Good Music, Good people and Getting Back To Doing Good Stuff For Our Veterans; Now With Dogs!

If you’ve been here for a while you’ll recall that the Coach spearheaded Songwriters For Veterans charity events in 2018 and 2019. He’s also hosted a few smoked pork butt cook off’s to raise proceeds for Veterans. These events are so much work, but he loves doing it and never complains. ALL proceeds go directly to vetted Veteran Charities. He does all of the work for free and the past few years we’ve had a handful of our employees that also do a good portion of the work on our dime. (website setups, ticket sales, merchandise ordering, etc)

In early 2020 The Coach decided to expand our Songwriters event to the East Coast where a lot of our friends live. Plans were in place, sponsors wrote checks….and then we all know what happened.

Finally, 2022, the event was going to happen. Can you believe that our amazing sponsors NEVER asked for their money back, they trusted that the event would happen eventually; talk about being gracious.

2022-I’m a VIP, it says so on my lanyard!

Songwriters For Vets

The Coach was able to secure five singer/songwriters for the event, and someone new to the lineup was our wonderful friend Clint who is a bonafide Cowboy and Poet. We’ve been friends for a long time and Fun Fact, we adopted Callie from Clint’s cattle ranch a hundred years ago and the dog is still kicking. It’s a magical ranch!

Anyhoo, Clint read one of his amazing poems before the songwriters took over and I have a video version of it.

Unless you’re a commie bastard, you’ll appreciate it. 😳

There was not a dry eye in the house.

ONTO THE MUSIC

Our songwriters talk/sing in the BlueBird Cafe style and it’s so interesting to hear the stories behind the songs. I’m not gonna go into detail about our songwriters, they are all accomplished and wonderful humans. Our lineup or this event was Kristian Bush (of Sugarland) Patrick Davis, Channing Wilson, Lauren Jenkins and Angie Aparo (my new favorite!)

I took one little clip of Kristian singing…he explained that this “love song” Isn’t really about love at all, it’s about being in a relationship with someone who makes you nuts and each time you try to leave, they do one little thing to bring you back in.

My husband could probably relate.

As you can see even though I’m a VIP, I didn’t have the best seat in the house. We saved those for our gracious sponsors.

AGAIN WITH DOGGIES

I almost forgot the ‘almost’ best part. My girl Kelly is good friends with the people at a dog rescue in Jupiter and they decided to do an adopt & donate TWO-FER. (This particular rescue has a dog training program that helps Veterans with PTSD and they also take in and care for dogs belonging to a service person who is going overseas.) This little rescue girl (from Ukraine) was auctioned off for three thousand dollars with the proceeds going to our charity. The rescue people of course vetted the humans before they let her go with them, but how awesome is that? She got a home and the money went to our Veterans.

The Coach would have doubled the donation for her if we had room for another pup.

OLD OLD FRIENDS

Since the Coach and I were in our old stomping grounds (we were both raised on the East Coast of FL) we had a lot of our old friends in attendance.

The Coach and four of his childhood friends; they’ve been in each others lives for nearly fifty years.


It was such a fun, busy and proud weekend for all of us.

I hardly took any photos of the night as I was enjoying every minute. The night was a huge success; the event profited just under $40,000 for the night.

I KNOW!

Are you a live music fan? It’s always good time in our books.

How about long friendships? Do you have any that are that long?

XOXO

Traveling Again, No Lack Of Southern Food & Not Appreciating My Lack Of Stars

This past weekend the Coach and I had a fun trip with our two good friends, Steve and Amy. In my last post we (mostly me) were talking about our Colorado/Wyoming trip; exactly four days after arriving home from that adventure, we headed to the East Coast for a long weekend charity event spearheaded by the Coach (I’m working on that amazing post) and then less than two weeks later we were off to Charleston, SC.

Needless to say it’s been a whirlwind.

The Coach is a planner and loves to travel…I’m just trying to keep up.

In our family, we call this A Path Of Ankle Snapping.

I Had Dreams Of Being A Big Star

Since we were flying to SC, the Coach looked into renting a car; it was over $1700 for the weekend. We opted to uber everywhere, which was perfectly fine.

I’ve been using uber since 2016 and while in Charleston I was surprised to see that MY uber rating was a 4.88 out of five stars.

WTH? I’m a great ride, I swear!

This perplexed me to no end. I went through all my past trips and I had five stars across the board EXCEPT for a few rides where the driver didn’t give ANY rating and most of those were in New Zealand; thanks Kiwis! I’m thinking of traveling back to New Zealand, hunting down the lackey Uber drivers and shanking them. Anyhoo, my 4.88 self was trying my best to up my rating by calling all the Ubers when we needed them, but then also scolding my friends so they’d act right and not screw up my rating further. Amy and Steve, they had perfect Fives. This irritated me to no end…

Nine rides later and I’m still a 4.88

All the food, all the time.

I feel like all we did was eat because mostly we just ate. {in air conditioned establishments} It was really hot and I’m from Florida, so you can believe it when I say it was hawwwt. We did a self walking tour via an app one day and I quit after a mile and half, and found solace in Bitty And Beaus where I sucked down an iced tea and enjoyed the A/C as if my life depended on it. If you ever get a chance to visit one of their (24!) locations, you should.

