Posted: March 27th, 2013 | Filed under: Travel | Tags: Franklin County TN, Georgia Aquarium, Tims Ford State Park, Winchester TN | 4 Comments »
So I’ve been logging in some road warrior hours this past week. We discovered that putting together IKEA kitchen cabinets was like riding a bike, it comes back to you immediately and we surprised ourselves with how fast we got all the base cabinets together and bolted into position. Problem was, we didn’t have the wall cabinets yet. The Things are on Spring Break, so I asked Thing Two if he’d like to join me on a 24 hour whirlwind trip to Atlanta, and he was in. (Thing One was on a school trip so it was just me and the little man taking on the ATL.)
We had full understanding that there would be some tedious times at IKEA, but the promise of Swedish meatballs, the Georgia Aquarium, and a hotel swimming pool seemed to make waiting in line at the IKEA kitchen department seem like an pretty good trade.
We’ve been to the Georgia Aquarium before, but it still thrills, and we saw the new (to us) Dolphin Show which was a surprisingly big production. (No cameras in the dolphin show).
The weather was warm and Spring-like so we toodled around Centennial Park in the afternoon.
We got back to Nashville loaded up with cabinets and a few other bits from IKEA..namely a print and frame that I only discovered was damaged once I unwrapped it at home…ARGH!!! I try to be SO careful when I’m there, since returns are not exactly an easy option. I should note that getting our cabinet order pulled took LESS time than waiting in the returns area to swap out a damaged drawer front. NO LIE.
That said, I’m living with the plexi-crack right now until I can’t stand it. I’ll either remove the plexi completely or get a piece cut, which will probably cost more than the frame did.
I hit the flea for a speedshop before it was time to jump back in the car and head down to Tims Ford State Park in Franklin County, TN for a long weekend with the WHOLE family…pooch included.
As you can see, the cabin is not glamorous and could use a little TLC, but it was clean and architecturally pleasing. I wish more of my pitiful phone photos had turned out (forgot to pack the DSLR) so you could see it better…very similar in style to our house. There were decks off each of the 2 bedrooms, which sadly only housed our bikes since it was too cold and rainy to sit out there.
We (of course) renovated the whole interior in our minds for less than $1000, and think that the parks would do well to embrace the metal siding scenario. We woke every morning to the VERY familiar sound of squirrels chewing cedar. Yep. Only my oldest readers will understand exactly how much we know about this. We can see that they are trying their best to keep replacing the cedar on these cabins, but we know only too well, they won’t win, and it will cost more over the years to keep replacing cedar than to clad that cabin. Hey, Tennessee State Parks lodging division…call me! I have some fab budget friendly improvement plans…
The picture above was taken during the 10 minutes the sun seemed to appear our whole stay…but it was fine and we still had fun. We had the beautiful bike trails all to ourselves and very little in the way of noisy neighbors. No wifi or cell service in the cabin, so that meant some good old fashioned fun with Haikubes and Borderline.
Otto had a temper tantrum over being left in his crate while we went out to eat and shredded his bed into nothing, so we stopped by the Dollar General up the road and found him a cute zebra print rug. (The only dog beds available were for mini-dogs.) This cute melamine set was only $5. I need to spend more time in the Dollar General, clearly.
On our last day, we had to stop in the Swiss Pantry to bring home some tasty treats. My kids live for bacon, so this was a no-brainer.
Now we are back to assembling cabinets, and getting the pantry finished up. I hope to be able to show a “before and after” within the week…fingers crossed!
Posted: March 10th, 2013 | Filed under: Travel | Tags: Bluegrass Underground, Cumberland Caverns, Infamous Stringdusters, North Mississippi Allstars, PBS Taping Day Three, The Wood Brothers, Yonder Mountain String Band | 10 Comments »
We took a break from pantry wall demo and spent the day in, or shall we say, under, McMinnville, TN. I have been dying to go to a taping of the PBS series Bluegrass Underground ever since I first heard about it, shortly after we moved here. The gist: About 90 minutes away from Nashville in Cumberland Caverns, there is a giant acoustical gem 333 feet below the surface called the Volcano Room, with a grand, historic chandelier and dirt floors. It’s killer.
