"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, July 31, 2017

Robtoberfest and beyond

Saturday, June 3 -  It's Robtoberfest!   My 50th birthday was way back in April and was spent way over in Japan, but my wonderful wife wanted to throw me a real party with lots of our friends around and it was a doozey thanks to her great planning and generous pocketbook!

The pool party was complete with a blow-up Irish pub with 50 different canned craft beers.  We had brats and other tasty food throughout the day.  We watched the Preds that night on the big screen outdoors (thanks, Charly) from the pool with a big win at home in the Stanley Cup Finals. With over 40 people in attendance from near and far (Indiana, Atlanta, Paris (TN), Chattanooga) it was an amazing fun-filled day.   I got a ton of very cool presents as well.  Thanks again to Ashlee for such a great party and to all our great friends for dropping by to share in the fun.
The calm before the storm that was Robtoberfest! 

Thursday, June 15 - We went to see one of our 90's throw-back favorites, Third Eye Blind, at The Ascend Amphitheater in downtown Nashville tonight.  We got up close to the stage in the pit thanks to a Stubhub "fire sale" on tickets.  We had a tasty dinner and drinks beforehand at the new Fat Bottom Brewery locale in West Nashville.

Saturday, June 17 - After a  lazy, delightful day at our pool today, we were privileged to get to stay overnight in our pal Wayne's new Airstream trailer at his house in Nolensville tonight.  He invited us to stay with him since we agreed to get up early tomorrow and go with him to Columbia, TN, to test some kayaks he's thinking of buying.  It was a great sleep!
Sunday, June 18 - As I mentioned above, we went with Wayne as he tried out some really nice Tennessee-made Jackson Kayaks on the Duck River in Columbia, TN via Higher Pursuits Outfitters.   They were kind enough to let us test some of the boats too while we were there.
Jackson Kayaks test runs on the Duck River near Columbia, TN
Friday, June 23 - We were invited by our friends, Danny and Brenda and their son Kyle (who turned 21 today) to his birthday dinner tonight at the delicious Rodizio Grill Brazilian Steak House.  This was our first visit to a Brazilian all-you-can-eat steakhouse and it was fantastic!   We followed that up with a visit to the new Headquarters Beercade with free classic video games and great craft beer. Finally, there was a stop at the always-fun Big Bang Dueling Pianos Bar.  

Sunday, June 26  -  We had a fun day in Nashville today with a visit to the Pride Festival where The Grilled Cheeserie food truck was serving their delicious Pride Melts (photo below).   We stopped at Jeni's Ice Cream in East Nashville on the way home for some enjoyable pool time.

Tuesday, July 4 -  We headed down to Chattanooga today for the the mid-week holiday.  We found a good way to spend the day by hiring the Jungle Float Mobile Water Park for a couple hours at Chickamauga Lake with about 20 of our friends and family.  It was a grand time, however, we were all pretty sore the next day from all the hi-jinks including a slide, two trampolines and high dives off the floating platform into the lake.  
A bit blurry, but still a fun screen-grab from a video that my sister-in-law, Paige, shot from the shore.  That's me on the left in mid-air going off the lower trampoline.
Saturday, July 8 - We finally found an occasion to check out the Acme Feed and Seed multi-level bar/restaurant and especially their sushi bar down on the corner of Second Avenue and Broadway today.  The place was packed with soccer fans like us on the way to the US vs. Panama CONCACAF Gold Cup Round 1 Game at Nissan Stadium across the river, but we managed to grab a couple seats at the sushi bar and had a great meal delivered to us fast enough that we didn't miss the start of the game.  We will definitely be back!

The game wound up being a frustrating 1-1 tie (we let an easy goal get in to blow our second-half 1-0 lead), but our seats were prime midfield in the club level and Ashlee especially enjoyed the air conditioning just a few steps away since the heat was pretty oppressive on the east side of the stadium.  We did break another crowd-size record for soccer in Tennessee which looks good for our future of hosting USNT events and perhaps even an MSL franchise.  Thanks to our friends Craig, Alison and Ryan for getting tickets with us.
(EDITOR'S NOTE:  The USMNT went on to win the 2017 CONCACAF GOLD CUP, and the attendance record was again broken later this month here with an EPL game with over 50K in attendance.)
Tuesday, Jully 11 - We had our friend, Mel the Kiwi, fly in today from New Zealand to stay with us for 10 days.   We think we showed her a good time especially with our new pool and with the following events: 

 -  Friday, July 14 - We booked a ride on the new Pontoon Saloon in downtown Nashville on the Cumberland River tonight.  
It was a beautiful night for a boat-ride with cooler temps making it very enjoyable.

The Pontoon Saloon is so new that we even made the paper (literally) and on their website as well.  That's Mel in front.  Wendy and Charly, me and Ashlee, Bethany, Brenda and Danny.

-  Saturday, July 15 - We attended our friend, Emily's wedding, today in Nashville and Ashlee even had a small role in it as a reader (from the Bible no less!).    It was a nice ceremony and a good reception afterwards at the historic Buchanon Log House in Donelson.

-  Sunday, July 16 -  Mel's official pool party was today and we celebrated with some Pimm's by the Pool, a tasty and refreshing British gin concoction that Mel introduced us to.

-  Tuesday, July 18  - We attended a live SOLD OUT Alan Alda interview and received signed copies of his new book over at Vanderbilt University and hosted by Parnassus Books.   He's as sharp and as articulate as ever despite being over 80 years old!  We introduced Mel to some Nashville hot chicken with dinner afterwards at Party Fowl.

Long live, Hawkeye Pierce!!

Mel headed home on Friday, July 21 after a fun and relaxing visit.

Sunday, July 23 - We checked out the new "Lay-down Movies of Lebanon" as we like to call it (also known as the new-and-much-improved Roxy Theaters with all recliner seats in all theaters) with our friends, Lisa and Emily, to catch a showing of the funny and touching comedy, The Big Sick.  We had dinner next door afterwards with Lisa and her husband, Toney, at the always tasty and affordable Demos' Restaurant.

Sunday, July 30 -
We took a ride today down to Jug Creek Distillery here in Wilson County for some more new-to-us local fun.  I sampled all of their impressive products and Ashlee and I had a couple of their signature cocktails.  Good stuff!

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