That time we saw Murder by Death play in a cave 333′ below ground…

Did you miss part 1? Catch up here!

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Awesome concert poster as part of our Kickstarter reward package.

A couple weeks back, we trekked to Tennessee to see Murder by Death play Cumberland Caverns. This was a reward for supporting the Kickstarter campaign for their new album (which comes out Friday!!). For those going to the show, they were also offering a camping weekend, which we happily took advantage of. I can’t think of anything better than camping to see my favorite band!

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Let the fun begin!

After our stay in a yurt in Kentucky, we woke up on Saturday and continued the drive down. We stopped in Lexington to get lunch. After we struck out at our first choice (they had no power), I was super happy to come across a place with vegan options! It was meant to be.

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The “Lucy” at Minton’s at 760

We ate at Minton’s at 760, and I enjoyed the “Lucy”: a sausage topped with vegan sriracha mac and cheese! It was AWESOME. I also had a kale salad on the side because life is all about balance, right?

After lunch, we continued on down to McMinnville, Tennessee. Once we arrived at the caverns, they directed us to the camping spot. Cumberland Caverns doesn’t traditionally do outdoor camping, so there were no formal sites. This was actually the first time they hosted a group for camping, which was cool. We were set up in a big field with porta potties and a group fire spot at night. To get to the field, we had to drive down an insane narrow and winding road. We have a 4WD vehicle, but we were wondering how people with smaller cars made it back there–my ‘lil Chevy Aveo would not have handled it well!

We were one of the last few to arrive on Saturday, so we set up camp toward the middle of the field (the treeline was full). It was all good though!

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Camp set up (we forgot to snap an earlier pic…this was from packing up on Monday morning).

MBD was playing two shows, but we were only going on Sunday night. Most of the people at the camp were attending the Saturday show, so we hung out and made dinner. We cooked veggie burgers, which was a big deal for us, haha! We are typically “hot dogs in the fire” people, so this was really stepping our game up.

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Camp food!

Once everyone got back from the show, there was a big group fire, so we hung out and chatted a bit. Somehow, all the people from Michigan found each other, ha ha. There was a creek right by the camp, so some people went swimming. It was fun! We accidentally drank all of our beers and went to bed.

On Sunday, we wanted to explore. It was supposed to rain, but we decided to take our chances. I’m so glad we did! The weather worked out once again, and aside from some brief sprinkles, it was a nice day. We headed over to Rock Island State Park for some hiking.

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Rock Island State Park

We started with a ~3 mile nature loop. It’s so nice being out in the quiet of the trees. After, we wanted to try and find some of the waterfalls at the park. We ended up at an area where a bunch of people were hiking down to a swimming hole. We had come prepared with our suits, so we changed and started to head down.

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See that group of people down there? That’s where we hiked down to swim.
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Partway through the hike.

I have to laugh at myself. The hike was across slippery rocks, and there was no clear path. We had to double back a few times. I get nervous hiking on rocks like this, so I was moving so slowly and gripping my husband’s hand tightly at some points. I almost slipped several times. But dang, if everyone else could do it, I could, too.

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Views from the park.
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It was overcast but perfect weather!

After what seemed like forever, we made it down to the swimming hole!

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We made it!

The water felt so nice after hiking down. It was a deep water area, so once you went beyond the ridge, the water dropped off.

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I’m actually a ghost.

People were doing flips off rocks into the water, but I stuck to sitting on my rock.

After swimming/sitting for a bit, we hiked back. We were laughing because the hike back up probably took less than 15 minutes. It felt like it took us forever to get down! Rock Island was beautiful, though, and it was a fun way to spend the day. We never did get to the falls–we’ll have to go back! One nice thing about Tennessee State Parks is that they are free to the public! We only explored one section of the park–there were a lot more trails and a number of waterfalls.

Whew! OK–you guys are here to hear about a concert, right?

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The entrance to the cave.

Once we made it back to camp, we got ready for the show!! We walked through the cave a bit to the stage set up.

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Concert area.

The cave stays a constant 56 degrees F, which was super comfortable for a concert setting! It was large enough to hold a few hundred people (I’m not sure of the max capacity), but it felt intimate. We got there when doors opened to grab a seat. We also had to pick up our Kickstarter merch, including the signed poster. After about an hour, the show kicked off!

