Posted by: Grand Avenue - Valerie

Executive Travel
Nashville Airport
San Francisco

I Left My Heart (and cocktail) in San Francisco

I Left My Heart (and cocktail) in San Francisco

When United Airlines and the Metro Nashville Airport Authority announced a nonstop flight to San Francisco, they opened the press conference at Nashville International Airport with a trio of Victorian era carolers who sang “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”. The announcement was applauded by a large (very happy) group, led by Nashville Mayor Megan Barry.

This follows a string of recently announced new nonstop service from Nashville International Airport including Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Seattle, Oakland and Indianapolis. BNA is currently served by 10 airlines and offers 390 daily flights. Nashville International Airport provides nonstop air service to more than 50 destinations.

The 5h 5m daily flight to SFO began on May 5, 2016. This is Nashville’s only nonstop flight to the Golden Gate City. In 2011, SFO was the 8th busiest airport in the U.S. and 22nd busiest in the world, handling over 40.9 million passengers. I’d be curious to know what that number is today.

San Francisco is known for many things -- its cool summers, fog, steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of architecture, and landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridgecable cars, the former Alcatraz Federal PenitentiaryFisherman's Wharf, and its Chinatown district.

One thing not listed on The City by the Bay’s Wikipedia page is their famous cocktail scene. See below for a list of 10 of hottest spots according to cocktail expert, Camper English.

 The Bar Report: San Francisco

By Camper English, August 5, 2015 -DEPARTURES

San Francisco's greatest cocktail bars, from the classics that keep us coming back to the brand new spots we find most impressive.

Long at the cutting edge of the craft cocktail renaissance, San Francisco’s beverage scene has now settled into a comfortable middle-age in which every new bar and restaurant hosts a quality drink list. Because the average cocktail program is of such high caliber, it's hard for the visitor to know which members of the old guard are as exciting as ever, and which new venues are worth making a trip to visit. Enter our cocktail expert (and San Francisco native) Camper English: Here, he highlights the top five longstanding cocktail spots in the city, as well as the most promising new additions to the landscape.


The massive, bar-centric restaurant NOPA has been doing cocktails so right for so long it’s fallen off the media’s radar; but as the throngs of patrons prove, locals still line up for their unique creations. Always ahead of the trend, the bar championed once-esoteric ingredients like shrub syrups, sherry, and vermouth-based cocktails long before the cocktail cognoscenti widely adopted them, and began emphasizing low-proof, food-friendly drinks on their menus while other bars were still promoting boozy “brown, bitter, and stirred” classics. Drinks here can be a touch obscure for the budding cocktail enthusiast but the bartenders are there to guide you toward options that suit your mood. The former bank building features an impressively long bar where many patrons choose to dine with their drinks; it's especially delightful to grab a seat here for brunch, when the sun streams through the massive wall of windows. 560 Divisadero St.; 415-864-8643;

 NOPA San Francisco

@Alanna Hale - NOPA

Bar Agricole

Fine dining meets farm-to-glass at Agricole, where the world’s most meticulous recipe and ingredient sourcing is par for the course. Take, for example, the House Old Fashioned—what you'd assume to be a simple drink. Based on a private-barrel cognac procured in France by the bartenders on a research trip, the drink is made of a dry rye gin plus a spoonful each of a locally made gomme syrup and a maraschino liqueur developed in partnership with the bar owner; two different housemade bitters, which take up to two months to infuse; served over hand-cut ice in a delicate tempered Japanese glass. Each cocktail on the list is given this much attention, and everything Bar Agricole does is utterly deserving of yours. 355 11th St.; 415-355-9400;

Comstock Saloon

The most popular order off Comstock’s short-and-simple drink menu isn’t a cocktail at all, but rather the option to let the bartender create something à la minute. Order the Barkeep’s Whimsy and specify something bourbon-based and effervescent, for example, and the bartender might recreate a classic or invent something totally original. Bars around the country have adopted this system, but that no place does it as well as Comstock. The bar’s two rooms have restored or recreated accents from the 1907 building (built, as most things in this part of town, after the Great Quake of 1906), including the tile floors, horizontal chain-pulled ceiling fans, and under-bar spittoon trough that is, thankfully, not in active use. Don’t pass up the Barbary Coast-era fare (pot pie, oysters, chicken livers, and the like), and cross your fingers that your visit coincides with the live, old-timey music performed from the tiny balcony. 155 Columbus Ave.; 415-617-0071;

Trick Dog

A remarkable balancing act between quality, speed, and fun, Trick Dog remains a destination cocktail bar that—despite its location slightly off the beaten path in the Mission District—is (nearly) always busy. Its menus, which change twice annually, are a thing of legend: once the drinks were listed on an album’s inner record label, another time on a Pantone color strips; and a third in the style of a Chinese restaurant menu, complete with pictures and numbered cocktail names. Drinks contain tiny amounts of exotic ingredients like balsam fir, raisin liqueur, and walnut-infused Fernet Branca. With the bustling crowds and remarkably speedy bartenders, drinkers usually breeze into Trick Dog for a few quick cocktails then head elsewhere: Thanks to the great service, it’s a quick visit but one that always leaves a lasting impression. 3010 20th St.; 415-471-2999;

