Summer 2012 – Busier Times! (Part 1)

So far, the Summer of 2012 has been one of extremes!  Extremely high temperatures, extremely dry conditions,  extremely busy, and best of all…extremely fun.

First off, it is great to see our new home market maintaining momentum into the summer.  In June, we posted 41 new sales and are already at 32 as of July 15th!  I feel truly blessed to be a part of the great team at Ole South – Tennessee’s #1 Home Builder, and thankful for the support of our area Realtors and homeowners for believing in us.

The busier we all get, the better we have to be at managing our priorities and time.  After all, there are only so many hours in a day.

Everyone that knows Beth and I know that boating plays a key part in our personal, as well as business life.  Weekends off simply don’t happen often and the boat is there for a quick evening reprieve from the daily grind.  It is not unusual to see us on the boat most evenings during the week!

Summer 2012 brought on some decisions that had to be made.  Beth started a new position in Thompsons Station and I moved my office to Spring Hill, which made it increasingly difficult to spend as much time on the boat as we would like.  

On Memorial Day weekend of 2009, we pulled into Old Hickory Boat Dock with many of our boating friends from Rock Harbor Marina to spend the weekend. 

The marina had just been acquired by Angela and Bart Bagsby and renamed Blackjack Cove.  During their first week of operation, the marina was devastated by a large storm and work was going on everywhere!  At the end of the long weekend, we were so impressed with the people, progress and plans for the new marina that we decided to stay.  With Beth working in Mt. Juliet at the time, we had even more time for the boat!  We hated to leave our friends at Rock Harbor, but would still have many opportunities to stay in touch.

Over the past 3 years, we watched the transformation of this boat dock into a first-class marina.  New friendships and acquaintances were formed.  The facilities and atmosphere is beyond description.

And it was a great place for the wedding of Jessica and Brian Clark, who got married on Jessica’s family houseboat..and I had the honors to be Captain during the ceremony!

And after the ceremony, we returned to land for an unprecedented wedding reception at Blackjack Cove Marina, catered by The Black Pearl.

If you ever want to feed a lot of people in a fun way, call Blackjack Cove about a “Cajun Boil” dinner!

Back to making decisions. 

When we purchased our current boat in 2004, we brought it to Nashville from Louisville and stopped in at Rock Harbor Marina to spend the night, and would then take the boat to Elm Hill Marina on Percy Priest Lake, where I had been boating for 27 years.   Our overnight stay at Rock Harbor lasted 5 years!

One of the hardest things I have ever done is watch my mother grow older.  She is now 91 and living independently at Park Manor, an incredible facility for seniors.   Our new working logistics were making it harder to spend time with her, time that I will regret not spending.

With Rock Harbor being only 5 minutes from Mom, and 15 minutes from our home, the right decision was clear.

After all, Mom enjoys visiting the boat too!

In Part 2, we were joined by great friends from Honduras for the ride down the Cumberland from Blackjack Cove Marina to Rock Harbor, where festivities for the 4th of July were already underway.  Stay tuned and thanks for reading!

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Its called Memorial Day for a Reason.

Monday is Memorial Day, a day for many that includes a celebration of hot dogs, hamburgers, barbecue, chicken, and basically anything that can be cooked on a grill.   It is also the holiday weekend that signals that summer has arrived!

But it is a lot more than that also.  Memorial Day, a day of remembrance for those that have died serving our country, was originally called “Decoration Day.”  It was first observed on May 30, 1868 when the graves of fallen Union and Confederate soldiers were decorated with flowers at Arlington National Cemetery.

It was not until after World War I that the day became “Memorial Day” to honor the fallen soldiers of any war.  In 1971, Congress passed the bill proclaiming the last Monday in May as the official recognized “Memorial Day.”

Here is a link to the history of this all-important day:

http://www.usmemorialday.org/backgrnd.html

There are a number of ideas that come to mind on what to do this weekend.  With record high temperatures forecasted, the lake is probably the best place to be!

Two-Foot Cove is a popular cooling off spot on Old Hickory Lake.  There is a volleyball net to keep things jumping!  Don’t worry, the channel is clearly marked and just the volleyball area is the “two-foot” deep part.

