Annual Boat Parade on Lake Wylie

One of many reason that I looked forward to coming back to Lake Wylie was the beautiful Annual Boat Parade.  This year my vantage point came from the water (in a boat of course) as opposed to joining hundreds of spectators on the shore. From the outdoor deck of T-Bones Restaurant and Bar and all along the adjoining boat dock and even further down the southern shoreline, generations of people line up to witness this awesome spectacle of Christmas done the lake way.  Being on a boat myself trying to take pics of moving lit objects at night was difficult at best and a lot of my shots came out blurry (and I was the only one not drinking).  Still, I managed to grab a few shots that give you the excitement and flavor of the evening.  It’s loud with music and people and you can smell as well as see bonfires along the shore.  One boat had a huge birthday party going on – a double-decker boat, completely decked out in Christmas lights with tons of people dancing on the top deck surrounded by heat lamps that glowed with fire.  It was cold, it was fun and it was every bit as beautiful as I remembered it to be from two years ago.

Boat Parade 3 2014

The “party boat” is in back of this passing boat – but check out those lights!!!  The water was drenched in color on top of a black night background – so nice.

Boat Parade 2 ducks 2014These two ducks were following a boat that had a swan on the front.  Or maybe it was a Christmas goose.  But they were so huge and so cute – it was a real original idea.

Boat Parade 7 2014

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A Trip to Nashville – Part I

Back to the Future

There’s no better way to see a new city than to see it with a local person who can fill in the background history to some of the more interesting sites around.  Take the Parthenon for instance.  This beautiful building (the grounds are still under construction) is a perfect re-creation of the famous Parthenon.  The detail is stunning to say the least.  You may ask, what has Nashville, Tennessee have to do with the Parthenon and ancient Greece.  Well, as it turns out (as my friend told me) Nashville was once known as “The Athens of the South” because of all of the universities and colleges it holds.  There’s no doubt that if you’re looking for a place to continue your education about everything old, new and particularly musical, Nashville would be the place to be.

Parthenon

The Parthenon – Nashville, TN

As a former resident of Astoria, Queens (in New York City), an extremely Greek-populated place, I have a love for all things Greek – especially the food; it’s my favorite of all the world’s cuisine.  Coupled with my other loves – architecture and ancient history, seeing this was a particularly magical moment.  Unfortunately, when I arrived in Nashville the night before it was a warm 60-plus degrees.  The day my friend and I ventured out to see the sites, the temp had dropped a good 30 degrees and the wind was out of control.  Needless to say, I got out of my car, took this pic and went straight back to my car.  And unfortunately, that is how I spent most of my tour of Nashville.  Next time, I’ll make it a point to stay longer and go when there’s no threat of sleet of snow.  (Driving through the Smokey Mountains was awesome.)

Fall Leaves Nashville TN Twin Rivers

The Grounds at Two Rivers Mansion

I just love trees and I love the colors of the fall season.  This picture could have been taken anywhere at any time in history, but as I looked out on this sprawling lawn of Two Rivers Mansion, I really felt like I had been transported back in time to when things were quieter and people really took the time to appreciate the small stuff.

Mansion

Two Rivers Mansion

Can’t you just imagine being in a horse-drawn buggy, riding slowly towards this beautiful place?  They call it Two Rivers because it is located between of the two rivers that run through Nashville – the Cumberland River and the Stones River.  It was, as I mentioned earlier, a cold, cloudy and blustery day, and I’m sure a better shot would have been taken had the sun been shining, but still … just look at it.

Lone Chimney - Cumberland River

Although not a particularly bright moment in history, sometime in the 1990s the river overflowed (Cumberland I believe) and wiped out an enormous amount of residential property.  If you look behind the lone chimney, you’ll see the river and notice that the other side was saved by the high wall that protects the land.  This side of the river, people were not so lucky.  But Mother Nature never scares off people from progress for very long.  All along this particular street, new houses are sprouting up.  I guess it’s like living anywhere – with the earthquakes in California or the tornadoes in Oklahoma – life must go on, and that’s a good thing.  No “what ifs” in this equation.

There is more of Nashville I wanted to see – and there’s more that I did see on this very short trip – I’ll have to pull the rest of the photos from my card and share them with you later.  Photos like the famous landmark “Tootsie’s,” a bar that has been around for a long time and has been frequented by many famous people.  I was there on the weekend of Tootsie’s birthday party and the whole end of Broadway was cut off to road traffic and a huge outdoor party was open to anyone who wanted to venture out in the cold.  Live bands and food – I saw it on the news.  Not an ideal way to experience Nashville, but I did what I could.  I’m definitely going back for more.  My grandmother’s nickname was Tootsie, s I loved seeing her name written across that huge purple building.

The weather also dampened our ability to see the famous Grand Ol’ Opry Hotel’s yearly lighting of the grounds – it’s huge and beautiful (at least by car), and as a girl who watched the lighting of the tree at Rockefeller Center many times in person, this is one light show that rivals it for sure.  It’s so huge that I wouldn’t be surprised if you could see it from space.