Smuggler's Cove

This three-level, but ultimately tiny, tiki bar will forever stand in the shadow of the magnificently grandTonga Room at the Fairmont Hotel, but the opposite can be said of the cocktails. The roughly 80 drinks on the list are constructed by several of the world’s best bartenders (objectively speaking), who throw together rounds of eight-ingredient cocktails like they’re mixing vodka sodas. Accordingly, Smuggler's Cove is the only San Francisco establishment consistently placed on the World’s 50 Best Bars list. Waits can be long and no reservations are accepted, so the regulars here know to arrive early and, importantly, to eat first: The rum is strong and the drinks are so good, it’s hard to get your sea legs once you’ve found reason to leave. 650 Gough St.; 415-869-1900;

 Smugglers Cove San Francisco

@Allison Webber - Smuggler's Cove

Dirty Habit

Despite its slightly unappetizing name, Dirty Habit—located at the site of the former Fifth Floor restaurant in the Hotel Zelos—serves up some of the city’s most impressive cocktails and cocktail-friendly food. The multi-environment space includes several lounge and restaurant areas, barstools, and an outdoor patio—parts of which are often cordoned off for private cocktail parties. The drink list is one of the longest in San Francisco and emphasizes fresh ingredients like rhubarb, pear juice, baked apples, and carrots, so let seasonality be your guide. There is a short list of shareable beverages, too, which are ideal for small groups at happy hour. 12 Fourth St.; 415-348-1555;

Dirty Habit

Despite its slightly unappetizing name, Dirty Habit—located at the site of the former Fifth Floor restaurant in the Hotel Zelos—serves up some of the city’s most impressive cocktails and cocktail-friendly food. The multi-environment space includes several lounge and restaurant areas, barstools, and an outdoor patio—parts of which are often cordoned off for private cocktail parties. The drink list is one of the longest in San Francisco and emphasizes fresh ingredients like rhubarb, pear juice, baked apples, and carrots, so let seasonality be your guide. There is a short list of shareable beverages, too, which are ideal for small groups at happy hour. 12 Fourth St.; 415-348-1555;


A decadently huge, modern Japanese izakaya by chef Ken Tominaga in partnership with Michael Mina (whose namesake restaurant is located across the street), Pabu has quickly become one of the most grand and exciting dining and drinking spots in the city. The cocktails, available at the large square atrium-enclosed bar or while dining, reflect the restaurant’s philosophy of refined subtle simplicity: a drink may contain gin, citrus, and lavender-wasabi salt, and come served with hand-cut ice with flowers frozen inside. Japanese ingredients including yuzu, tea, and sake are featured, and the Japanese whisky selection is one of the best in town—if not the country. 101 California St.; 415-668-7228;

Dirty Water

Situated within the large atrium inside the Twitter building on Market Street, Dirty Water (apparently San Francisco really has an issue with naming its bars), opened as an all-purpose, all-day bar-cum-restaurant last year. The food program now includes brunch, a late night menu, and a more expanded lunch menu, and the roomy lounge area is equipped with over 100 wines by the glass and more than 50 beers on tap. The cocktail menu lists thirteen classic and original drinks but a wide range of additional offerings are listed on an iPad, along with the complete wine and beer lists. Early stand-outs include the earthy Long Strange Trip cocktail with candy cap mushroom–infused rye whiskey, as well as The Bank Exchange with its combination of pisco and ginger beer. 1355 Market St.; 888-393-0530;


In the guise of an easygoing, friendly Mission neighborhood watering hole, this bar runs one of the tightest ships in town. All of the bartenders at ABV work a shift on the floor each week, so everyone on staff is able to expertly guide patrons through the exotic-sounding cocktails on the drink list, organized by base spirit. Strongly flavored, high-proof cocktails are the specialty of the house (the name is the acronym for “alcohol by volume”), but those seeking a little less kick can opt for the bucket-sized Michelada, or the rose wine on tap. With probably the best (and speediest) bar food in town (the quarter-pound pimento cheese burger is a particular favorite) there are plenty of alcohol-absorbing bites to keep you steady while you work your way through the cocktails. 3174 16th St.; 415-400-4748;

Subscribe to The It City Blog:

Posted by: Grand Avenue - Valerie

Limo Industry

15 Quick Quotes For When You're Having A Bad Day

bad day

Sometimes this world is tough and all we need is a small piece of inspiration to help pick us up and dust us off. 