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Murder by Death!

The sound in the cave was amazing! MBD played a bunch of songs from their new album, but a bunch of older songs, too. They played for close to 2 hours, which was awesome. Their dog, Robocop, even made an appearance!

It was such a fun night and a fantastic show. The whole weekend was awesome. It was fun to spend time with a dedicated group of people who love the band as much as you do. Everyone was friendly and respectful to the space–the venue was super impressed because the campers left behind zero trash.

I love MBD’s music–all the way from when I first saw them open for My Chemical Romance back in 2003–but they also do so much cool shit for the fans. You might remember that we saw them play the Stanley Hotel back at the start of the year. We also saw them play in a lagering cavern in Kentucky a few years back as part of another Kickstarter campaign. It’s been fun to see their music evolve and change over the years, but they never disappoint. Make sure to check out the new album, titled The Other Shore, on Friday–I love it.

WOW. Are you guys still here? If you hung through this entire post, thank you!

Tell me: Have you ever traveled to see a band play? Do you like hiking?

 

 

 

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Our night in a yurt in Frankfort, KY

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The yurt!

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I grabbed our camping gear and headed south to see my favorite band, Murder by Death, play in a cave in Tennessee. We wanted to break up the drive, so we planned to spend a night in Kentucky along the way. We considered hotels, but once I stumbled upon this yurt on Airbnb, we knew it’d be perfect for the “theme” of our weekend.

We both worked a half-day on Friday and then started the drive down to KY. I spent most of the drive compulsively checking the weather, hoping that the weekend’s rainy forecast had shifted to sun. Black clouds followed us all the way to Frankfort.

To get to our Airbnb, we had to take a dirt driveway about a mile off the main road. From there, it was a short walk to the yurt, which was located on a farm. We literally had enough time to throw the car into park, hastily grab whatever we needed for the night, and book it to the yurt before it started pouring.

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No big deal.

There were severe storm and even tornado warnings during the night. Great weather for sleeping outside, right? 😉 I’m happy to report though that the yurt was 100% waterproof! We were bummed we couldn’t have a fire, but we stayed cozy and dry inside the yurt, playing Boggle and Golden Girl Mad Libs and occasionally braving the weather to run out to our cooler or use the restroom.

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The inside of the yurt was really cute!

Even though it rained, the weather worked in our favor all weekend. We tried to keep a good attitude about it and just deal with whatever came our way. Camping is a gamble. There’s nothing worse than planning a beautiful weekend only to be rained on the whole time, but we can’t control the weather, so we decided to just make the best of it. Well, the next morning, the skies cleared, and despite drizzly forecasts the next few days, the weather cooperated whenever we needed it to do so.

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The view in the morning!
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Campfire set up

After the rainy night, we woke up to the sight of horses grazing, blue skies, and beautiful greenery. We decided to make up for last night with a morning fire.

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Coffee by the fire… is there a better way to start the day!?

We also made breakfast. The host provided some light breakfast options, including oatmeal and grits packets, fruit, coffee, tea, and water, as well as a French press and portable stove.

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Breakfast set up
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Breakfast! Oats with jam and a banana, and French press coffee.

The yurt was tucked into a back corner of the host’s property. It felt very private, which we liked. It was directly next to a creek; when it wasn’t raining the night before, we could hear the creek flowing, which was very relaxing. We usually have to sleep with a fan on at home, but listening to the water all night was a great substitute.

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Creek beside the yurt (the water was high and moving fast due to all of the rain).

We didn’t have a lot of time, but it’s a popular spot for canoeing or kayaking.

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View of the main house with the yurt back in the distance.

Beside the yurt was a small outhouse. I know that might turn some people off of the experience, but honestly, the outhouse was nicer than most public restrooms, ha.

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Bathroom with composting toilet

There was a handwashing station to the right of the toilet, and the hosts provided plenty of towels and soap.

We loved staying in the yurt, even with the rain. We relaxed by the fire for a couple of hours before we had to get back on the road to TN. I would stay here again (hopefully when it’s not raining!). Frankfort is just outside of Lexington, and it’d be fun to go back and kayak.

This was also our first time using Airbnb, so we were happy with the experience! The host greeted us when we arrived but gave us our privacy. It felt like having our own personal campground.

