Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Renaming I-40?

A Nashville Metro Councilman wants to rename Interstate 40 in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Okay, now listen....Martin Luther King Jr. was a great man. I can't even begin to fathom doing what he did and went through during his life. All to make a better life for everyone in our nation. That is why he has streets named after him in every city. That is why we have a holiday to honor him.

My thoughts on renaming I-40? Don't do it and here is why...I-40 is much like Route 66 and the great passage ways around the country. The are a huge part of what makes us so great and fun to explore. Don't change that, keep it just the way it is and honor Dr. King with the holiday and streets in each city.

Leave I-40 to us...the explorers, the wanderers and adventurers. We want to enjoy it with no political name on it or anything else. We want it just the way it is, a number without having to see it as more than a magical place to drive.

Save the highways the way the are because they are as much a part of our history as anyone or anything.

Now, let's hit the road, Jack.

Driving Through Oklahoma After The Ice Storm

The Gassy Truck Monster? Checotah, Oklahoma

Farm Tractor out for gas in Checotah, Oklahoma

Wackel the Dog trying to get some rest on the road

Road Trip Through Oklahoma City

Passing through Oklahoma City again and thinking of our memories from just a couple of months earlier.

More Road Trip Pictures from California to Nashville

Lake Mead, near Hoover Dam

Tractor in the field, Texas

Cross-Country Road Trip Photos

Train in New Mexico

Nice scenery in New Mexico

Stuck on the road before reaching Las Vegas.

Thanks to Andrea for taking these amazing pictures while I drove. What a great time!!! I love this country!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Hit the road and see a Van Halen concert this summer?

A Van Halen reunion tour, with David Lee Roth back in the fold after 22 years, is in the works, with a Las Vegas launch looking good.

A late April date at the Palms' new venue, The Pearl, is "99 percent" likely, a source said. It would be the latest coup for Palms owner George Maloof, who will open the 2,500-seat venue with a lineup that includes Tool, Evanescence, Gwen Stefani and possibly Van Halen, all in the first month.

A 40-date tour is being discussed.

Roth fronted the band from 1974 to 1985 before going solo. He was close to rejoining about 11 years ago, but a blowup caused another rift.

Van Halen's last tour, in 2004, grossed about $40 million, with Sammy Hagar as the lead.

Tool would open the Palms venue March 16-17, Evanescence would follow on March 17, and Stefani is set for the April 21 grand opening.

Thanks to Norm Clark for this info.

Marriott Rates in Nashville This Weekend

Marriott eBreaks® offers you exceptional weekend rates (for stays Thursday 2/1 - Sunday 2/4) for hotels in the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America. Hotels with Friday - Sunday availability are indicated by an * next to the rate below. Select a destination on the left to view participating hotels. When you find a hotel, click Check Availability to book. Make sure MEB is included in the corporate/promotional box. If you prefer, call 1-800-752-7571 and ask for Marriott eBreaks. Or, call one of their worldwide reservation centers

Tennessee - Nashville
Courtyard Nashville Airport
Nashville, TN

Courtyard Nashville Brentwood
Brentwood, TN

Courtyard Nashville Vanderbilt/West End
Nashville, TN

Fairfield Inn & Suites Murfreesboro
Murfreesboro, TN

Fairfield Inn & Suites Nashville Smyrna
Smyrna, TN

Fairfield Inn Nashville Airport
Nashville, TN

Nashville Airport Marriott
Nashville, TN

Residence Inn Nashville Airport
Nashville, TN

Residence Inn Nashville Brentwood
Brentwood, TN

SpringHill Suites Nashville Airport
Nashville, TN

Friday, January 26, 2007

Sunrise in California

These are from Northern California.

They are brought to us by Andrea. She does world class embroidery and as you can see her photography is amazing as well.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Jazzy Nashville Celebration

Kirk Whalum, His Jazz Sax, and Fireworks in Nashville

At the new Nashville Public Square playing Tennessee Waltz.
DiVine Fox Interview
Nashville Predators Top 10 Moments of 2005-06

Nashville Predators are the best team in the NHL! Go Preds!!!
Old Crow Medicine Show - Gillian Welch & Rawlings The Weight

Good "roots-Americana" music live in Nashville at City Hall. The song is "The Weight" from The Band. Take a load off and enjoy this, it's fun.
"Lickin the USA" Tour- Kickin' Nash and Taken Names

It takes all kinds and we get our share of them here in Nashville.
Bon Jovi & Sugarland - Who Says You Can't Go Home

Just another reason we are called "Music City." Great live music all over the place and home to the greatest songwriters. If you haven't visited Nashville, well you don't understand why everyone wants to visit again or move here.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

This Saturday at Vinea

No wines this week to taste but they will have some good Belgium beers to taste. The tasting will be at Corrieri's Cheese Shop from 2-5pm. Quit missing this free joy and get involved.