1. "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else." - Judy Garland

2. "If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman." - Margaret Thatcher 

3. "Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got. There is no yesterday, no tomorrow, it's all the same day." - Janis Joplin

4. "The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud." - Coco Chanel

5. "The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it." - Roseanne Barr

6. "Instead of looking at the past, I put myself ahead twenty years and try to look at what I need to do now in order to get there then." - Diana Ross

7. "I could not, at any age, be content to take my place by the fireside and simply look on. Life was meant to be lived. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life." - Eleanor Roosevelt

8. "I am the American Dream. I am the epitome of what the American Dream basically said. It said, you could come from anywhere and be anything you want in this country. That’s exactly what I’ve done. I am where I am because I believe in all possibilities." - Whoopi Goldberg

9. "The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me." - Ayn Rand

10. "I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself." - Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre

11. "You wanna fly, you got to give up the [things that weigh] you down." - Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

12. "The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any." - Alice Walker

13. "Courage is like a muscle. We strengthen it with use." - Ruth Gordon

14. "There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." - Anais Nin

15. "It’s not what you call me, but what I answer to." - African Proverb

Posted by: Grand Avenue - Valerie

The It City
Visit Music City

Up Your Cinco Game With These 6 Authentically Weird Mexican Street Foods

By Joanna Gryfe -
May 3, 2016
For some, Cinco de Mayo just means five times more margaritas at happy hour than usual (just me?). But for those looking to keep those taste buds intact for the festivities, there can be so much more to celebrate with than tacos, guac, salsa, and oral-inferno quesadillas.
Mexico’s street food scene is exploding right now, and the flavors of its stalls are popping up on menus the world over. Specialized foodie trips like Intrepid Travel’s Real Food Adventure – Mexico, exposes the secret stash of insane corner stoop and back alley eats that only those in the know have been aware of – until now!
These six dishes are amazingly delicious Mexican staples that are as authentic as the mezcal is strong and as surprising as a Lucha Libre bodyslam:
Taco Arabes

1. Taco Arabe
This is going to be one beautiful food baby. 
The history of Cinco de Mayo goes back to when Mexico defeated France in the Battle of Puebla in 1862. So it’s appropriate to celebrate with a street food that you can only find on the streets of Puebla itself, the Arab-style taco.
If a shwarma and a taco had a baby, it would be this. Introduced by Arab immigrants in the 1930s, it’s one of the most popular fast-foods in the city.
Unlike the similar taco al pastor, this taco’s traditional tortilla is replaced with a pita-like flatbread that is topped with sliced, spit-roasted pork and seasoned with salt and lime juice. The ultimate fusion food to fuel your celebrations!
2. Escamoles
I can’t really tell if I should be ogling this or gagging at it. 
So its fancy sounding name masks the fact that technically these are ant larvae, but don’t swipe away! These little morsels look and taste like tiny white beans.
Also referred to as insect caviar, this delicacy is only available between March and June. The usual preparation has them sauteed with butter and green pepper and served with guacamole, onion, and fresh tortilla.
3. Huitlacoche
Again with the ‘ogling or gagging’ quandry, but apparently this is V good. 
A secret ingredient of Mexican street stalls is huitlacoche, a black corn fungus also lovingly referred to as “corn smut.” It’s essentially diseased corn that turns the infected kernels into swollen black and blue mushroom-like bites (we’re really selling this, aren’t we?).
What could easily be mistaken as the leper of the maize family develops into a beautifully balanced sweet umami flavor bomb. Rather than being banished to the outskirts of gastro society, huitlacoche can thankfully be found in tacos and quesadillas from Oaxaca to Mexico City.
4. Chapulines
Hey, we warned you we were upping your authenticity game. Get on board. 
Some say insects are the protein of the future, but huh? Roasted or friedchapulines, known north of the border as grasshoppers, are the standard bar snack in every mezcaleria around the country.
Always cooked to a crisp, chapulines have the same lightness, crunch and consistency as kale chips. They’re spiced differently depending on the region you find yourself, but often use lime, salt, and chili. Walk any street corner in Mexico and you’ll find locals hocking baskets full of these healthy treats.
5. Sweet Potato Candy
Is that a sweet potato or candy? Trick question! It’s BOTH. 
Corn is king in Mexico, but other vegetables have made their way into the mix … in candy form! Mexican candy is unique in that it often blends sweets with salty, sour and spicy flavors to transform whole, real fruits and vegetables into candy.
Also known as fruta cristalizada, candied sweet potatoes are boiled and roasted with sugar, chili, cinnamon and other spices. They can be found whole or sliced and served with other confections such as candied tamarind, with a sugary outer exterior and a soft fruit center.
6. Cheesy Hot Chocolate
Yep, they’re about to pour hot chocolate ALL OVER those creamy sticks of cheese. 
Traditional Mexican hot chocolate steps it up with the addition of Oaxacan cheese. Strands or curds of Oaxacan string cheese – a denser, slightly saltier version of mozzarella – are stirred into steaming cups of hot chocolate along with a sprinkling of chili. A little salt, a little sweet and a little heat makes this the perfect taza!

