Food, Fun, Family and Friends …Finally! Hello Labor Day Weekend

“Labor Day in the United States is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country.”

Many of us are looking forward to Labor Day because it gives us 3 days to spend with family, friends and loved ones and do whatever we want to celebrate the end of the summer and the beginning of fall. Some of us head out of town, others head to the lake. Many of us will grill out or go out to eat, while others will stay home and catch up on Netflix, reading, facebook, or just sleep late and do absolutely nothing.

Personally all of the above sounds good to me. For those of you who live in the Middle Tennessee area and have not made plans, I would like to highlight some happenings on the Riverfront in Downtown Nashville. This gives me the opportunity to share some pictures I have taken recently of one of my favorite places in the world; my hometown.

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Downtown Nashville will be jumping this 3 day weekend. If you haven’t been to the Riverfront lately and would like to join in the festivities, I have listed some fun events below.

 

The Merritt Classic Weekend                                                                                  September 4-6 at Nissan Stadium

IMG_5940 **This is a picture I took of the Nissan Stadium at sunrise.**

This 3 day event offers a little bit of everything for everyone and sounds like a lot of fun. It winds down on Sunday with the TSU Tigers taking on the Alabama State University Hornets. I would like to go just to see the Halftime Performance by the one and only TSU Aristocrat of Bands!  Activities start today! (Friday)

For more information on this 3 day event, visit this link at http://www.visitmusiccity.com/Visitors/thingstodo/johnmerrittclassic

471A0624_1 **It is such a treat to watch the General Jackson come down the Cumberland River, stop in front of the Nissan Stadium and turn around to head the other way. It is especially beautiful at night.**

471A0475**In this picture I captured a barge slowly meandering past the Nissan stadium at sunset.**

Speaking of football, our own Tennessee Volunteers will open their season at the Nissan Stadium this Saturday, September 5, taking on the Bowling Green Falcons at 3:00. Some tickets are still available at this link-                                                                             http://www.nashvillesports.com/vols

IMG_7124**I love this picture because the Music City Star was pulling out of the Riverfront Train Depot and had slowed down enough for me to get a shot. I wasn’t expecting to see the train. One of these days I want to ride in it.**

Nashville’s First Saturday Art Crawl will be on September 5. “The first Saturday of every month, from 6pm to 9pm, art galleries around Nashville offer free admission to view their latest exhibits. Over 20 art venues participate, presenting local and world-renowned artists and artwork, offering the opportunity to meet and discuss art with like-minded individuals.”

IMG_7095**Speaking of art, this is our own ‘Ghost Ballet’ which sits on the riverbank across from Riverfront Park. “The trusses and crane base show the past industrial use of the area, while the circular and changing motion represents the transformation of the area.”**

For more information on this event, visit http://www.visitmusiccity.com/Visitors/thingstodo/saturdayartcrawl

The band Widespread Panic will be at Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheater on September 5 and 6 at 7:00 P.M. Nashville’s new amphitheater seats 6,800.

IMG_7129**I was on the Pedestrian Bridge when I took this picture one early evening while a concert was going on.**

For more information on this concert and many other upcoming concerts visit http://www.visitmusiccity.com/Visitors/thingstodo/ascendamphitheater

The General Jackson will be cruising the Cumberland this weekend and it is definitely a sight to see!

471A0565**This is one of my favorite pictures I have taken of the General Jackson because of the way the surrounding lights look like they are framing the showboat.**

I love seeing the people on the beautiful showboat as it comes into downtown. I am sure it is more fun being a passenger as you roll down the river.

471A0612**The General Jackson turns around right in front of the stadium, so it was fun watching this maneuver.**

For more information on the weekend cruises, and cruises in general, visit http://generaljackson.com/experience

I love to kayak, but did not know you could kayak the Cumberland River until I was downtown one day taking pictures and saw it. This would definitely be fun..

IMG_7763**I was able to get a shot of people kayaking down the Cumberland. They paddled up to the Riverfront and got out**

Check out Nashville’s first and only kayak rental and tour company, River Queen Voyages. If you want to experience the Cumberland River up close, visit their website at http://rqvoyages.com/

Okay, now for the fun activities that won’t cost you anything except maybe to park. Because of football games at Nissan Stadium on Saturday and Sunday, you might be out of luck finding a parking spot. I would wait until Monday to head downtown where it might be less crowded, more parking spaces and no stadium game. September 7 will be the better day.

