"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, November 3, 2014


The Mac and Cheese Wayniac
Saturday, October 4th - We attended the first-ever Mac and Cheese Festival here in Nashville today with our friends, Wayne and Mike on the grounds of the Opryland Hotel and Resort.  We definitely got full on some tasty mac-and-cheese varieties, but were glad we got in with a BOGO deal on the expensive tickets since the lines were pretty long for the small samples at each of the participant booths, and they ran out of the booze that was included in the price.  It was also a little "cheesy" in terms of entertainment with a dated (albeit spot-on) heavy metal cover band.  Afterwards, we all attended a showing of the psychological thriller, "Gone Girl" at the Opry Mills Theaters next door which was pretty good.

Thursday, October 9 - Tonight we attended the season-opener for the Nashville Predators vs. the Ottawa Senators with our friends, Chris and Tarryn. It was an exciting come from behind 3-2 win and the first ever for new head coach, Pete Laviolette.

Saturday, October 11 - Today we attended and helped out with the wedding of our friends, Lisa and Toney. It was a small, intimate event and the rainy day was a bit of a hamper, but overall it was a fun and joyous day for these two great people.  We even goofed around in another photo booth at the reception (photo left).

Thursday, October 24 - We attended another Nashville Predators game vs. the Chicago Blackhawks tonight.  It was a thrilling 3-2 win over this strong opponent with a natural hat trick (the first we've ever seen live) by the newly-acquired James Neal. It was sweet watching all those Chicago fans in the crowd hit the road with a loss.  Here's a bit of the post-hat trick celebration in the photo below:

Saturday, October 25 - Monday, October 27 - We took a long weekend ride up to East Tennessee to do a couple of fun things as well as stay a couple nights at a neat little cabin outside Gatlinburg.
We started the trip with a helicopter ride in Sevierville, TN.  After our first great ride last year in North Georgia, I got Ashlee another ride (via a Living Social deal) as a Christmas present.  We picked this particular weekend hoping to get a look at some fall colors.  This chopper was bigger than the first one we rode in, but just as exciting.

Part of Bluff Mountain at the edge of The Smokies as seen from the helicopter.
Another great helicopter view.  We missed the peak color weekend, but the weather couldn't have been clearer.
Our little cabin rental bordering the national park near Cosby, TN was just about perfect: clean and roomy with huge picture windows,right beside a rushing stream and  a small waterfall, a hot tub out on the deck on a quiet dead-end road.
http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p3470629 - Rushing Waters (and Laurelwood Falls) Cabins for future reference
Lovely Indian Camp Creek rushed right along the side of the cabin and over Laurelwood Falls just downstream.
We got up in the dark on Saturday morning and drove south through the national park to Bryson City, NC, to catch a 9 AM train ride.  On the way we saw a bear (Ashlee's first ever) and several elk.  No good photos of the critters, unfortunately, but the foggy morning made for a pretty cool vista as we drove.
The big, black diesel engine of The Smoky Mountain Railway  emerged from the fog as we boarded the Carolina Shine Car for a great ride as well as a few spirits from Midnight Moon Moonshine....it's 5 o'clock somewhere, right? 
The spooky oldest house in Swain County, North Carolina, looms in the early-morning fog as viewed from the train.
Speeding along the Carolina countryside on our way to the Nantahala Gorge.  Is that a moonshine look?

Beautiful arms of Fontana Lake were a big part of our view during the trip.
Incredible views from comfortable chairs with a little moonshine, snacks and a meal of BBQ.  What a deal!

We had an hour layover at The Nantahala Outdoor Center with the fog burned off and the fall colors busting out.

We flipped to the back of the train as the green diesel engine took over and pulled us back to Bryson City along Fontana Lake with The Smokies in the distance.
The drive back through the national park on the way back to the cabin was a stunning added bonus.
We spent our last relaxing night in the cabin enjoying some wine and a rousing game of Monopoly which I won by bankrupting the greedy Ashlee.
On Monday Ashlee did some work in East Tennessee as I tagged along as her "somewhat-assistant" since I had the day off from work.  We had a delicious lunch in lovely Greeneville, TN  at Fatz Cafe.  We stopped for dinner on the way home in Cookeville at the always-good Crawdaddies.

Friday, October 31 - Tonight we hosted the "Rob and Ashlee's No Damn Kids Halloween Party" which was basically just some beer and chili with our friends sans any kiddos other than some trick-or-treaters at the door.  We had a great time with some good company, some great food and a seven-card round of Cards Against Humanity that was hilarious.

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