Posted by: Grand Avenue - Valerie

Executive Travel
Chauffeured Transportation
Luxury Tour

All Dogs on Deck: A Luxe, Canine-Friendly Cruise

By Jane Stern - DEPARTURES May 2, 2016

An American Dog in London
Somewhere over the Porcupine Abyssal Plain, in the North Atlantic Ocean, it is dinnertime on the Queen Mary 2. Per the dress code for four of the seven nights of this transatlantic crossing, men are in tuxedos and women in evening gowns. The table next to mine has already consulted with the sommelier and has been served appetizers. A waiter in a jacket and cummerbund is about to place the entrées on the table when one of the men, in a commanding British accent, instructs the server to hold the entrée, the cheese course, and the dessert until he gets back from the kennel, on deck 12, where he must now go to give his dog “a good­night hug.” 
The waiter does not blink an eye. He whisks the plates back to the kitchen and assures the man that after his dog is settled in for the night the food will be remade and brought to the table. Dogs and their owners on the Queen Mary 2 expect to be catered to this way. 
This tender nautical scenario could happen only on the Queen Mary 2, a ship that is remarkable in many ways. A mere 118 feet shorter than the Empire State Building, it is one of the largest passenger ships ever built. It is the only transatlantic ocean liner currently in service, and its foghorn can be heard from ten miles away. 
The stately QM2 is more like a floating English manor house than a vessel plowing its way across an endless blue­gray ocean. Even in the stormiest seas, the QM2 cuts through the waves like a warm knife through butter. But better than anything else, the QM2 is the only major cruise ship that accommodates dogs. 
Because what is a British queen without dogs? The British­American shipping line Cunard, which operates the QM2, has a long and venerable history of ferrying animals across the ocean. Long before refrigeration, the ships had a cow on board to provide fresh milk and cream for the passengers. On the maiden voyage of the Britannia, in 1840, there were three guest cats, and shortly thereafter, like a posh Noah’s Ark, the menagerie grew. Circus elephants, canaries, a monkey, and even a boa constrictor have traveled Cunard.
As it does for its clientele of human royals and movie stars, Cunard has rolled out the red carpet for notable pets. On the roster was Mr. Ramshaw, the world’s only trained golden eagle, who made at least 21 transatlantic crossings on mid­20th­century liners. Rin Tin Tin, the German shepherd star of dozens of silent films, traveled on the Berengaria? Tom Mix and his horse Tony, of the 1930s Western series The Miracle Rider, were frequent passengers. Tony’s hooves were fitted with rubber shoes to prevent him from slipping on the gangplank. 
There’s a famous photograph from the 1950s of Elizabeth Taylor leaning over the rail of the original Queen Mary with her little poodle in the crook of her arm. A regular transatlantic voyager, Taylor frequently exercised her dogs by strolling around the sports deck with them. She also consulted with the chef to provide her dogs’ favorite seafood dinners. Not to be outdone, the dog­mad Duke and Duchess of Windsor often traveled with their pugs. At the duke’s behest, Cunard installed a lamppost beside the kennels to facilitate the royal lifting of the legs.
I am on the vast open deck 12 of the QM2, where the kennel is located. I am tightly holding on to my puppy, Ivy. A gale­force wind is blowing so strong I am afraid Ivy will become airborne, like Dorothy en route to Oz, with me dangling at the end of the leash.
Ivy is now six months old. A week after she was born, she was found in an animal hoarder’s house filled with garbage and dead dogs. She was rescued by animal control, sent to a shelter, and then adopted by me when I saw her sad little face on an adoption website. No one knows her exact breed (best guess: a cross between a Chihuahua and some sort of wire­haired terrier), but at five pounds she is a mere scrap of a dog, gentle and accepting. I thought that the Queen Mary 2 would be a good counterpoint to her pitiful beginning. 
Taking Ivy as my travel companion required an enormous amount of time and paperwork. Dogs entering the U.K. are no longer quarantined, but I would advise anyone who plans to make the crossing with a dog to start the process a good four months ahead of the trip.
If you are coming from the United States, you will be expected to fill out a byzantine array of forms that establish everything from your ownership of the pet to the markings on its fur. The dog will also need an easily readable microchip, an official pet passport or equivalent identity papers, a recent rabies vaccination, and a tapeworm test that must be taken a few days before the trip.
Know that your pet’s documents (I had 22 pages of signed and certified forms) will be scrutinized at length by customs. No matter how cute your dog is, or whether it just came off the Queen Mary 2, it will not be allowed into the U.K. unless every item and requirement is checked. There are no exceptions (except possibly Queen Elizabeth’s corgis). 
Now that Ivy’s fully certified and legal, she and I are welcomed on board by Oliver Cruz, “the first official kennel master in maritime history,” as he describes himself. Except for service animals, all pets must stay with Oliver in the kennel. This is not a hardship. Owners can visit throughout the day and evening, relaxing in a comfortable lounge with couches, chairs, plaid deck blankets, and every kind of dog bowl and toy imaginable. Cunard is currently updating and expanding the kennel facility, scheduled to be completed in time for the New York– Southampton crossing on July 6. In addition to the 22 kennels, ranging in price from $800 to $1,000, the upgraded deck will feature a larger communal dog run, as well as a streetlamp post and a fire hydrant for target practice. 