The artists who play will likely end up standing next to you after their set to hear the rest of the show. It’s super casual, very intimate (capacity 500) and just an all around amazing experience. There’s no booze, therefore the shows are “all ages”, so we took the Things for a unique concert experience. We got MIXED REVIEWS. I know. In 15 years, I’ll be looking for a follow up review.
We went on a walking cave tour before the show, which was not only educational and beautiful, but also gave us first choice of seats before the general admission is allowed in. Even if you’re not interested, do the 11am tour if you want to sit up front. You have the option to forgo the climb up and down through the Mountain Room for the Christian based sound and light show, and can rejoin the group when it’s time to head into the show. I might skip that if I do it again, but since it was our first time, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I knew from my research I had 6 minutes of controversial Creationism in the tour, so I was prepared and it was fine. It makes them happy, and who am I to let my discomfort with organized religion ruin their fun, or mine? We’re there for a positive experience.
Once in, we grabbed some food and sat down to watch a few sound checks and take in the scene before the rest of the groups arrived. I really can’t recommend this enough for anyone who enjoys music. It’s a pretty special place that seems to work its magic on all those who perform there…everyone seemed genuinely thrilled to be a part of it all.
Our lineup was Yonder Mountain String Band, The Infamous Stringdusters, The North Mississippi Allstars and The Wood Brothers.
An all around outstanding day, not soon to be forgotten.
For information on air dates/channels for the PBS series, go here.
Posted: February 7th, 2013 | Filed under: Shoppin' and Junkin', Travel | Tags: Coachella Valley, Joshua Tree, Palm Springs and beyond | 6 Comments »
I took a little trip last week to sunny Southern California. The plan was to meet up with my college girlfriends for the weekend, but I decided it was a long way to go for just 3 days….so I flew out a bit early so I could visit the vintage modern mecca of Palm Springs. Oh yes, I did.
Being that this was my first time to PS, I had to pretend to be a hipster and stay at the Ace. I also knew I’d be cold on those desert nights and wanted that fireplace.
When I first arrived, I downloaded the architecture tour map, I thought that would be so much easier than constantly pulling over with my paper map. I had to leave it to download overnight onto my laptop it was so slow. Then, once it was on my phone…
…. that’s how it stayed for the 3 days I was in Palm Springs. I had read some reviews saying this would happen, but with Modernism Week around the corner, I assumed someone was ON IT, right?!
So, I got to be a Peeping Patty the old fashioned way, with my trusty paper map from the visitors center. First stop, Kaufmann House…duh.
I notice this sign, and a version of it at all the popular architectural gems in town. Just in case I didn’t feel like a big enough creep outside their house with my camera, now, I am worried about the “armed response.” That’s always the problem with admiring residential architecture. Even though I am in my car, I still feel like a jerk snapping photos of someone’s house.
I hit up some shops with the fabulous, and funny Summer of Modernhaus! We had a blast scouring the thrift and vintage stores, and leisurely lunching like ladies. I was thrilled to have a fellow vintage vulture with me to shop the town! We saw some things, and ate and drank some things too. Thanks again, Summer for making the drive to come and play with me!
The place I had hoped to visit the most while there, Modernway, was closed..AGH! So I took these photos like a weirdo with my phone pressed up against the shop window…AGAIN with the boundary issues…
So, that was worth the lack of shame, right? I mean, DID YOU SEE THE STUFF?! Yeah, me too.
I found the dealers at the shops fun to chat with, and I even learned something from a couple of them….like I can reupholster my Hannah Morrison chair in regular fabric instead of the fiberglass reinforced stuff from Knoll. GOOD TO KNOW!
Would any trip be complete without ogling birds and fawns?
So, I passed up quite the sweet art investment. The iconic Slim Aarons Poolside Gossip shot at the Kaufmann House, blown up to a redonk size. Licensing these prints from the Getty is super expensive, but I have not enough dough or wall space to invest…. but boy, did I want it.
I felt no trip to PS would be complete without a stop at Trina Turk, which did not disappoint.
At the Angel View thrift store.
I managed to find ONE memento that would fit in my suitcase to take home….. Meep Meep!
