Saturday, March 8, 2014

Murfreesboro Livin'

When the husband told me he'd been offered a job too good to refuse in Murfreesboro, TN, my first reaction was "What/Where/Good Grief/Hell no!"  I couldn't even say it properly and the 'boro' part - surely they meant 'burgh' as in Edinburgh?  It didn't sound very glamorous or exciting at all. 

A couple of months later, we packed up the kiddos and the dog and headed to TN to start our new life.  After looking at around 50 houses (not nearly as fun as it looks on HGTV), we made offers on 3 which were quickly withdrawn after we discovered that Number 1 house was less than half a mile from the railroad (too noisy), Number 2 house showed up as a red dot on the US Family Watchdog website as having a pedophile living there (Eeek!) and Number 3 house backed on to an electrical easement which could have been built on by the electric company at any time.  No thanks.  We got our current house mostly out of desperation.  We had a matter of weeks before the husband's job started and we had to get something!  Luckily we found a great house in a lovely neighborhood with 2 community pools and close to the schools that we wanted.  So, in a nutshell, that's how we ended up here in the Boro as it's affectionately called by the locals.

Although it's not our forever home, we have really enjoyed living here for the last 2 years.  The locals are friendly, straight-forward and down to earth.  Most of them drink beer too which is very important in our book :)  We'd previously mocked country music and all things related but when you live this close (30 mins) to Nashville, you may as well embrace the lifestyle, right?  So yes, we are all into Luke Bryan, George Strait, Jason Aldean etc., and yes, we do all own a pair of cowboy boots! 
It's so much fun taking the kiddos up to Nashville to go line dancing & fried pickle eating at the Wildhorse Saloon or to listen to live music at Legends in the afternoon.  The kiddos love it! 
We've seen Carrie Underwood and Josh Turner at the Grand Ole Opry and Luke Bryan at the Bridgestone Arena.  Yeehaw!!  Nashville also has a fantastic Greenway running alongside the Cumberland River, perfect for long Sunday bike rides.  If you're lucky, the General Jackson riverboat will cruise by and really make you realize that you're in the South.  It's beautiful!

The countryside around Murfreesboro is lush.  We are surrounded by rolling fields, woods, lakes, tiny white churches and rustic barns straight out of a movie set.  Yes, of course there are trailers and a lot of run down places too but I think that just adds to the charm.  We saw this huge roadside sign once saying Go to Church or the Devil's gonna get you.  Southern charm at it's finest ;)  While Murfreesboro itself isn't the prettiest of towns and traffic in the middle of town is horrendous, it does have a lot going for it.  Here are a few of our favorite things: 

We spend a lot of time on the Greenway which runs alongside the Stones River for approximately 9 miles.  We bike, walk the dog and let the kids take their electric scooters on this trail.  There's a huge playpark and a smaller one accessible from the trail so it's perfect for a day out close to home.  We've seen snakes, deer and lots of other critters along the trail. 

One of the most bloody battles of the Civil War was fought on the Stones River Battlefield in 1862 when 3,024 men were killed.  The battlefield has a great visitor center and walking trails but it's a very sombre place when you think about how many were killed right here in town.

There's a brewery here in town called Mayday Brewery.  The beer is fabulous.  They have food trucks and live music when they're open and the owners are welcoming and hilarious.  We love hanging out here on the deck when the weather's good! 
Just outside of town is Arrington Vineyards. Owned by Kix Brooks of Brooks & Dunn fame, this is a lovely place to go and sit outside, enjoy the views, listen to live music (country of course) and sample the wine.  We're also about 40 mins drive from historic Franklin which kind of reminds me of back home with it's proper High Street & lots of wee shops and unique restaurants. 

There are an amazing amount of sports going on in town for the kiddos.  Ours currently do gymnastics at Elite Energy.  Their instructors are all young, enthusiastic and encouraging.  I spend a lot of time sitting on my butt here, so I'm glad it has a good atmosphere!   We also do soccer through The Murfreesboro Soccer Club.  It's a very well organized program with fantastic volunteer coaches.   My daughter does Yoga at the Yoga Nest - she already kicks my ass on some of the more difficult poses.  I love that she gets to do this at such a young age with such inspirational and encouraging instructors (I know this because they are also my Hot Yoga instructors)!  We also enjoy visiting The Ascent  It's an indoor climbing place with lots of routes and again, is really family friendly. 
There are also a lot of non sporty things for kiddos.  My boys have done Robotic Lego and Engineering for Kids classes this year at the Discovery Center.  There was none of this when I was growing up - I'm kinda jealous that they get to do all of these cool things!

Gold's Gym, my personal favorite!  The Hot Yoga Classes and the Group Exercise Classes are quite simply awesome!  The instructors are approachable and motivating and this gym is the friendliest I have ever been to.  I am here most days and I love it!  The daycare here is also fabulous with lovely staff and great equipment for the kids to play on. 

We love going mountain biking and hiking and there are numerous state parks close to the Boro with tons of trails, waterfalls and caves.

Most weekends we pick somewhere new and take a trip there with either the bikes or the boots.  I can run for miles on the Greenway or on roads from my house.  Road shoulders here are pretty wide so I feel pretty safe when I'm out there, although I do pack my Mace for just in case...!  There are also many places to go fishing, boating, canoeing and camping within an hour's drive. 
5 hours to the east are the Smoky Mountains and 90 mins to the south is Chattanooga.  We are truly never stuck for something to do or somewhere to go. 

So, please don't diss Tennessee, it really is a great place to visit and to live!  Who knows where we'll go next, but we'll definitely have lots of fond memories of Murfreesboro.  Even if I do still struggle to say it properly :)

PS.  As you can see, I've just discovered how to upload photos.  I hope to improve on this and some other blog features soon, but I'm mostly technically challenged so don't hold your breath! 


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