Oliver could not be more excited about his job. It takes him away for months at a time from his family in the Philippines, but the dogs and cats he cares for are his other family and his passion. He finds it almost hard to express how much he loves dogs. “You know the place right behind the ear?” he asks me after five minutes of chitchat. “That is the best smell of all!” I say that I like the smell between the pads of the foot, and he heartily agrees. Obviously we speak the same language. 
He tells me about his own homegrown remedies for dogs that get ill on the ship. (Boiled pumpkin chunks work like magic on diarrhea, he’s found.) He is keen on observing dogs that may be having anxiety in their new environment. When a dog seems especially gloomy, he will serenade it with his medley of Beatles songs. Oliver is scrupulous about introducing each dog to the others, formally, by name: “Ivy, this is Mauri? Mauri, this is Ivy.” He remembers the name of every dog on board. If he has favorites he is too diplomatic to say. 
When Oliver puts on his spiffy kennel­master outfit, he resembles a bellhop from The Grand Budapest Hotel. We guests take turns posing with him and our dogs for the ship’s official photographer. Oliver hoists an old­fashioned life ring with Queen Mary 2 stenciled on it. Our dogs will never have to depend on such outdated gear, because the first day aboard they are fitted for state­of­the­art canine life jackets. In this animal­loving atmosphere, it is easy to imagine “Women, children, and dogs first!” being called out as we are guided to the lifeboats. At the conclusion of the voyage, our dogs are issued diplomas from Cunard attesting that they have completed a transatlantic crossing on the Queen Mary 2. 
In my dog­rich life, I can honestly say I have never met a group of people who love dogs as much as the passengers and crew of the Queen Mary 2 do. All day and into the evening, non­dog­owning passengers brave the very windy deck where the kennels are located to stand behind a gate and watch dogs run around and relieve themselves. At times the onlookers are ten deep. Cameras flash and squeals of delight issue forth. It is like preteens catching a glimpse of Justin Bieber. 
This appears to be a very British thing, and the few times I sneak Ivy out of the kennel for a stroll around the deck in my arms—a no­no per Cunard rules—it is as if I am cradling a bird of paradise or a basket of emeralds.
“Please, may I see her?” 
“Oh, she is so beautiful.” 
“How precious!” Ivy is, of course, the best and most extraordinary dog in the world, but before boarding the Queen Mary 2 I thought I was the only one who knew this. “What is she?” I am asked repeatedly. I learn to call her a “mixed breed” rather than a “mutt” to avoid getting death stares. I also learn not to share her sad shelter background because on a few occasions when I do, old dears in their pearls, tweeds, and gum­soled sensible shoes begin to weep.
It is the final night of the voyage. I am rigged up in one of the four formal dresses I have bought for the trip. I am not a formal­dress person? the last time I wore one was at my high school prom. I am desperately trying to remember how to walk in heels. 
At the Grand Britannia dining room, I am seated at a table with three couples. Two men are in tuxedos and one is fully arrayed in a kilt and all the finest accoutrements, including a silver dagger in his knee sock. The ladies are equally splendiferous. “Are you traveling alone?” one couple politely asks me as the waiter removes an extra place setting. I feel awkward. There is a long silence. “Actually, no,” I say. “I am traveling with my dog, Ivy. She is in the kennel.” 
As if avoiding the proverbial iceberg in the North Atlantic, I have safely navigated my way around social disaster. Manicured hands reach into purses and pockets. Pictures of cairn terriers, Yorkies, corgis, and scruffy dogs like Ivy are thrust at me: “This is Smithy? here is Mr. Biggles and his sister, Ruggles.” Under the table I kick off my high heels. I am having real fun with my new friends. 
Transatlantic crossings from $1,250 for an inside room, $1,700 for a room with a balcony? 661­753­1000? 
After docking in Southampton on the Queen Mary 2, my puppy, Ivy, and I continued on to London, and to the exquisite Rosewood Hotel (rooms from $540? 252 High Holborn? 44­20/7781­8888? When we arrived, we found Pearl, the hotel’s resident golden retriever, splayed out in the middle of the stylish lobby. 
To say the Rosewood spoils its dogs is like saying a Bentley is a cute little car. In my room there was a wicker hamper overflowing with dog food, cookies, treats, and toys. There was a big, soft dog bed and beautiful walnut bowls for food and water. In front of Ivy’s bed was a starched linen mat embroidered with her name. It was changed daily. 
The only thing to do after luxuriating in such stellar digs is go shopping. Below is a selection of the delightful canine salons and haberdasheries we discovered. 
Since 2002 Holly & Lil (103 Bermondsey St.? 44­20/3287­3024? has been the maker of the most beautiful bespoke leather dog collars and halters. Unable to restrain myself, and without a shred of buyer’s remorse, I ordered a black leather halter with a skull and bones on the chest plate and a hand­stitched leather Union Jack collar. 
At Bow Wow (50A Earlham St.? 44­20/7240­0818? you will find a perfectly curated collection of unusual dog items, from French dog perfume to whimsical beds in the shape of log cabins, garden homes, and sports cars. 
With locations in Notting Hill, White City, and Chelsea, Purplebone ( offers gentle grooming services and a variety of dog paraphernalia all expressing the house credo, Bold Statements. Especially charming are the tartan and lumberjack­checked collars. 
With prices starting at about $1,400, LoveMyDog (36 Ermine Mews? 44­20/7739­4337? creates custom coats and outfits in a vast array of tweeds, velvets, trimmings, embroidery, and fabrics. The process involves a design consultation with a staff designer and, after the approval of sketches, at least two fittings. Clothing is usually ready in eight to ten weeks.