If you have not been to Nashville’s Cumberland Park, you need to go.

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Not only is there an area for live music, but there are water features, a play space, areas to ride bikes and walk dogs and so much more! And it is free!

471A0245**The views are pretty no matter which way you look.**

IMG_7095**The Ghost Ballet has a whole different look during the day than at night.**

471A0251_1**This is the view across the river from the Cumberland Park.**

For more information on Nashville’s Cumberland Park, visit this link https://www.nashville.gov/Parks-and-Recreation/Parks/Cumberland-Park.aspx

One of my favorite free things to do in downtown Nashville is walk across the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge. The views of downtown are just gorgeous!

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Whether you visit during the day when the sun is bright and reflecting off the Batman Building and the Pinnacle Building, or at night when the lights come on and reflect off of the river, you will not be disappointed!

IMG_5596**I love watching for the barges and personal boats coming down the river.**

IMG_7442**You never know what you will see docking at the Riverfront.**

**It is also fun to people watch while on the bridge**

IMG_5651** This picture was taken at sunset.**

IMG_7424**This picture was taken at sunrise.**

To learn more about the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge, visit http://www.nashvilledowntown.com/go/shelby-street-pedestrian-bridge

Once you cross the bridge, head to Riverfront Park and check out the train depot.

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“The site of the current station was originally home to a train depot built around 1902. The depot included a passenger station for the Tennessee Central Railway as well as several tracks used for freight service. Passenger service at the original station ended in 1955. Site excavation for the new station began in 2004, but was delayed for several months due to the discovery of historic artifacts at the site, including the remains of a foundry. Construction of the new station began in August 2005. The design of the new station, which features post and beam architecture, was intended to evoke the feel of an Old World train station. Service at the station began on September 18, 2006.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nashville_Riverfront_(Music_City_Star_station)

And last but not least, you have to walk down to the Riverfront Park.

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On this particular day I saw Metro’s finest escorting a boat toward the dock.

Another morning I watched the sun rise and it was a beautiful sight!

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If you don’t want to get up that early, check out the glow of the river from the sun setting.

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The Downtown Nashville Riverfront is a must see- whether you are visiting the area, or even if you live here. Take an afternoon or an evening this weekend or any weekend and head to the Riverfront and see what everyone is talking about!

“It’s the warmest, loveliest community I’ve ever set foot in. For me, it’s the perfect place to live. It’s the best part of America.”
Nicole Kidman

For more information on what is going on in our fabulous city this Labor Day weekend, visit http://www.visitmusiccity.com/visitors/thingstodo/laborday#family

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Whatever you decide to do, I want you to know your hard work is what makes our nation the best, so you deserve to take this time to rest!

Until next time-

  • I hope you spend every day, living, learning, laughing and loving life…
    while focused on Nashville and the great state of Tennessee!
    My best to you,
    Terri
  • Have a fabulous Labor Day weekend!
  • **All photos in Focused On Nashville are taken by Terri Watson.

Welcome To The Dog Days of May

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I know what you are thinking…Dog Days are associated with July and August– not May!    I will explain.

May is one of my favorite months when it comes to spending time outside.

  • The days are warm but not stinking hot
  • There are flowers blooming everywhere
  • We get to enjoy the sunshine longer each day because it sets later every night
  • The evenings are cool and refreshing
  • The birds are singing—- (Okay, I am getting a little carried away.)

During these glorious 31 days I am spending as much time outside as possible, and not wanting to think about the upcoming hot, humid, thick and sweltering days of July and August, aka the ‘dog days of summer.’  During the ‘dog days of summer’, it is tough getting me to go outside– let alone my dogs. So I decided I would take my 2 dogs outside at least 30 minutes every day in the month of May for exercise and fresh air because I know when July comes I will not want to venture out too much.

So, welcome to my dog days in May!