Troubadour Blond Ale $19.99
The clear, golden, attractive color is what strikes you first. A firm white head is the crown of this golden ale. Your first experience, while sipping the BLOND, will be a refreshing, sparkling effect on your tongue, followed by a mild bitterness enhanced by a spiciness, that finishes with a sweeter sensation. A good nose recognizes the hops, in combination with fruity esters.
With its 6.5 % alcohol by volume it is somewhat stronger in alcohol content than regular beers, but it’s not overpowering, and it allows one to easily drink more than one glass--especially with dinner, where we recommend it certainly with fish dishes. Although it is a typical beer to sharpen the appetite, while drinking it with your friends, family or business partners before actually having dinner. And of course we will not refrain you from drinking a few more after dinner while having more fun with your company.

Slober $4.99
Sloeber is the Flemish name for an epicure, somebody who likes the good things in life in a somewhat naughty way. The Sloeber pale golden ale has a malty nose, rather hoppy and dry on the palate with hints of orange. Full of character, it is one of the best examples of the Belgian strong blond ales at 7.5 % alcohol by volume…a great companion for copious meals and other naughty activities! The blond ales were the first defense of the Belgian brewers against the emergence of the Pilsner beer in the early 20th century: more flavor, more aroma and higher in alcohol.

Biere du Boucanier Golden $4.99
This golden ale is treasured in the best restaurants and the most exclusive bars.It probably has one of the meanest labels, but its taste is a sublime combination of bitterness (hops) and sweetness (the rich malt), all complimented by a specific spiciness infused by a combination of three exclusive yeasts. An all natural process. To reach such high alcohol levels, the brewer must start with three times the normal amount of the best barley malt, and give the yeast many weeks to do its fermentation work. More, the beer is also refermented in the bottle (and the keg!). This technique keeps the beer alive and fresh for many years, while producing a natural carbonation.Food combinations as suggested by our Italian beer-lovers: “Enjoy this beer as an appetizer while entertaining your friends, or as your beer of choice with rich Italian pasta’s (the alcohol seems to help the digestion), or as your end of the day reward.”

Bieri du Boucanier Dark $5.49

The DARK is a triple in strength. It is the sweetest of the three Bieres du Boucanier, caramelized and malty. The creamy strong head is striking. A great dessert beer.

Bieri du Boucanier Red $4.49
The RED is easily considered a double in strength, and burst open with a full fruit candy like flavor, offset by a dry hoppy-ness, perfectly balanced. You could also categorize it as a stronger amber ale.
2410 12th Avenue South Nashville, Tn 37204

Music City Food Tour

If you want to see and get a taste of Nashville and you want to try a variety of places, this is for you. Discover the joy of country ham, biscuits and gravy, fruit preserves, fried pies and more. Go to Webbspun Ideas for more information.


If you have traveled or stayed at a hotel recently than you may have noticed that many bags and suitcases all look very similar. Most are dark, if not black, and could easily be mistaken for your very own bag. We see lost or misplaced luggage all the time in the hospitality business and this is why it is so important to find a way to stand out. You can call it "making a statement" with your luggage or just simply not wanting to lose it or have someone else take it by mistake but there must be something about it that makes it different from all other bags.

To see the short article click HERE

Monday, January 22, 2007

To Vegas and Back

I flew out to Las Vegas this past Sunday with plans to help A.B. move to Nashville. While on the flight I met a very nice couple who have quarter horses and are part of the reining scene. We talked about traveling, horses and all sorts of things the entire flight and made the flight seem so much shorter.

I was surprised to find it a cold 34 degrees when I arrived and was told they had gotten some snow not to long before that.

We knew our plans were going to be altered drastically when her van broke down about 80 miles outside of Las Vegas. Due to the holiday (MLK Jr.) we had to wait another day before finding out it would cost to much to fix. Before leaving Las Vegas we decided we needed something good to eat and stumbled across Big Mama & Papa's Pizzeria. It was a delicious New York-style pizza that was full of taste but was much to wet. They are famous for having a 36" pizza.

So we rented a U-Haul, hooked up the horse trailer and headed East. It was the afternoon so we made it over to Hoover Dam before dark and we had to go through a security inspection to insure we weren't carrying anything to try and blow up the dam or anything. We talked to the police at the checkpoint for a little bit and we talked about me having to be back in Nashville to work on Thursday morning and with it being Tuesday night he just looked at me and ask if I had called work to tell them I wouldn't make it in time. I told him that I still believed we would make it in time but that just brought a little laugh from him. It was a beautiful drive through the hills and over the dam although a little tense sometimes with a U-Haul with a horse trailer in tow but we made it and headed across the desert.

Soon it was dark and so we couldn't see as much of Arizona and New Mexico as we would have liked but we had to make time. We arrived in Albuquerque around 4:45am and slept for a few short hours and than with a steaming cup of coffee we climbed back into the truck and I pointed us East towards Oklahoma City and balled that jack all the way. Hours later and amid snow and ice we arrived in OKC with thoughts of how to get to Nashville in time.

