of me and Ashlee is one of my favorites.  Photo courtesy of GwyneMark Photography.

OK, that's a great IPhone picture if I do say so myself.  And with these two beauties easily passing for models, maybe I should try and sell it?  That's Ashlee's second cousin, Alexis, who was celebrating her 16th birthday with a visit to the beach house and our niece, Ella, and their dolphin friend coming back from the beach store in the tiny little rental car I had.  To add to the hilarity, Ashlee was also in the back with them...and there was a just-as-big, blown-up shark in the trunk!!  Well, it's not like we were going to blow these massive things up ourselves!!  Good thing it was just a short drive back to the house because I doubt it's street-legal to have a dolphin hanging out of both side of the back of our car..even at the beach! Alexis and Ashlee had a large time riding these floats in the ocean.  I missed out since I had to fly back to Nashville that day for work.  Too bad.  Next time, dolphin, next time.

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