"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, May 31, 2016

MAY we have another 15 Years of Marriage and more!!

May 2016  Activities Log...

Friday, May 6 - We saw Captain America: Civil War in IMAX tonight with our friend, Wayne, over at Opry Mills.  We all really enjoyed the movie.  All three of us had dinner at the Homegrown Taproom beforehand which was delicious.
Sunday, May 8 - We took a drive down Hwy. 111 to the Dunlap area to meet Ashlee's mom, Evelyn, for a late Mother's Day lunch at The Cookie Jar.  The food was outstanding and location and views are very nice.  We will back here again for sure!
Saturday, May 14 - Tonight we attended a Nashville Sounds baseball game with our fantasy football friend, Jared, and his fiancee' Jen, who were in town on a long-weekend vacation from Indianapolis.  We all had a tasty dinner before at Butchertown Hall in Germantown and then walked to the game.  It was a 9-1 thumping of the Fresno Grizzlies in some unseasonably cool weather.  We then took in a little bad karaoke at the double-wide bar known as Santa's Pub afterwards.
Since Johnny Cash and George Jones are no longer with us, it only makes sense that Reba McEntire came from behind in the Legends of Country Music Race.  Well done, lady!
Thursday, May 19 - Happy Anniversary to us!!  15 years of marriage went by so quick!  To celebrate we drove down to the Aska Lodge in Blue Ridge, Georgia, for a couple days.  We had dinner outside in some beautiful weather at the Blue Ridge Brewery.

Moon-rise from our wrap-around porch  in the Hummingbird Room at the Aska Lodge.

Friday, May 20 - We got up and had a great breakfast at the lodge and then went into town to catch the Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad's 4-hour tour.  It was a great ride along the Toccoa River which flows northward toward Tennessee.  We hd a two-hour layover in McCaysville, Georgia/Copper Hill, Tennessee.  We did a little shopping and had a few pints on the "wet" side of town in Tennessee at The Copper Pale.  The rain set in when we got back (we were just happy to have dodged it while on the train) so we stopped by a new little microbrewery in Blue Ridge called Grumpy Old Men Brewing.  You had to buy a glass to drink because they couldn't sell beer yet, but you sure got a lot for your $15 glass!  We had dinner in town at Harvest on Main, another tasty place to eat in this great little mountain town.

One of the cool views from the train was this Native American fish-trap still visible in the Toccoa River.
Saturday, May 21 -  Back in Chattanooga today, we attended the high school graduation of Ashlee's cousin, Alexis, who we both think the world of.  Congrats, girlie!    That evening, we checked out Heaven and Ale brewpub in North Chattanooga with Ashlee's half-sister, Nancy, and then went across the street to the new Embargo '62 Rum Bar for more drinks and fun.

Sunday, May 22 - We had a delicious brunch back at Embargo '62 today before heading back home.
Saturday, May 28 - Pool Party - Yes, it's finally open!!!  We threw a Memorial Day Weekend soiree at the new pool today with about 20 people showing up throughout the day to take a gander and a dip despite a little rain and cloudy weather.

Sunday, May 29 -  Pool Party Part II - It was "Family Friendly" Day today at the pool with another 20 or so people and their kids coming by for some fun wet fun in the glorious sunshine.

Monday, May 30 - Memorial Day was spent, not surprisingly, at the pool again with still more friends trickling by for a swim.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

From New York's Tribeca to a Birthday MusicTrifecta

We took an early birthday trip for me up to New York City this week to take in some sights and attend some of the 15th Annual Tribeca Film Festival along with our friends Danny, Brenda, Wayne and Bethany.   Hello again, Big Apple!

Wednesday, 4/13 - We flew up to NYC via Southwest today and took a private car to our a cool two-story loft apartment in the Tribeca area that we found on  AirBnB.  It is situated over a pizza parlor called Saluggi's where we had our first meal in the city and it was fantastic. The building is also just a couple blocks from the hotel where everyone else was staying.

We had tickets to an evening performance of Fully Committed starring Jessie Tyler Ferguson (our beloved "Mitchell" on TV's huge hit, "Modern Family") at the Lyceum Theater on Broadway.  It was an amazing one-man show with Jessie doing over 40 different voices.  We had great seats very near the stage.  After the show we met up with everyone else nearby at The Perfect Pint for a drink and then hit Times Square and wondered around in the glittering lights before walking back to our "neighborhood"and turning in for the night.

Our beautiful large bedroom was on the 2nd floor and our private bathroom was on the third floor where we also shared a living room area and kitchen with our host, Josie, who couldn't have been nicer and made us these great breakfasts each morning.  Man, we got so spoiled!!