Posted by: Grand Avenue - Valerie

Chauffeured Transportation
Nashville Car Service

5 Ways To Show Mom Just How Special She Is

Mothers Day


1.  Treat her to a spa day.

Who doesn’t love an opportunity to relax, unwind and indulge? Give mom an upscale spa experience she won’t forget, A Moment’s Peace Salon & Day Spa delivers every time.

 2. Make her home shine

Thank her for all she does by cleaning her house from top to bottom while she puts her feet up and enjoys some much-needed rest. Here’s a printable house cleaning checklist.

 3. Take her on a surprise adventure

How about a Tennessee Wine Tour? Enjoy area vineyards and wines without worrying about the drive. Sit back, relax and let Grand Avenue do the driving while you have her undivided attention.              

4. Walk down memory lane

Put together a scrapbook just for mom. We found one that we love from A Beautiful Mess with a step-by-step guide to creating an awesome, personalized gift using recycled materials and your favorite photos.

 5. Take her to brunch

How does Applewood smoked bacon, crab shooters and country ham wrapped beef tenderloin sound? Kitchen Notes (Omni Hotel) has a Mother’s Day brunch 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM. Mom will love the vintage interior designed with repurposed materials that include décor discovered from local antique stores and flea markets.

Posted by: Grand Avenue - Valerie

Wedding Limo
Wedding Car
Vintage Car

What is your role as MOH?

Jarvie Digital

Today’s MOH might be a Maid of Honor, a Matron of Honor, or a Man of Honor. Whichever applies in your case, you’ll be playing a very important role on the wedding day! Here are some of the responsibilities you need to know:

Financial. Being a MOH means you’ll be investing in things like your attire, travel fees, hosting a bridal or wedding shower, and gifts for the happy couple. These things can really add up, especially if it’s a destination wedding. It’s perfectly within your right to ask for contributions from the rest of the wedding party for things like the shower, which can help offset the cost.

Emotional. You’re going to be a sounding board for the bride and will likely have to support her through what she thinks are dire decisions or impossible family interactions, which can sometimes lead to you taking on her stress. Just remember that this is only for a limited time and you’re there to help her through planning the biggest day of her life.

Physical. Being the MOH generally means a lot of running around. You’ll probably end up helping the bride shop for her gown and accessories, the wedding party’s attire, her wedding invitations, and any number of other things. You’ll also likely go with her to a wedding show or two and possibly attend vendor appointments with her. Do your best to keep your schedule available for her, especially close to the big day.

Critical. As the MOH, there are several essential tasks for you to handle on the wedding day. You may hold one or both of the rings during the ceremony, as well as the bride’s bouquet and any note cards she may have. You’ll make sure her gown and veil look perfect for every photo. You and the Best Man will likely serve as witnesses and sign the marriage certificate. Then there will be your speech during the reception and possibly collecting all of the gifts for the couple after the event ends. On top of everything else, your job is to make sure the couple has an amazing day. Pretty important, to say the least!

Being a MOH is truly an honor and one of the best ways you can support the happy couple. Hold onto your patience and perform every task with love. That way you’ll all enjoy the big day!

APRIL 28, 2016 BY SUSAN SOUTHERLAND Via Head Over Heals - Perfect Wedding Guide 

Airlines Looking to Make Window or Aisle Seats a Costly Luxury

Bloomberg via Getty Images

If you're planning a summer flight and have your sights set on a window seat or aisle seat, you should prepare to cough up some extra dough.

More and more of the major airlines are now considering those economy seats a luxury and are looking at new ways to charge passengers for them.

Scott Mayerowitz, an airline expert with the Associated Press, told ABC News today that passengers on low-cost carriers like Spirit Airlines had to pay for seat assignments in advance or risk having the airline put them in whatever seat is available.