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On one of our May day adventures we headed to the largest dog park in Nashville. It has only been open since last June, so it is still a secret to many. Two Rivers Dog Park is located next door to the Two Rivers Mansion at 3150 McGavock Pike in Donelson. It is a 20 minute drive from my neighborhood in Nippers Corner. It is close to Briley Parkway, I-24 and I-40, so it is convenient for many in the Nashville area. Heading toward Opry Mills on Briley Parkway from I-40, I exited the Two Rivers Exit (by the Wave Pool) and turned left on McGavock Pike. It is a few yards past Two Rivers Mansion on the same side of the road.

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My first impression was that it is clean and a well kept area. Brody and Baxter knew the moment we turned in the parking lot that they were about to explore a new spot. How do dogs know?

This beautiful and spacious park sits on 7 acres and offers our furry friends ;

Shaded areas with large mature trees for resting and cooling offIMG_8927

Wide open spaces for frisbee play or running like the windIMG_8899

A watering area for quenching one’s thirst

A walking path all the way around the premises for humans (and dogs in our case)IMG_8905

A pavilion for the humans and pets to congregate and mingle

Benches scattered everywhere for humans to rest while watching their dogs at playIMG_8869

Mutt Mitt stations everywhere ( you have no excuse not to clean up after your furry child)IMG_8892

Large boulders for sitting in designated areas (or playing hide and seek)IMG_8904

Small wooded area in a remote corner to ‘get away’ and chillIMG_8894

and Plenty of Parking

We visited Two Rivers Dog Park during the week and it was not very crowded. I am sure it is a different story on weekends because it is one of the nicest and largest dog parks I have ever been to and I am sure others will agree.

Your dog has the space to run and play without literally running into other dogs. As a dog, there are adventures to be had, remote areas to scout out, numerous corners to sniff and wide open spaces to chase whatever happens to be in front of you. Fun will be had by all 4-legged guests and two-legged guests as well! IMG_8896

My only concern is that little dogs and big dogs are not separated in two different areas like at some other dog parks. We encountered several large dogs but they were friendly. I stayed close to my two when I saw other dogs heading our way to visit, but we had no trouble whatsoever. Their owners were close as well, so I never felt my two were threatened. I give Two Rivers Dog Park 4 out of 5 dog bones and would highly recommend it! I will definitely take the boys back soon.IMG_8882

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So, since I have declared these days are the Dog Days of May, I double dog dare you to head out for 30 minutes each day while the mornings are cool, the evenings are warm and Spring is still in the air. Oh, and don’t forget to take your dog! I have a feeling you will enjoy the dog days of May much more than the dogs days of summer.

“A dog is still one of the remaining reasons why some people can be persuaded to go for a walk.” O.A. Battista

Until next time-
I hope you spend every day, living, learning, laughing and loving life…
while focused on Nashville!
My best to you,
Terri

http://www.yelp.com/biz/two-rivers-dog-park-nashville

Get Your Peddle On !

I have written about biking the Harpeth River Greenway already, but we have biked two more greenways as well, so I had to share my thoughts on all 3 greenways.
Here is the update to the first blog, ‘A Biker’s Delight’.

IMG_3633 I think I was just as excited for my son’s Spring Break to happen as he was this year. Besides getting to sleep in a little later, eat some food that is not necessarily good for us, and stay up late, I was also looking forward to getting our bikes out of hibernation and hitting the greenways around town. Biking is a a great family event that everyone can enjoy together.  It is great exercise, and for me, brings back memories of biking as a kid. Except now there are beautiful and safe greenways all over Nashville !

We decided to go a different direction each day and see what we would find. Monday we drove west to Percy Warner Park where the Harpeth River Greenway begins. The paved path winds around Ensworth School and the Harpeth River. The majority of the way we were in the shade. Even the times we were in full sunlight it was nice. Maybe because the flowing river tricked us into thinking there was a cool breeze blowing. Or maybe because it was only 66 degrees. Either way, we loved the greenway. We would have gone the whole way but ran out of time. It is about 5.75 miles. Check out the link below for more information.