While you’re at Old Hickory Lake, why not visit Blackjack Cove Marina, and The Black Pearl Restaurant.  They are already on their second batch of Captain’s Punch and the weekend hasn’t even started yet! The Black Pearl is open all weekend and you will not want to miss it’s awesome Sunday Brunch, a great atmosphere accompanied by steel drums.

Here are more scenes from Old Hickory Lake for your enjoyment.

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Everytime I see Ingram boats on the river, I am amazed.  In the above picture, the HB Stewart is pushing 6 barges filled with coal.  Hard to believe that it would take 318 tractor-trailers to haul the same amount.

Another fun and inexpensive outing would be a boat ride from the legendary Cherokee Steak House, near Gallatin.  Visit www.cumberlandrivercruises.com for more information.

So get out there, fire up the grills and ice cream churns, slice some watermelon, and enjoy this weekend.  But please, take a few minutes for remembrance and tribute of those who died protecting these very things we enjoy.  And if you get a chance, thank a living soldier or veteran too!

Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new homes in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Clarksville, Gallatin, and Spring Hill, Tennessee

Nashville New Homes: How did you ring in 2012?

We can now say good-bye to 2011 and hello to 2012.  It’s going to be a great year!  Period!

I made some grand plans for New Year’s Eve 2011, which is also our Blue Doberman Ruby’s first birthday.  Docking reservations for our boat were made at Nashville’s Riverfront Park.  Lynrd Skynrd would be there, right where the music note would drop.    Fifty-thousand people were going to be there too.  People would line the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge to see what we would be right in the middle of below.  Ruby was going to be excited that all of this was just for her. 

Beth wasn’t quite as excited about the new plans.  After all, Ruby is scared of fireworks.  And what about all those people on the bridge looking down on us?  In a crowd that large, someone would probably pee off that bridge.  Besides that, in past years, we had not stayed up until midnight anyway.  Hard to argue with common sense.

So, on December 26th, we took our boat back to Blackjack Cove Marina on Old Hickory Lake after an enjoyable stay with our friends at Rock Harbor Marina on the Cumberland River.  We would celebrate Ruby’s Birthday and the New Year at Blackjack Cove Marina and the Black Pearl Restaurant.   Ruby liked the idea because she had missed her friend Storm while we had been gone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If increased activity along the Cumberland River is a sign of better times, the good times are on the way back to Middle Tennessee!

 

‘The Plan” for New Year’s Eve at the marina came together perfectly, and we actually managed to stay up past midnight too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you ever heard of Polar Bear Tubing?  That was the plan for noon the next day… so we set out to find them.

And we did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And yes, they really were “Polar Bear Tubing.”

And we ended New Year’s Day 2012 with a feast among friends.  Cabbage, Black-eyed Peas, Cornbread, Pork Roast, Deer Meet, Beer Can Chicken, etc etc.

Yes, it looks like 2012 is going to be just fine!  Join us!

Nashville New Homes: And what a Fourth of July it was!

Well, the Fourth of July is now behind us, but there is still a LOT of summer left for all to enjoy.  And there’s no better place to enjoy summer than in the Greater Nashville area of Middle Tennessee!

At just six months old now, this 4th of July was Ruby’s first.  You can tell she is excited about going to the lake:

She wasn’t quite as thrilled about getting in the lake though:

Our weekend officially started with the fireworks show at Cedar Creek Yacht Club.  I found this upload on you-tube that is much better than any pictures I could have taken, which you will soon agree:

Sunday was a busy day on Old Hickory Lake.  I think this is the most boats I have ever seen in “Two-Foot Cove,” which is Old Hickory Lake’s “Party Cove.”

Sunday night, a huge crowd of boats gathered at anchor in Drakes Creek of Old Hickory Lake to view Hendersonville’s fireworks display at Drakes Creek Park:

Fortunately, I found a video on you-tube capturing the finale of this event.  My pictures just didn’t turn out well.  After all, I am a Realtor, not a photographer!

Monday was a day to hang out at the marina and enjoy a great meal at The Black Pearl restaurant.  The steel drums playing maje it the closest thing in Nashville to the Caribbean.  If you haven’t experienced their Sunday Brunch, you owe it to yourself.  www.blackjackcove.com

And then, Monday night topped off the entire weekend at Riverfront Park in downtown Nashville.  I simply did not have the energy to make the trip downtown, but here are some videos I found on You-tube once again!