If you’re interested, you can check out the yurt here. If you’re new to Airbnb, too, you can get a $40 travel credit for signing up with my link! This post isn’t sponsored or anything–just sharing a way for you to save a few bucks.

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Full set up

Stay tuned for part two!

Tell me: Have you ever used Airbnb? Did you have a good or bad experience? Have you ever stayed in a yurt?

Saturday Six: Happy Camper

Each weekend, I’ll share six cool finds. Some links may be referral/curator links.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love camping! We’ve done two camping trips so far this summer and have one coming up in a couple of weeks. I’ve also been feeling nostalgic for my summer camp days. I blame it on watching camp-themed movies. My love for camping and this post on Summer Camp Style by Say Yes inspired me to do my own camp-themed round-up. So pull out your friendship bracelets, find the marshmallows, hike up your shorts, and get ready for your own camping adventure!

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I love an A frame! Get psyched for your camp out with this cute tee from Camp Brand Goods.

 

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I’ve been looking for the perfect enamel mug, and I think I’ve finally found it! Now I’m dreaming of sitting by the fire and sipping coffee in this Happy Camper Mug from Camp Brand Goods.

 

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Are you on the fanny pack train yet? I’m convinced I’ve brought them back (ha). I’ve been wearing them for years. They are so convenient for hiking or at events when you don’t want to lug around a purse. The Dope Dopp Kit by Poler looks perfect for adventuring.

 

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These American Apparel Interlock Running Shorts are a true callback to ’70s camp days! If you’re sleeping on the ground, you might as well be comfortable.

 

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Aside from dry shampoo, hats are your best friend while camping. I’m a fan of “dad” style hats (is that weird?). I like this plain black hat from Adidas, but if you can score a vintage trucker hat, even better.

 

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Sitting at the top of my wishlist is this great tee from CAMP clothing. They have a lot of great retro-inspired items. I don’t think I need to explain why I love this tee.

Happy camping!

Tell me: Did you ever go to camp when you were younger? Do you like camping?

Birthday weekend in Caseville and 4th of July celebrations

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Our tent set up. We borrowed and used cheap tents for a while but finally invested in a good one last year!

Is it just me, or does the 4th of July seem like it happened weeks ago? It hasn’t even been a full week! We went camping at the end of June to celebrate my birthday, and it feels like it never happened. Once we come back and get into a routine, it’s like we never left. I feel that way about summer in general–we wait so long for it to return, but once it’s here, it’s like it’s always been summer. Then it flies by, and we’re back to waiting ;).

One nice thing about blogging is having a record of things I’ve done. Let’s try to remember the past couple weeks, shall we?

I was actually in New Orleans on a work trip toward the end of the month. Once I came back, I had a couple days at home, then we were off again–so that’s why I didn’t really get back into my usual routine.

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Coffee is a priority, even while camping!

We took off on a Thursday night and camped for three nights at Sleeper State Park in Caseville (Michigan). We stayed there last year and really liked it, plus it was one of the few places with any availability when I was booking. The State Parks really filled up fast this year!

We got there kind of late on Thursday. I hate setting up in the dark, but it was nice waking up there on Friday. We spent some time checking out the shops in Caseville before hitting the beach.

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Used book scores!
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Shortly before I got one of the worst sunburns I’ve had in a long time.

Caseville is a small town, but they have a really nice beach. They also have a brewery! My husband isn’t a huge beer guy, but since it was my birthday, he couldn’t say no ;).

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Thumb Brewery in Caseville. I tried their IPA, gose, and a lavender lemon ale that was super refreshing.
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Honestly, most of the weekend was spent eating chips.

We had a fire later at night (my favorite part about camping!), although it was mostly so we could cook dinner. It was in the 90s all weekend! I’m not trying to go too far into “glamping” territory, but thank goodness we had a couple of small fans for our tent or we would have roasted.

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Repping my favorite podcast.

On Saturday, we drove over to Port Austin and spent some time at their Farmer’s Market. We bought incredibly delicious homemade pickles and potato chips (honestly, probably the best salt and vinegar chips I’ve ever had!). The pickles did not last long. After the market, we grabbed a couple of drinks to cool off before heading back to the beach.

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Hers and his (mango habanero margarita and electric lemonade).

