"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, June 23, 2015

"Summer's Here, and the Time is Right for..."

...Movies, Music, Travel, Baseball, and some walking "in the streets."

Thursday, 5/28/15 - We caught a showing of the Disney fantasy film, "Tomorrowland" at the Opry Mills IMAX tonight with our friend, Wayne.  It was a pretty good flick.  Beforehand, we had a tasty dinner and some good 1/2 pints of beer at The Hop Stop over on Gallatin Pike.

Monday, June 1, 2015 - I tagged along with Ashlee on a business trip over to Kansas City (where I had never visited) and we made a little vacation out of it once her work days were done.
OK, the windshield sun shading gives this view of downtown Kansas City a bit of a surreal look, but it's still a cool shot.
Time for lunch! It's a gas station.  It's a kick-ass BBQ joint.  It's definitely Kansas City.

Burnt Ends were the special at Joe's today.  They were outstanding!
 We had dinner at Jack's Stack BBQ which was also amazing.  Ashlee tried their burnt ends, but I opted for a steak, a big Kansas City strip of course.  Beforehand, but after work, of course, we stopped by Boulevard Brewing for a few libations.

The pride of Kansas City:  Boulevard Brewing.
Tuesday, 6/2/15 -  Of course, we had more BBQ for lunch today at Dempsey's in Concordia on the way to Columbia, a neat little college town and home of the University of Missouri.  We opted for  dinner at Flat Branch Brewing Company which was tasty as were their brews.  Besides work for Ashlee, our visit to Columbia was two-fold as we caught a show by one of our favorite musicians, Butch Walker at the Rose Music Hall. We got right up the front row of the small venue and Butch was spot-on as usual despite fighting off a cold.  The video below is a little of his guitar prowess using his Maker's Mark "cough medicine" as a slide.

Butch had a great second opener, Jonathon Tyler, who we had seen before at Bonnaroo with his band, The Northern Lights.   We got to meet Jonathon briefly after the show also.  We walked back to our nice, new Doubletree hotel and went up on the roof to their great bar there for a final libation for the evening and watched the full moon in all it's Missouri glory.

Wednesday, 6/3/15 - It was back to Kansas City today and a great late lunch at Blue Koi (which has been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives) and then we flew back home that evening.

Friday, 6/5/15 - We attended our first Nashville Sounds game this year together tonight in their exquisite new First Tennessee Park. Attending with us were our friends, Mike and Ali, who were sort of on a blind date (they had only met on Facebook previously...per our encouragement).  Things went well we are happy to report!  We missed a few early innings thanks to drinks and good food for dinner beforehand at  Butchertown Hall in the nearby Germantown neighborhood.
The beautiful new home of the Nashville Sounds is  First Tennessee Park near downtown.  It was a 1-0 win tonight for the home team over the Salt Lake City Bees followed by some fantastic fireworks.  The Band Box Bar in right field is  pretty awesome as well.
Saturday, 6/6/15 - After a pretty late night, we got up much too early after spending a few hours sleeping at our friend, Wayne's house in Nolensville, to participate in the Franklin 5K over in lovely and historic Lieper's Fork along with Wayne and our friend, Mike.  Despite the lack of sleep, we all finished the 5K is good order and enjoyed "the walk" along the foggy streets in the early middle-Tennessee morning.  Later that afternoon, Mike went with us to see the new Entourage movie which we all enjoyed as fans of the now-defunct HBO TV show.
"oh, yeah...oh, yeah..." - Jane's Addiction

Saturday, 6/13/15 - And now for something completely different, but kind of the same:  This year we decided to forgo the 4-day music and camping event that is Bonnaroo and opt instead to try a one-day VIP visit along with our friends, Danny and Brenda. Our enthusiasm for the festival has waned in the past few years for several reasons, but our love of this year's Saturday headliners, Mumford and Sons, made it worth a try.

The ride down from Greer Stadium in Nashville to Manchester aboard a nice bus was good.  We started the day with Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen straight from New Orleans at That Tent.  They were great, but it was here we found out that there is no VIP area in the four tent-stages where some of the best music is...that was a bummer and Strike 1.  We also hooked up with our friends, Wayne and Bridgette, there who were doing the whole 4-day general admission experience.

Our favorite VIP spot was the air-conditioned tent at Centeroo.

Video Below:  A bit of the
Mumford and Sons Bonnaroo redemption!
Next up was the mellow stylings of PHOX in The Other Tent.   A little alt-grass by Trampled by Turtles at the main What Stage followed by our new favorite performer of the day, Irish balladeer, Hozier. The VIP section at the main stage is a little better with a high hill to access for a good, albeit distant, view of the stage.  Bathrooms were better and less crowded too, but still not a whole lotta bang for your buck - Strike 2.  We took in a little guitar-driven rock from Gary Clark, Jr. at the second-largest Which Stage which also had a decent VIP area over to one side of the stage. We saw a good amount of My Morning Jacket at the Main Stage followed by the gents who we had been waiting on the most:  Mumford and Sons closing out the night on the Main Stage in triumphant return from having to cancel as headliners a couple years ago due to the illness of the bass player. They were great , as usual, and the new "plugged-in" songs sounded amazing. (Below is a snippet of one of the new songs, "The Wolf").   Some rude drunk people behind us soured the overall experience somewhat...Strike 3.   Afterwards, we couldn't get close to Super Jam at The Other Tent (again no VIP area), so we headed back to the bus and were delighted when we boarded and left 45 minutes earlier than scheduled!  We got in bed about 4 AM.

We weren't overly impressed with the One-Day VIP Experience based on what we paid vs. what we actually got. Based on the three strikes, this might have been our last Bonnaroo experience unless they really step it up with acts we haven't seen before and/or or bang for your buck.  There is just too much good competition out there with competing festivals (we are excited about our VIP access at the new Pilgrimage Festival coming up in September), music cruises and individual shows with affordable perks like good seating, meet-and-greets, etc.

Wednesday, 6/17/15 - Just a mere four days after Bonnaroo ended, the living legends themselves, The Rolling Stones, visited  LP Field in Nashville, and we were there, up in the nosebleed seats, checking them out.  It's been almost 18 years since we saw them last over at Vandy Stadium and these senior citizens haven't lost much in that time.  It was an enjoyable show from start to finish.  Thanks to our friends, Wayne, Mike and Bridgette, for attending with us and hanging out to tailgate beforehand in the hot summer temps.
Mick, Keith, Ronnie and Charlie are still together and still jamming.
Below:  a quick clip of the boys in action

Saturday, 6/191/15:  Tonight we attended a screening of the 2009 re-boot  film, Star Trek, with the Nashville Symphony playing the entire terrific score at the Schermerhorn Center in downtown Nashville.  Our seats were actually behind the orchestra which gave an interesting view of all the players.  Beforehand, we had dinner at Kitchen Notes in the nearby Omni Hotel with our friends, Mike and Wayne, who also attended the showing.  Afterwards, we met up with more friends, Chris and Tarryn, who also attended the show and had drinks in the Omni's swanky lobby.  We all agreed it was a great experience and hope they do more films like this.

Sunday, 6/21/15 -We saw Jurassic World in IMAX today with our friends,
Mike and Wayne.  It was fang-tastic!!

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