"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, August 25, 2014

August Happenings

Another busy month for us as we wind down a fun Summer of 2014

Saturday, August 2 - It was another luxurious overnight stay at The Inn of Fontanel for us as geared up for The Soulshine Tour making a final stop at The Woods Amphitheater at Fontanel starring some of our favorite musical performers including Trevor Hall, Brett Dennen, and Michael Franti and Spearhead.  We had the larger Guest House Lower Suite booked this time and it was awesome.
Did we mention it was luxurious?  Ashlee claims this is the greatest bathtub she's ever soaked in.
We were having such a great time hanging out at the inn with our friends Chris and Tarryn, who also came up for the show, that we missed Trevor Hall's quick opening set, but he made several appearances throughout the rest of the show at least.  Brett Dennen was up next and we caught most of his set.  He seemed a little "spirited" in his always-enjoyable performance, some of which is captured in the video below from our great vantage point near the stage.  Soja was the third band to play and we enjoyed their unique reggae sound for the first time live.

Michael Franti and his band, Spearhead, put on another dynamite show to close out the evening with appearances from all the previous performers as well.  Tarryn even got a big hug from him after the show.  He's the best about hanging out after a performance.
Saturday, August 9 - Monday, August 11: We continued the "staycation of luxury" theme the following weekend with our third visit to Evins Mill Resort over in nearby Smithville, TN.  We got to enjoy a buy-one, get-one night deal in their newest addition, the Solstice building.  Our room was large and lovely and the entire unit is nestled in among the trees.  Totally peaceful.  We even had the whole building to ourselves on Sunday night since no other guests were staying there.
Our choice of revisiting Evins Mill  this particular weekend was two-fold since Calfkiller Brewing Company in nearby Sparta was having a tasting and pairing with the Evins Mill dinner on Saturday night.  We tried all four of their offerings and were impressed by each.  Dinner was delicious and abundant, as usual, as was the fare on Sunday night.  The breakfasts that are included with the room rate are awesome too as was the box lunches they provided us on Sunday.  Worth every penny and I bet we come back again if given the chance.
OK, make the reason we came back to Evins Mill this weekend three-fold.  We also wanted a chance to swim beneath Carmac Falls which is located on the resort's property.  We hadn't had an opportunity to do so during over previous two visits, but we got our chance on Sunday afternoon with warm, sunny weather and, amazingly, in complete privacy also.  Can't beat that!  The short video below shows Ashlee daring to take a dip even after the fact she spied a snake in the water a bit earlier.  Fear...conquered...for the most part.  

Friday, August 22 - We had dinner at Watermark Restaurant tonight to take advantage of some good pricing for Nashville Restaurant Week. Our friends, Danny and Brenda, joined us and we had a fancy and delicious three-course dinner for 30 buck each. We decided to go see Guardians of the Galaxy in IMAX after dinner.  All of us but Ashlee had seen it before.  In fact, it was the 3rd time for me and Brenda.  It's not exactly Ashlee's preferred type of flick, but she was a good sport and wound up enjoying it actually.
Saturday, August 23- We got up this morning and headed over to LP Field to have our picture taken and turned into a banner for this season's "Hall of Fans."  We got this honor by actually winning four Tennessee Titans season tickets.  Plus, they gave us a nice bag of Titans' swag as well.  Big thanks to the Tennessee Titans organization for this generous prize!  We even took the elevator to the wrong floor going out of the stadium and wound up getting a couple goofy pictures in the team's on-field vehicles. What a hoot!  

     We spent the afternoon cooling off from the high temps at  Nashville Shores Water Park.  This was my first time there, but Ashlee's been a few times this summer and even got a season pass because she likes it so much.  We had a ball riding all the big water slides and lazing about in their Lazy River.  What a great place right in our own backyard.

Sunday, August 24 - We stole the term "Sunday, Funday" from a hilarious new TV sit-com called "You're the Worst" and applied it to a full day out and about doing pretty much nothing of any real value other than...you guessed it...having fun.    We started with brunch at M.L, Rose's in downtown Nashville.   We then moseyed south to where we had a bottle of wine on the covered porch with a nice breeze at Arrington Vineyards.  Next, it was a drink at the now-TV-(in)famous dive bar over in Murfreesboro, MT Bottles and Cans.  We had an early dinner at O'Possums Irish Pub in Murfreesboro with our friend, Emily.  The food was excellent. We finished up with a drink at the rather underwhelming Brew U also in Murfreesboro. Overall, a very good Sunday, Funday!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Music, Baseball and BACON!!

Thursday, July 10 - We caught a great FREE set by Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds tonight downtown on the riverfront at Nashville Dancin' (formerly Dancin' in the District). We got right up in the front row and enjoyed the beautiful weather and the great show by this band we discovered at Bonnaroo a few years ago. We had dinner beforehand at Hana House of Sushi in Mt. Juliet.
The Cumberland River, the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge and the edge of downtown made for quite a panoramic backdrop for  Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds as they jammed away at Nashville Dancin' tonight.