On Sunday, we headed home, with a brief detour at a flea market and stop at one of my favorite restaurants, D’Angelo’s. It’s a pizza place with a vegan menu, and their burgers are delicious.

The fun didn’t stop there, though! We took off a couple extra days to recoup, plus we had the 4th of July holiday, so we spent a few more days eating all the things and getting all the sun.

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Belle Isle beach in Detroit.
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I wasn’t ready to quit the bonfires!

On Wednesday, my sister and brother-in-law had us all over for the 4th of July.

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I wish I got a better picture of my husband’s awesome shirt.

It was also a belated birthday celebration.

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I have to share the cute wrapping paper on the present from my parents! I love it.

My mom got me the best gift! Everything was Golden Girls themed. I couldn’t stop laughing.

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Golden Girls Funko Pops, hot sauce, umbrella, and Mad Libs!

I actually tried to buy those Pops recently, but my husband told me not to. He said we had too many, which is honestly a valid reason, hah! Still, I kept stalking them on Amazon and almost threw them into my cart multiple times. Little did I know, he was in on it and was trying to keep me from buying them!

To continue the festivities, my sister also got me the most amazing vegan cake! It was a funfetti-style cake topped with vanilla and birthday cake flavored macarons. It was SO GOOD. My terrible picture doesn’t do it justice!

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Amazing vegan cake from For the Love of Sugar in Detroit.

Whew! We packed a lot into a few days. It was a great trip and birthday, and I’m looking forward to camping more this summer. Hope you had a great 4th of July, too!

Tell me: How did you celebrate the 4th? Do you like camping?

PS: Want more Golden Girls? Revisit this Saturday Six post: Thank You for Being a Friend.

Saturday Six: More Things I’m Loving Lately!

Each weekend, I’ll share six cool finds. Some links may be referral/curator links.

Hi everyone! I am SO happy it’s the weekend! More importantly, a three-day weekend. I have a lot I want to do this weekend, so hopefully we get to most of it! It’s supposed to be in the 90s, so I think a beach trip is in order! I’ve also been wanting to go shopping, so we talked about heading out to the outlet malls. My sister and I are going out to brunch and getting our auras read today, so I’m pretty excited about that, and I need to see Solo at some point! So, I’ll definitely stay busy this weekend, but I think it’ll be relaxing, too.

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Me hanging with the Solo crew. Yes, I basically wear my pajamas to the movies.

Anyway! I wanted to share six more random things I’m loving lately. Hope you’ll share yours, too.

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Did you guys watch Barry on HBO? I loved it. I should probably have a picture of Bill Hader here, who is excellent, but Anthony Carrigan as Chechen mobster Noho Hank is just so wonderful. The season recently wrapped, so if you missed it, I highly recommend checking it out. (Image via HBO)

 

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I recently started double cleansing and tried using coconut oil as the first step to remove my makeup. Disaster. My face broke out terribly, but that has not been the case with this Coconut Dissolve Cleansing Oil by Pacifica. I love Pacifica because all of their products are vegan and cruelty-free. This oil not only removes my makeup without causing acne, but it smells like CAKE! Available from the Pacifica site; this link gets you 10% off your first order!

 

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I’m a James Bay fan and am very much enjoying his newest release, Electric Light. It’s a bit different from his debut album, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s the perfect soundtrack to ease into your day. I particularly love the song Wanderlust. Listen to the album on Spotify.

 

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It’s camping season!! We just booked our first trip and are going to plan out some more this weekend. I love camping (if you can’t tell by my face in this picture). It’s just nice to be outdoors and disconnect for a few days!

 

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I bought this Full Circle “Brumi” pour over mug a while back, and I absolutely love it. The best part is that it is suited to making hot OR cold brew! You insert the filter into the mug, add your water and grounds, and let it sit overnight. In the morning, you remove the filter and have delicious, cold brew coffee, without having to worry about all of the sifting. You can purchase on Amazon or the Full Circle site. I actually found mine on clearance at Target for half the price, so keep an eye out for deals!

 

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It kind of goes along with camping, but I’m so happy that it’s finally beach weather!! I love going to the beach. Give me a beer and a book and place me by the water and I’m going to have a great day. Maybe I’ll do a round-up of beach-themed items soon?

Tell me: What are you loving lately? Songs, albums, tv shows, skin care–tell me all about it!