Sunday, August 21, 2011

Nashville Dragon Boat Races

Saturday morning we headed down to the Nashville Dragon Boat Races/Festival on the river. I wouldn't call it a **huge** festival, and definitely disagree with the DJ who kept calling it "Nashville's biggest block party of the summer" (hello....4th of July on the river...). But, it's free and close to home and we needed something for Lil to do to get her mind of the fact that this wasn't the particular Saturday we would get to fly on an airplane. (After the first boat race we watched she did say, "ok, go fly on airplane now." It was a bit underwhelming.)
We don't get anywhere early on Saturday mornings, we slept in until 8 and then piddled around with breakfast so it was a bit after 10 when we got down there. We ran into one of Brent's photog friends and they both snapped a few of her looking through the pedestrian bridge onto the boats below. She did specifically want to wear her shark sandals because she was excited about seeing fish and sharks in the river (oops). At one point a foot was dangling over the river and I had to remind her what a tragedy it would be if she lost one of her favorite shoes (when a slightly older boy heard me say that I saw him look down at her feet with a look like those are special shoes???) Yes, $4 Target shark sandals are quite special to her.
It was HOT. And if we had looked at the schedule before we went we would have noticed we were arriving right at the mid-day break between heats. No matter, we walked around and looked at the booths, kid zone, visited the port-o-pots, and ate a snow cone from our fave downtown snow cone vendor. By then the next round was getting started.
Four teams went at a time, some more festive (like the chicken man) than others. Lots of corporate teams (including where Brent works) as well as local outdoor groups and rowing clubs.
The race was pretty short, but they kept the teams lining up fairly quickly.
We watched a few races and poor Lilli kept getting sunscreen in her eyes and we were all boiling hot so we walked back over the bridge towards our car and watched a few more from up above on the pedestrian bridge.
We paused a little bit for a photo opp in the shade in-between races.
There was one group where a boat of rowers was so awful they crashed into the boat that was in the lead. Obviously these teams really aren't practiced in rowing!
Neat view from above as they lined up below us in the holding area:
We were there maybe 3 hours and our total expense was just $5 for a snowcone, so it was definitely worth that. Not a huge destination outing, but we had fun and Lilli really enjoyed watching the boats (although there was disappointment in a lack of sharks and also in getting to ride a boat, but the snowcone helped). And she took a good afternoon nap, and that is priceless!

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