Back on my own, I got my nature geek on and drove up to Joshua Tree National Park to get a spectacular view of the Coachella Valley and the Salton Sea.
I had budgeted enough time in my day to go to the Integratron for a sound bath, but couldn’t get in, BOO!!! So, I decided that since I enjoyed the view so much, I was going to see it from the other side, so across the valley and up the tramway to Mt. San Jacinto I went.
Let me say one thing about the Palm Springs Tramway. The format does not lend itself well to its clientele. A bunch of snowbirds are not typically going to possess best sense of balance. Cram them all into a tram with me, add a rotating floor, and I’ve not been fallen on and banged on the head that much since an 80′s mosh pit. NOT FUN, for them, or me. But the view from the top made it worth it.
And there you have the Salton Sea in the distance from the other side of the valley.
My last night included a street festival where I got to hang with the Lord of the Cello and Stuart the Pig, as you do.
When I joined up with my girlfriends on the coast, things like this happened, but the rest you’ll never know. Our stomachs ached from laughing that hard. Despite a few days together, I still don’t feel like I got totally caught up with all of the other 8 girls. How crazy is that?!
Adios California. Let’s do this again sometime.
Posted: October 21st, 2012 | Filed under: Travel | Tags: Foxton Locks, Legoland Windsor, Sulgrave Manor | 1 Comment »
I know, I haven’t posted here in over a month. Those following on Instagram, FB or Twitter know we’ve been everywhere except the bathroom. We took an unexpected trip to the UK because…life happens, and in our case, we’ve had a full dose of the best, and the worst of it this past month.
We made the most of our time with friends and family, and even managed to spend a day in the rain at Legoland…a lifelong dream destination for the Things.
Before we left, it was the CC’s birthday……
We’ve been working hard since we got back, and if all goes well, the sink will be installed TODAY and the bathroom will be finished enough for the Haunted Forest party this weekend. I’ll post photos soon.
Posted: August 26th, 2012 | Filed under: Puppy Love, Travel | Tags: Emmylou Harris, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Maine, Woofstock Nashville | 7 Comments »
The new August 1st start date for school ended our summer a little early this year. When we got back from Maine, we hit the ground running, and I feel like I’m finally starting to get a handle on things as we settle into the school year. Here are a ton of snaps from the end of the summer..mostly the magic that is Maine, and a few back home taking Otto to his first concert…Woofstock.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 29th, 2012 | Filed under: Travel | Tags: clingmans dome, great smoky mountains national park, hubert bebb | 5 Comments »
There’s so much, yet nothing really to share these days.
We took a trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park to camp…you know how much I love the mountains, and these are no exception. We took a few back roads through some small towns for fun…and to avoid driving through Pigeon Forge.
I love the architecture of the observation tower at the top of Clingman’s Dome. Designed by Hubert Bebb and built in 1960, it is still a wonderful way to enjoy the views above the treeline.
As the highest point on the Appalachian trail, the 360° vista, if you’re lucky enough to get it without full cloud cover, is absolutely breathtaking. We had a cloud roll in and envelop us completely at one point, but the winds were strong enough to move it through so the show continued.
It may be a bit shabby, but I hope they continue to preserve such a well thought out and functional gem. I worry it will be torn down and replaced by something…else.
I woke up to see Thing Two had rolled off his air mattress in the night….
Campfire time = glow bracelet fun.
The CC taped a bunch of bracelets to a hiking stick to create the glow staff of cool……
The weather was perfect, not too hot with evenings cool enough to sit by the fire. On the last day, the Things hit up a roadside ice cream stand and the next 5 days at home were, well..pretty awful. Both of them down with food poisoning. Everyone is fine now, but it was rough for awhile. In the middle of all this, Otto decided to throw up some of those hickory nuts he seems so fond of… in our bedroom. I may have briefly considered running out of the house screaming.
Upside: A fawn was born in our absence, as we spotted a newborn in our compost pile the day after we returned! Baby owls are out and screeching pathetically.
I am a bit down though, because of this.
I guess it’s time to pack up the outdoor cushions until October. Summer is over already and we’ll be stuck inside with heat advisories the rest of the time school is out down here. Luckily we plan to visit somewhere cooler before school starts again, but I’ll miss our time outside in Nashville.