Friday, July 18 - We caught a showing of the hilarious comedy sequel, 22 Jump Street, tonight at our local Mt. Juliet theater for free thanks to some passes we won at an Oscar party hosted by our friend Brenda way back in January.
Saturday, July 19 - Tonight was our first of two scheduled overnight stays this summer at the beautiful, new Inn at Fontanel.  We picked this night since we were also seeing The Fray play at The Woods Amphitheater on the same property up in White's Creek north of Nashville.  While this is a "local" venue, it's a pretty long haul  back home after a late show, so when they converted the Southern Living Idea House that we visited last year (see previous blog) into a small hotel, we knew it was worth a try despite the kind of high price tag.  We will be staying again in a few weeks for the Michael Franti show, but in a different, larger room.  We had a great stay in the "North Bunkie" room which included a large cooked-to-order breakfast the next morning.

Nashville... Pretty much our second home. Excited to play tonight. Come on out! -BW

The Fray were tremendous live.   Their Tweet (shown above) from before the show was an indication that they love this area. The video below isn't that great visually, but it does a good job of capturing their pure sound on stage.  We only had general admission tickets, but found a nice place to watch the show on a little hill just right of the stage. We enjoyed some Jeni's Ice Cream before the music started. The two opening bands, Oh Honey and Barcelona were decent.

Friday, July 25 - We loaded up in separate cars and headed north into Kentucky today and stayed in Louisville overnight as the start of a little fun (and a lotta work for Ashlee in Kentucky) and southern Ohio. I played some poker across the river from Louisville in Indiana while Ashlee worked.  Early in the evening we met up in the quaint old Louisville neighborhood of Clifton and had some delicious desserts at the Homemade Pie and Ice Cream Kitchen, then took a stroll that including passing the very interesting personal residence known as  Jerry's Junk (photo above) and onto the relatively new Apocalypse Brewing Company for a couple of tasty craft beers.  It was certainly a lovely summer evening to be in "Loo'avull."
Saturday, July 26 - We got up this morning (had breakfast at Wild Eggs...of course) and headed further north to see the Washington Nationals play the hometown Cincinnati Reds at The Great American Ballpark.  It was our first time in the ballpark and she is a beauty.  We had great seats hovering above the first base line in Section 301 which are shaded and attached to an all-you-can-eat suite that was phenomenal.  We got the most out of our money too with hot dogs, BBQ sandwiches and ice creams sandwiches before the game even started.  Then it was popcorn, another ice cream sandwich each, pizza, a soft pretzel, nachos and peanuts plus free soft drinks.  What a deal!  The game was an exciting, albeit low-scoring, defensive struggle with the Reds winning 1-0 and posting 11 strikeouts on the division-leading Nationals.  This looks to become a once-a-year tradition for us if possible.  We had such a great time including our leisurely walk across the Ohio River to the ballpark from Covington, KY where we parked for just a few bucks.
Sunday, July 27 - It was back south toward Louisville again today as we planned on heading to the Kentucky Speedway for an Indy Car Ride-Along.  It got rained out unfortunately. We are rescheduling it for next summer where we hope to do a duplicate trip.  We had more delicious pie at another location of the Homemade Pie and Ice Cream Kitchen and then went our separate ways as Ashlee had a couple more days work in Kentucky to complete, and I was due at work back home the next morning.  What a dandy little weekend it was despite the rain hiccup.

Thursday, July 31 - Tonight we attended the first of two SOLD OUT shows of The Bacon Brothers at The Franklin Theater.  Even more exciting to us was the chance meet and greet Michael and Kevin!   Thanks to our friend, Brenda, for grabbing the tickets for us while we were out of town and for going with us to the show.

The meet and greet was only a little more in price and included down-front seating for the show.  The Bacon Brothers couldn't have been nicer.  We got autographs, a group picture with them and even individual shots.  I have never gotten more "likes" on a Facebook post than I have of this picture of me and Kevin.  One degree feels pretty darn good!!
We had a delicious dinner beforehand at The Red Pony Restaurant across the street from the theater in downtown Franklin.   And, yes, one of the delicious (and our favorite) appetizers was THE BACON!!  Jason's Grilled Bacon to be exact.

Let's be honest here, we grabbed these tickets for a chance to meet Kevin-Freakin-Bacon and not really for the music.  But, guess what?  These brothers can play some pretty good music!  Below is a true "boot-leg" clip (I shot it from around my boot-leg since cameras weren't allowed during the show) that shows just how good the brothers and their stellar band are.  This is some of their closing encore cover of The Band's classic "Up on Cripple Creek."  It was a great show and we would definitely see them again, meet-and-greet or not.  This was also our first time at the beautiful Franklin Theater which has been lovingly restored and has great acoustics and sight lines for music.  We are lucky to have it so nearby and hope to catch some more events here in the future.