Here is the finale of “Let Freedom Sing” with this year’s special guest, Darius Rucker:

And when you have time, here is another video showing more of the extravanganza at Riverfront Park in Nashville.

Nashville was not the only city on the Cumberland River celebrating Independence Day.  Clarksville was also a great place to be, especially since many troops are returning from their service for OUR freedom:

And half way in-between Nashville and Clarksville, Ashland City lit up the sky over their Riverfront as well:

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Special thanks to all that took the time to film these great displays of fireworks and for allowing me to borrow them from You-Tube!   It was a great weekend, but is now time to return to helping future homeowners find the perfect new home for their needs.  At Ole South, this IS still the “Yes Days of Summer.”  Come see why!

Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new homes in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Clarksville, and Spring Hill, Tennessee

Nashville New Homes: Light up the grill. It’s Memorial Day weekend!

Monday is Memorial Day, a day for many that includes a celebration of hot dogs, hamburgers, barbecue, chicken, and bsaically anything that can be cooked on a grill.   It is also the holiday weekend that signals that summer has arrived!

But it is a lot more than that also.  Memorial Day, a day of remembrance for those that have died serving our country, was originally called “Decoration Day.”  It was first observed on May 30, 1868 when the graves of fallen Union and Confederate soldiers were decorated with flowers at Arlington National Cemetery.  It was not until after World War I that the day became “Memorial Day” to honor the fallen soldiers of any war.  In 1971, Congress passed the bill proclaiming the last Monday in May as the official recognized “Memorial Day.”

Here is a link to the history of this all-important day:

http://www.usmemorialday.org/backgrnd.html

There are a number of ideas that come to mind on what to do this weekend.  Here are just a few:

http://nashville.about.com/od/nashvilleseasonalevents/a/memorialdaycele.htm

And there’s more!  Why not visit Blackjack Cove Marina, where you can enjoy a BBQ plate from 11:00-2:00ish Saturday & Sunday overlooking Old Hickory Lake.  www.blackjackcove.com  If you cannot make it during that time, the Black Pearl is open all weekend and you will not want to miss it’s awesome Sunday Brunch, a great atmosphere accompanied by steel drums.

Although our model homes at Ole South will be closed in observation of Memorial Day, we are open on both Saturday and Sunday, and anytime by appointment.  Drop by for a cold drink and cookie and find out for yourself that….

So get out there, fire up the grills and ice cream churns, slice some watermelon, and enjoy this weekend.  But please, take a few minutes for remembrance and tribute of those who died protecting these very things we enjoy.  And if you get a chance, thank a living soldier or veteran too!

Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new homes in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Clarksville, and Spring Hill, Tennessee

Nashville New Homes: Another Day on the Cumberland River – Part I

Friday afternoon, 8 of us departed Blackjack Cove Marina on Old Hickory Lake for a 46 mile journey down the Cumberland River to Commodore Yacht Club, where an annual brunch was taking place on Saturday.  Since this Sunday was to be the “end of the world,” we weren’t going to take any chances on missing a last river trip.

Gates of Old Hickory Lock

The weather was gorgeous as we approached Old Hickory Lock.  The lock works much like the tank on your toliet.   Flush to go down, fill it to go back up. There are floating “mooring bits” to tie onto in side the lock.

Tied up in the lockExiting the lock

 Within minutes, we were flushed down to the river below.  We exited Old Hickory Lock at 4:10 pm.

There are many interesting sites, and a lot of history along this river.  There are also many pieces of residential real estate along the river that most people don’t even know exist.  It was great to see that many homes damaged in the May 2010 flood have been rebuilt.  But there are also those that have not. 

There will be visual reminders of this catastrophe for years to come but now is a great time to buy riverfront property for a completely different and relaxing lifestyle.   And even though there is the chance of flooding, the investment potential is great.  They simply aren’t making any more riverfront property!

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All of the above scenes were taken on the 25 mile stretch of river between Old Hickory Lock and Nashville’s Riverfront Park, where we arrived at 5:50 pm to spend the night.