Other airlines have followed suit, charging fliers in some way for a good seat. Southwest, which doesn't assign seats, recently increased the price of its early boarding by 20 percent. It now charges passengers $15 each way to board the plane first to improve their chances of getting a good seat.

 The New Way Some Airlines Are Pricing Tickets, Under the Radar

 Some Major US Airlines Hike Fares By $3 One-Way

With Delta's least expensive option, basic economy, fliers cannot select their seats until 24 hours before they travel -- just around the time when the most coveted aisle and window seats are inevitably taken by people who paid a higher fare.

"American Airlines and United are following Delta's lead on this and will be launching their own basic economy fares in coming months although they haven't yet released the details of those plans,” Mayerowitz said.

He said travelers using the big airlines like American, Delta or United would likely have a harder time finding seats because airlines were reserving more seats in the front of the plane for elite members or those willing to pay extra.

"Regardless of what fare you book," Mayerowitz said, "if you book only a few weeks before your trip, the only seats left are those middle seats or the ones next to the bathroom. ... Fliers should just keep checking and checking airlines websites. Especially at that 24-hour-before-departure time, make sure you check in and look at the seat map. That's when a lot of elite fliers get upgraded and their seats open up and you can jump on in and snag those."

Travel experts said that there was one way to improve your chances at a better seat, though -- and without having to pay up.

When consumers book their flights, experts suggest entering the information, which automatically emails the traveler when an aisle or window seat opens up. 

ABC News' Rebecca Jarvis and Kelley Robinson contributed to this story.

How Nashville Became Music City

From its very beginnings, Nashville grew from a foundation built on music. Music has been the common thread connecting the life and soul of the city and its people. And visitors have ventured here to experience the music that weaves such a fundamental pattern in the city’s cultural, business, and social fabric.

Nashville’s earliest settlers celebrated in the late 1700s with fiddle tunes and buck dancing after safely disembarking on the shores of the Cumberland River. Nashville’s first “celebrity,” the noted frontiersman and Congressman Davy Crockett was known far and wide for his colorful stories and fiddle playing.

As the 1800s unfolded, Nashville grew to become a national center for music publishing. The first around-the-world tour by a musical act was by the Fisk Jubilee Singers from Nashville’s Fisk University. Their efforts helped fund the school’s mission of educating freed slaves after the Civil War – and also put Nashville on the map as a global music center. In fact, upon playing for the Queen of England, the queen stated the Fisk Jubilee Singers must come from the “Music City.”

In 1897, a group of Confederate veterans chose Nashville as the site of a massive reunion. The event was held at the former tabernacle that would later become known as the Ryman Auditorium. So many former Confederate soldiers poured into town that a new balcony was built inside the tabernacle to accommodate their great numbers. It was dubbed “The Confederate Gallery,” a designation still visible today as the Ryman continues to host an array of musical events.

Before even the Ryman became known as the downtown home of the Grand Ole Opry, it already enjoyed a national reputation. Enrico Caruso, John Philip Sousa, and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra gave roof-raising performances there that earned the Ryman the nickname “Carnegie Hall of the South.” The Ryman’s unrivaled acoustic qualities continue today – it has received Pollstar magazine’s prestigious “Theater of the Year” award consecutively for the past five years as the best auditorium in the nation to experience live music.

In 1925, the establishment of radio station WSM and its launch of the broadcast that would be called the Grand Ole Opry further secured Nashville’s reputation as a musical center and sparked its durable nickname of “Music City.” The Opry, still staged live every week, is America’s longest-running radio show. They are celebrating their 90th anniversary in production this year. It ignited the careers of hundreds of country stars and lit the fuse for Nashville to explode into a geographic center for touring and recording. The modern-day empire of Music Row, a collection of recording studios, record labels, entertainment offices, and other music-associated businesses, populates the area around 16th and 17th Avenues South.

Nashville has also long been known as the “Songwriting Capital of the World.” Songwriters from all over the world come to Music City to learn the art and share their passion of songwriting. The famous Bluebird Cafe showcases songwriters performing their original music in an intimate “in-the-round” setting that was created in Nashville and allows them to share the stories of inspiration behind their songs. Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), which fosters the art of songwriting and works to protect writers’ rights, is headquartered here. The annual Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival puts these songwriters somewhere they’re not use to being, in the spotlight. Over the course of five days, more than 300 songwriters perform at venues around town.

In recent years, cable television has broadcast Music City’s stars and music to the world. CMT and GAC have taken country music to a new level of acclaim and recognition. The gospel music series hosted by Nashville’s Bobby Jones on Black Entertainment Television is now cable’s longest-running program. And recently, the city hit primetime with the ABC show “Nashville,” which has brought a new wave of fans to the city and its music.