I made reservations for both lunch and dinner each day because everything fills up quickly and when on vacation, you don’t want to scramble or have to wait for feedings. Surprisingly, I only had Shrimp And Grits once whereas the last few times I visited I had it several times.

In case you are planning a trip to Charleston here are the places we ate:

82 Queen Dinner-Very good low country offerings, great service.

Slightly North Of Broad (SNOB)Lunch-Amazing low country food.

The Establishment Dinner—it was hands down the favorite for the four of us. Amazing low country food, service and atmosphere.

Anson Dinner. Again, low country food and service.

Are you sensing a pattern?

Tempest Lunch. Good food, a bit overpriced for what you get.

I found this adorable butterfly dining chair…now I just need nine more.

For my Bravo loving, Southern Charm friends: We saw Patricia’s historic mansion, but I didn’t spot Patricia, her butler or her caftans.


You Can Stay Here

Looking into hotel rooms while planning this trip was also a bit scary: THEY BE ‘SPENSIVE. So we opted for a VRBO and I found a really cute place that had two bedrooms with king beds; lawd forbid we slum down to a Queen size for a weekend.

This was in a great location and I think the cost was appropriate and more reasonable than two hotel rooms and we were able to prepare our own breakfasts. Plus, it was really cute with all the exposed brick and ancient wood floors. Bonus: even though it was a really old building that was completely remodeled, I didn’t sense ONE GHOST while I was there and you know, I know about The Spirits.

It was Amy and Steve’s 23rd anniversary; they’re practically newlyweds.

Have you been to Charleston before?

Do you know what your Uber rating is and do you feel differently about me knowing I’m less than perfect?

XOXO

Signed, your forever 4.88 friend Suz.

Vacation Part Cuatro: The Final Post. Food, Wheels, Games, Meditating & The Poolest Pool

There were endless opportunities for fun and relaxation at Three Forks, but let’s not forget the most important part of any vacation: THE FOOD. I require three squares and a few snacks or else I’m hell on wheels.

FEED ME

The Coach and I had one of their new suites that wasn’t actually IN the lodge; it was a bit of an easy walk to the lodge BUT they were doing a lot of landscape work at the time and everything was messy. So we would ring down to the lodge and someone would pick us up within a few minutes in this little electric fully enclosed car and bring us to the lodge anytime we wanted. I loved that GEM so much, thinking of adding it to my shopping list. In the morning, I like to take my time preparing for the day, you know, linger. We had a fancy scmancy coffee machine and a fridge that contained our special creamers; oat for me, almond for him. But the best thing happened each morning: around 6:30 am we had a special delivery of fresh fruit and fresh croissants delivered onto our kitchenette counter via a little secret door. I KNOW. I need this in my life 365. It was like Santa himself made these stealth deliveries. Apparently I need breakfast while I prepare myself for breakfast.

Am I really this high maintenance now? Don’t answer.

After dinner each night, you were able to choose your meal for the next night. I KNOW. I wish I had this luxury at home. (Left was my choices for a meal, right was my actual menu when I sat down for another meal)

I had beef three times during this trip. My cholesterol wasn’t happy with me, but my stomach was. BTW: The egg yolk ravioli didn’t sound that great, but it was ahhhhmazing.

BIG WHEELS

The kids were super excited for a mountain biking tour. Look at those tires! Wait, even more so LOOK AT THOSE HILLS. Fear not, the bikes did have some electric assistance for us flat land loving Floridans.

GAMES & THE POOL OF POOLS

One afternoon we had a little free time between breakfast and lunch, so we had a little Corn Hole Competition. Look at the views around us. You want an IPA while you talk crap and toss around a bean bag? Sure thing, chicken wing.

SAFETY FIRST

By the way if you ordered a cocktail or any beverage with alcohol during the daytime, they always clarified what activities you had later on….making sure no one had a few beers and then headed to the rifle range or axe throwing.

The Biggest Baptism

Since our last visit, Three Forks has added in a huge addition that included a second eating/bar area, another Gym, more spa space, a regular indoor pool and The Pool Of Pools: A Hydrotherapy Spa Experience. I’d never experienced something like this before.

There are numerous places around this warm pool where you can experience different types of massage. Here is a video of Linds and Nathan; they were supposed to have a ‘neck massage’ but it looks like they wanted to bore holes into their skulls.

They even added in a Salt Relaxing Room. How long do you sit in the middle of all the salt walls? I assume you sit there for as long as it takes for all your rings to not fit.

I almost forgot one of my favorite things that I did was A Guided Mediation. I’ve never been able to quiet my brain for any amount of time but it turns out, I just need to be GUIDED by an actual human.

GIDDY UP

Linds and Halie enjoyed a nice horseback ride with a small group of people. I think I was getting something rubbed at this time.

A massage. People, I was having a massage!

Our visit to Three Forks was an amazing opportunity for lots of laughter, relaxation, adventure and all around together time which we all know is a precious commodity.


I started a final post titled: Please, Let Us Get Home about our departure from Colorado and how we loathe United Airlines. I decided not to share since it’s all negative, but needless to say I’d rather give birth to human triplets before I ever give United money again. We didn’t feel united one bit as they stranded us with no caring involved and it took an act of God lots of money to get home even one day late.

Did you feel like you were with us for all of this trip? That explains why I was getting kicked in my sleep that one night…

Raise your hands if you have travel plans this summer! I hope everyone is getting back on the travel wagon and enjoying their lives.

XOXO