There was considerably more barge traffic on the river than usual.  Lots of sand, and even more coal!  It is amazing that each barge can hold the equivalent of 53 tractor-trailer loads of material.  

One of Ingram’s boats that I am partial to is the “Martha Denton,” which was named after a dear friend of our family that I have known since birth.  Yep, a long damn time. 

Ingram Barge Company's Martha Denton

Before she passed away last year, Martha joined us for a day on the boat and we learned the history of each individual the Ingram boats are named after.  It is ironic that some of the boats actually seem to take on the “personality” of their namesake!   Seeing the Martha Denton brings a smile every time we pass.  A very fitting tribute to a great lady.

Downtown Nashville is simply beautiful.  The river flows through its center much like blood flows through the heart of the body.  I hope one day Nashville can have a Riverfront to be proud of, much like Knoxville and Chattanooga.  Clarksville has greatly improved their riverfront and docking facilities too.  Why can’t we?

Docked at Riverfront Park

 The administration of Mayor Karl Dean is directing much-needed emphasis to the East Bank and it is great to see the progress.  I think his administration just might “get it” when it comes to a viable Riverfront.

Richard Fulton was the first mayor to acknowledge that we even have a Riverfront, and the docking facility we currently have was built on his watch. 

Nothing much has happened since then, except for the addition of courtesy docking for LP Field and Mayor Bill Purcell removing docking privilidges during holidays and special occasions under the disguise of Homeland Security concerns.  

Perhaps the real reason was that he didn’t have a boat and wanted to get even with everyone that did.  Regardless, it was a stupid policy that remains in effect to this day.

In reality, it is time for all of the docking facilities to be located on the East Bank.  Spend the night on a boat at Riverfront Park, or try and navigate a string of barges under the Shelby Pedestrian Bridge and you too will agree. 

Friday evening, it was our intention to hit the nightspots of downtown in a big way.  We never made it.  Too much good food and good friends to leave! 

In the next blog post, we’ll look at other scenes between downtown and Commodore Yacht Club, a 19 mile stretch of river.

Nashville New Homes: Take time to smell the mulch.

I can now cross another item from my “bucket list.”   I have lived to be 50 years old.  And..other than being fat, I feel pretty darn good!   I am thankful for having many good friends that helped make turning 50 more fun than it would have been otherwise!

It also helps to see that I am not the only one getting older.  Remember Ruby?

Birthday week 2011 will be one to remember.  From a surprise gathering at The Black Pearl at Blackjack Cove Marina on Old Hickory Lake, to dinner at Nero’s in Green Hills … the surprises keep coming.   It was a pleasant surprise to learn that “Nero” is actually still alive and well.  You see, man can live by corn cakes alone!  Like me, this restaurant has been in Nashville for 50 years plus also!  http://www.nerosgrill.com/

After spending a whole day cleaning the boat, another great surprise was coming home Monday evening to see this:

Thanks to Dana Moore and his crew, mulching is one less thing I have to do!   Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy working in the yard … but there are other things I enjoy doing more…

…Like selling new homes!   Fortunately, we have been quite busy lately and are starting more new homes each week to keep pace with sales!    Now is a great opportunity to purchase a new home in Nashville.  Our local economy is steadily rebounding, but interest rates remain historically low.  Whether you are a first-time home buyer, upsizing or downsizing, or investing… the “window of opportunity” is wide open.  

        

Don’t know where to start?   Why not give me a call at 615.593.6340?   Not sure where you want to live?  Check out our many Middle Tennessee New Home locations at www.OleSouth.com.  Come find out the many reasons why New Homes Are Better.  I know first hand, because I live in an old one.  The one with a freshly mulched yard that needs a new roof.

Regardless of your religious preference or faith, this time of year is all about coming back to life.  Brown grass is turning green, leaves are appearing on once-bare trees, and flowers are sprouting.   It looks like “its safe to come out now!”   It is, and I am looking forward to it!   Let’s all slow down, even if just for a moment, and enjoy watching nature come back to life.

I am going to take a few extra minutes and smell the mulch…before it washes away!

Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new homes in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Clarksville, and Spring Hill, Tennessee.