On the road once again. While fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants traveling definitely is fun, we’ve discovered that there are also some benefits to planning your trip even just a little bit ahead of time.**
**This is not a complaint.
After our delicious fried chicken, we hopped in the car and the iPod turned on “Chicken Fried.” It was super appropriate, but in case I ever go missing, check for my iPod; there are just a few too many coincidences like that happening.
So we rolled into Memphis in the late afternoon. I finally understood those movies that take place in the south. I understand sitting on the porch not wanting to move. I understand the women desperately tying their hair off of their neck. I understand sitting in front of fans. I understand just wanting to be cool.
Memphis. “Home of the Blues. Birthplace of Rock and Roll.”
There was a Baptist convention in town so we had a little trouble finding a place to stay, but we did.
We went and walked along the Mississippi River. We tried to go to Mud Island River Park, but they were closed on Mondays. Instead, we walked along the river, watching the River Boats and the tug boats working on the river.
It was pretty amazing. It’s definitely vast. And it’s definitely muddy.
We moved on to get some dinner on Beale Street. The plan was to go to B.B. Kings, but there was a cover to get in and there were many restaurants on the street with signs in the window proclaiming “Award Winning barbeque/gumbo/ribs.” We settled on The King Palace. I ordered the blackened catfish because it was Memphis and the Mississippi. I don’t normally enjoy catfish, but it was amazing. I cleaned my plate for the second time that day.
The rest of the night was just sipping cold beer and listening to live blues music. I haven’t heard live music like that in a very, very long time and, to be honest, I don’t know how I am going to live without awesome music after this week. The guitar, the harmonica and the saxophone were just out of this world. I can’t find any words to even start to tell you about how amazing this music was. It was a Monday night and the streets were lined with live music.
Can you imagine having really amazing live music like that in your backyard? I’d never get anything done at home. I’d always be sipping beer at the bar and listening to the blues.
DUCKS!! We got to see the Peabody Ducks march the next morning. It turns out the ducks in the lobby started as a prank, but the patrons of “The South’s Grand Hotel” fell in love with them and they’ve been there for 80 years. About 40 years later, a bell hop who used to be a circus animal trainer told the hotel manager that he could train the ducks to march. Not believing the bell hop, the manager agreed and lo and behold, there were marching ducks!!
Like every day, the ducks marched down from their house on the roof of the hotel into the pond in the lobby with the direction of the hotel’s 5th Duck Master (the first retired in 1991).
The hotel was very awesome and a lot of history took place there. Even if the marching ducks don’t excite you, you should see the hotel for all that happened there. Elvis Presley’s original contract was signed there on their letterhead.
At the recommendation of a friend, we ate at Interstate Barbeque. Yum. That was amazing. Memphis barbeque is my favorite. I want to go back.
Our final stop in Memphis was the National Civil Rights Museum also known as The Lorraine Motel and the place where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. It turns out that the museum is closed on Tuesdays. (Poor planning strikes again!) We did get to see the balcony where he stood. It was amazing to see something in person that we learned so much about in grade school. Seeing things like that always really makes them hit home a little more.
I really need to go back there. There is so much history in Memphis and I could spend a long time just soaking it in. History all day and blues all night. I could hardly imagine a better vacation.