Thursday, 4/14 - We slept in a bit this morning since our first commitment was a lunch-time walking food tour of a couple of nearby neighborhoods including NoHo (north of Houston Street) and NoLita (north of Little Italy).  Our guide, Annie, was fantastic and she led us to six distinct eateries including The Little Cupcake Bakeshop, Emporio pizza, Tartinery Restaurant, the Tacombi taco stand, Smile Restaurant and finally the Alimentari and Vineria Mediterranean restaurant and market.  We also learned a lot of history and culture about these small, but unique, New York neighborhoods along the way.
The gang enjoying a toast of vino at the cool Tartinery Restaurant in Nolita during our food tour.  Photo by our guide, Annie.
This evening we attended our first event at The Tribeca Film Festival.  It was the premiere showing of a film entitled  The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea along with two more friends who arrived today from Pennsylvania, Joe and L.A., who we met on our Galapagos trip last year.  The red carpet was amazingly easy to access at this festival and we saw a ton more stars up close than we were expecting.  Plus there were Q and A sessions after the films with all the stars and directors in attendance.  This one had Jason Sudeikis (SNL, Horrible Bosses), Maisy Williams (Game of Thrones), Jessica Biel and her super-cool hubby, Justin Timberlake, who scored the film, a first for him.
Superstar Justin Timberlake on the red carpet at The Tribeca Film Festival.  Can't believe we got this close!
That's a lot of finger-food for after 10 PM, but when in New York...you eat at the trendy restaurant, Vandal, where they have taken street food to a whole other level.  
Friday, 4/15 - Today was another easy start with a Statue of Liberty with Crown Access Tour at 11 AM followed by access to the new Freedom Tower's One World Observatory that afternoon.  We attended a Tribeca Talk with JJ Abrams and Chris Rock and a premiere viewing of the film, All We Had.  We closed out the evening watching our beloved Nashville Predators at a sports bar in their first playoff game from Anaheim which was a great road win.
I know this looks posed for a lame cell-phone ad, but it's not.  
My lady in Lady Liberty's crown.
The winding staircase to and from The Statue of Liberty Crown.
A surreal and spooky shot from the new Freedom Tower's One World Observatory looking down into the 9/11 Memorial where the towers once sat.
OMG, it's JJ Abrams!!  Just for the record, this ultra-hot Hollywood director/producer gave me an approving nod and smile when I yelled  "JJ, a remake Highlander, just think about it!" as he was walking away from his interviews on the red carpet.  Fingers crossed!
The "much lovelier in person" Katie Holmes introducing her film All We Had.  She starred and directed it. It was a solid film with good performances throughout.  As you can see we got great seats for this presentation.
Saturday, 4/16 - Yep, you guessed it, no early plans.  After a walk through nearby by Washington Square Park, we rode the subway up to The Bronx to catch our first-ever Yankees game vs. the Seattle Mariners (the M-men took it 3-1).  
The Washington Square Park and it's famous Arch were just a short walk from our apartment.  Although we've been to NYC several times this was our first visit to this iconic place.
What a perfect day to catch a game from the outfield bleachers at Yankee Stadium...and the bucket of chicken and fries for $20 that our friend, Wayne, found was amazing!
The evening was occupied with two more Tribeca films,  The Fixer (which we didn't like very much to be honest) and the much better (albeit a bit strange) film, The Family Fang.  The all-star cast for the latter film of Christopher Walken, Nicole Kidman (who mentioned that her home is now in Tennessee!), Jason Bateman (who also directed the picture), Maryann Plunkett and screen-writer David Lindsay-Abaire were all on-hand for some Q and A after the screening.  We, again, got very close seats to the stage which was amazing considering they were general admission.
Sunday, 4/17 - We flew home today in perfect weather again and in time to watch the Preds play and win again on the road in the NHL playoffs.  

The birthday extravaganza continued the following week with three great shows in three different cities for a great musical trifecta:

Tuesday 4/19 - We saw Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals in Chattanooga  tonight (the Nashville show sold out months ago) at the beautiful Tivoli Theater.  What a great band!

Wednesday, 4/20 - It was a happy "official" birthday to me today with a SOLD OUT show by Dawes in Nashville at The Ryman Auditorium.  And "When My Time Comes" I hope it's singing out loud at The Mother Church to a great band like Dawes similar to the short video below.

Thursday, 4/21 - Tonight we attended our first 2016 Preds First-Round Playoff Game( # 4) vs. the Anaheim Ducks.  It was a very disappointing outcome, but at least the chicken and biscuits were good before the game at the arena  and we did get to sit close to arena organ-player extraordinaire, Krazy Kyle. (By the way, Nashville would go on to win the series in dramatic come-back fashion 4 games to 3).
Just a man in a dapper suit and a giant arena organ...go Krazy Klye, go!
Sunday, 4/23 -  We saw the legendary Van Morrison tonight in a SOLD OUT show in Atlanta  at the fairly intimate Verizon Wireless Amphitheater.  Our seats were perfect and even a bit elevated above the ones in front of us allowing for a great view.  The 70-year-old Irish crooner hasn't lost a beat and sounded as smooth as ever as the video clip below can attest.  We had a tasty dinner before the show with our friend, Rex, at a place called Hop Alley nearby.

Now  ALL THAT is how you do a birthday up right!!