We stopped to see if we could find a flight to Nashville to insure my arrival at work, on time, but it just wasn't meant to be. Knowing I wouldn't make it on time no matter what, we relaxed a bit and went to IHOP for some food and than some sleep.

The next morning after playing on the ice covered snow for a good bit we climbed back in the truck and begin the journey eastward. The snow finally receded but we begin to see everything covered with a thick layer of ice. We eventually stopped in Checotah, Oklahoma for some gas only to find this small town covered in ice and the gas stations lined with cars and trucks to get gas. They had been without power for about a week due to the ice. We talked to some of the locals for a little bit and than we made our way back to I-40 and onward to Nashville. Checotah is now famous for being the home of Carrie Underwood and what a nice little town it is.

We went at a nice pace and made it through Arkansas. We stopped in Forrest City and ate at Granny's Country Diner. It was a nice meal and everyone in there, except for us, were locals and just having a good time. Around 9pm we crossed the mighty Mississippi River and passed Memphis and back onto the smooth Tennessee highways. (Let me say that we found many, many bumpy and potholed roads coming across the country. I just recently heard that Tennessee is in the top three states for having the best highways and I can agree with that. Bravo Tennessee!!)

We made it safe and sound to Nashville and we loved the idea of getting of the road but also we dreaded it and wanted to just keep on going, somewhere, anywhere. Ahh maybe another time.

We played all the fun little road games, sang along with the radio, told stories of past travels and we gave in to the "road" and we had such an amazing time.

~power plants glowing in the night
~A road runner try to cross the road (he turned back)
~We talked of Egyptian banjos and "Pedro Ninnywiggin"
~cars buried hood-first with their tailfins in the air (sorta like carhenge)
~72 ounce steak at Big Texan Steak Ranch
~Hoover Dam
~Route 66
~Granny's Country Diner
Forrest City, Arkansas(870) 633-7012

The Picnic Cafe

This past Saturday we went to The Picnic Cafe in Belle Meade for lunch. It was a really good place with delicious food. It is very flowery and light in its interior design and reminds me of a tea room but it is more than that.

I tried a ham and swiss sandwich which was very fresh and delicious and I also had a bowl of curried broccoli cheese soup which was also very tasty and a nice change from your typical soup offerings that most restaurants have. We also had creamed chicken (served on cornbread) and a cold cucumber sandwich and it was all so very good.

It is family friendly and is a nice change of pace and taste from other restaurants.

The Picnic Cafe
4320 Harding Road
8am-5pm Monday-Saturday

Saturday, January 20, 2007


Inside Big Mama's & Papa's Pizzeria in Las Vegas. A great place to find real New York-style pizza. A pizza chain from California that is slowly spreading over the country. That is Dino and Paul behind the counter.

A 36" pizza is the perfect pizza for a super bowl party.

Our pie...Yummm...It had Italian sausage, pepperoni and black olives on one side and ham, cheese and pineapple on the other side.

Down on Fremont Street, Las Vegas

Lights of "old" Las Vegas

Some things are loose and some things are tight in Las Vegas. Lots of loose woman and lots of tight hands clasped around money.

Art As A Wall

Night scene in Vegas

This was just down the street from the Fremont Street Experience and the older part of Las Vegas. Just a neat area.

Is that a grown up Linus walking with his blanket? Can you see him in the picture?

Freezing in Vegas?

I wore a short sleeve shirt to Las Vegas and this is the kind of weather that welcomed me. Man oh man was I ever underdressed!!!

Las Rocas Wine

This is a delicious wine that I picked up for under $17 at Vinea. A real bargain that dances slowly over your tastebuds and leaves you with a smile. Enjoy and be sure to say hi to Mark Johnson while perusing the wines.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Big Night- the movie

This is one of my all time favorite movies. So many classic scenes that are beautifully done and I just love the interaction between the brothers. This is my pick for best "foodie" movie of all time. I love the music but the food at the party just makes me drool and yearn to be there and enjoying that with them. A very special film about family, food, relationships and more.

Marc Anthony-Cristiano

Tony Shalhoub-Primo

Stanley Tucci-Secondo

Minnie Driver-Phyllis

Isabella Rossellini-Gabriella

Ian Holm-Pascal

Allison Janney-Ann

Bakers Cafe

Fried catfish with white beans, mashed potatoes w/ gravy and sweet tea.

The catfish was good but they had way to much meal on it. The piece of catfish wasn't big enough to handle all the batter. It was good though and so were the sides and the tea.

Art As Grave Markers

In The Cemetary

Trees in the Park

Savarino's Cucina in Hillsboro Village

Everything inside the display looked like it came from heaven and the cookies and pastries that I tried tasted heavenly.

Penne Pasta with Broccoli and Lasagna