Over the years, Nashville has also become a hub for pop, rock, bluegrass, Americana, jazz, classical, contemporary Christian, blues, and soul music. Rolling Stone recently gave Nashville the title of “Best Music Scene.” Artists like Robert Plant, Kid Rock, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Bon Jovi, and Michael Bublé, among many others, have come to Music City to write and record. Names like Kings of Leon, The Black Keys, Taylor Swift, Kesha, Michael McDonald, Keb’ Mo’, Sheryl Crow, Paramore, Hot Chelle Rae, and Jack White have chosen to call Nashville home. The vast number of recording studios, music publishers, record labels, and studio musicians continue to draw in musicians of all genres. In fact, Nashville has the highest concentration of people working in the music industry per capita than anywhere else in the world. These musicians are the city’s greatest spokesmen, sharing their love for the city and its music with the world.

Live music can be seen and heard every day and night of the week in Nashville. The world-famous honky tonks, located on Broadway, offer free live music 365 days a year. And with more than 150 music venues around town ranging from large arenas and concert halls to small clubs, featuring nearly every genre of music, it’s easy to see why this is the city that “music calls home.”

Music festivals and events fill Nashville’s calendar throughout the year. From large festivals such as the CMA Music Festival and Bonnaroo to events like the CMA and CMT Awards, Nashville continues to be a place for the biggest names in music to perform.

Nashville proudly proclaims itself to be Music City and is making strategic efforts to continue to foster young musicians and entice musicians of all genres to write, record, and live here. The Music City Music Council was formed to strategically grow and strengthen Nashville’s creative community.

There’s truly no other place in the world like Nashville. Its connection to music is unequalled, and its reputation as Music City has been consistently proven for over 200 years. Welcome to the city where music is written, recorded, and performed every single day. Welcome to Music City.

Original post found here:

Posted by: Angela Simms

Limousine Company

Nashville Events and Outreach

Dowtown Nashville

Nashville being named one of the 10 fastest growing cities, not   only with tourist but Nashville locals will always be able to find something to do. Besides being the home of over 20,000 music industry jobs coming in at the top are healthcare jobs. You can always find adventure downtown Nashville which not only includes Broadway, Printers Alley but also The Gulch for top restaurants, variety of bars, horse drawn carriage rides, peddle bars and more. The beginning of April is starting with many exciting and fun events in the city. Fashion Week is April 5 – 9 and includes fashion shows that take place in different venues. April 5 – 9 there will also be The Tin Pan South which is a Songwriters Festival and showcased in area local bars and venues. April 9 is The Cherry Blossom Festival. The Cherry Blossom Festival is a festival that celebrates the arrival of spring and the blossoming cherry trees that symbolize the ongoing friendship between Japan and the United States. The festival includes live music, art and authentic cuisine.

Along with the fast growing city with new businesses, loft apartments and restaurants the homeless population continues to grow and has reached nearly 5,000 in the homeless community. Most have become homeless due to losing jobs, their home, even their parents along with many other situations. Nashville has many non-profit and other organizations that have come together to help them get back on their feet as well as survive in the outdoor environment.  Beautiful Eyes Ministry every Tuesday night cater in hot food from local restaurants, provide donations of clothes, tents and survival needs as well as focusing on building relationships, mentoring and connecting with possible employers that Beautiful Eyes Ministry works closely with to get them employment. They also visit local camps to check on the homeless community in dangerous weather. People loving Nashville is a similar ministry that meets at the same place but on Mondays. The Oasis Center focuses on teens ages 18-25 and offers warming shelters, activities and a place to go for different events. These three organizations are just a few of many but with almost 5000 homeless, the need is high and Nashville needs more help.

Nashville is growing so fast that many new restaurants and bars have recently opened and are coming soon in 2016. Something for everybody is around town. This will not just be the downtown Nashville area but close by, you will find original places in SoBro, The Gulch, 12 South, Germantown, Hillsboro Village, Midtown and Edgehill Village. On the way to dinner you will notice new hotels, loft apartments, boutiques and many new bars. Nashville locals are quite proud of what their city has to offer, from all the above listed to museums, parks, music venues and of course our beautiful views throughout the city.
So next time you find yourself complaining you have nothing to do just go outside and take a look around at this beautiful city and while you’re at it… when you pass that homeless person, share a smile and make their day. We are known for being so nice so let’s continue to show people what we are about.

Posted by: Grand Avenue

Virgin Australia- April 1

Virgin Australia has launched a “Kids Class” – an adult-free cabin for junior travellers only.

After check-in, security check and immigration, young travellers can take the trunki (ride-on suitcase) service to the gate.

When boarding, junior travellers will receive storybooks instead of newspaper. Cushions have been installed to avoid vibrations from the person kicking the seat behind.  

The safety card is chewable and the meals are served in plane shapes. There is also a “teddy menu” for those flying alone. When it is bedtime, cabin crew read a bedtime story, and bubbles fill up the cabin.

Watch the video.

Happy April Fool's Day!