IMG_3635IMG_3606IMG_3609IMG_3638 Tuesday we decided to head east to Murfreesboro to the Stones River Greenway. Again, the path ran along side the Stones River which made our trip even more enjoyable. There were several areas where you could park your bike and picnic or walk down to the river bank. One area where we spent some time was at the waterfalls. It was very scenic and not really crowded. We even saw people canoeing and fishing. There are several bridges you cross over, lots of beautiful scenes and just enough hills to keep you interested. Most of the greenway we traveled was shaded. It is about 6 miles. Check out the link below for more information.

Wednesday we decided to head to downtown and turn right which would land us at Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Nature Center. I will have to say I was a little skeptical because the park is not in the best area of town. You have to go through an industrial area. I kept thinking there was no way I would want to ride bikes where we were heading. But once we pulled in the entrance it felt totally different. There was a great nature center, tons of cars, people, activities going on, a play area for small children and clean restrooms! The greenway we were on ran alongside the Cumberland River. The view of the Cumberland River is not the best although there are certain areas where you can pull over and see the river through the trees. It might be a tad more difficult to see the river once the trees are full of leaves this summer but is still a nice view.  I will have to say we did not go all the way to Two Rivers Park, so there might be better views from that end of town. This greenway goes all the way to Two Rivers Park but we stopped about 3/4 of the way and came back. I enjoyed the experience all in all. I noticed the nature center has lots of activities for families and had a full calendar for Spring. One of my favorite moments was seeing a train come around the corner and above us on the trestle about 40 feet high. We waved and were as giddy as 8 year olds when he waved and blew the whistle! This trail is around 5 miles. (This does not count the complete greenway to Two Rivers.) Check out more information about this greenway on the link below.

I would highly recommend all 3 greenways because you will get 3 different experiences but will walk away (or should I say ‘bike’ away) with a smile on your face, a heart that is happy from the exercise, and a greater love for Nashville.

Until next time-
I hope you spend every day, living, learning, laughing and loving life…
while focused on Nashville!
My best to you,
Terri

A Biker’s Delight!

IMG_3633IMG_3616IMG_3638IMG_3611IMG_3606Spring Break is finally here for my son and we decided the first thing we wanted to do this week was head out to a local greenway with our bikes. The day was perfect- sunny, 70 degrees and a slight wind. We chose the Harpeth River Greenway and chose to start our journey at Percy Warner Park. The greenway was not too crowded, and paved the whole way. We saw rode along the Harpeth River much of the way and it was really pretty. “The Harpeth River Greenway is a series of four disconnected, multi-use trails that run along the Harpeth River in suburban Nashville. The trails total almost 6 miles. The various segments serve a variety of communities and parks throughout the city.” The  majority of the trail is shaded so it will be nice when the temperatures get up in the 90’s this summer.

This will definitely be in my top 5 favorite greenways in Nashville.

Grab your bike and go check it out!

http://www.traillink.com/trail/harpeth-river-greenway.aspx

Hello world!

Hi! My name is Terri and I am addicted to photography and to my hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. So I thought I would combine the two and share through photographs what is so cool about Nashville and the great state of Tennessee. That is why I chose to call my blog, “Focused On Nashville”.

I was born and raised in Nashville, met my husband of 23 years here in Nashville, and now have a 14 year old I am raising here as well. I have seen many changes throughout the years…some good, some bad. But I feel Nashville still has the hometown, small city feel and I owe a lot of it to the people who live here. Nashvillians ROCK!  I also credit those who are willing to fight to keep things as they have been for years, and fighting the tear down of so many historic buildings and landmarks. The beautiful history of Nashville is what drew so many here to begin with. Yes, we are one of the fastest growing cities in America, but we still offer our down home, southern charm.

I will highlight our fabulous city (and great state) with my photographs. When I can, I will give any history, information, tidbits or interesting facts about the subject I am photographing. I hope you enjoy my posts. I look forward to my adventure and hope you will come along for the ride!

Until next time-
I hope you spend every day, living, learning, laughing and loving life…
while focused on Nashville!
My best to you,
Terri… Keeping my focus on Nashville,
They say all roads lead to Rome. Here in Nashville, all sidewalks lead to the Batman Building!

They say all roads lead to Rome. Here in Nashville, all sidewalks lead to the Batman Building!

Terri