Well, we finally made it to Memphis this year. We were going to go in July, but had a major set back happen to a family member, so we scratched that plan. I have to admit, I am kind of glad we did, since it was hot and muggy in October. I can’t imagine what July would have been like. It was a family trip, since my mom had always wanted to visit Graceland. We all piled into the Expedition, and took off.
The first stop, once we got there, was Beale Street. I am a huge fan of blues music, and love to see live music. We walked around for a bit, and listened to all the sounds that were coming from the open doorways of places along the street. We finally made it over to B.B. King’s Blues Club and listened to a great live band, one that had an electronic organ, some drums, a guitar, and a singer. We ate some good ol’ southern shrimp and grits, and had a grand time.
The next day, we all made the visit to Graceland. To me, it was a very modest representation of his wealth. You could definitely tell the rooms were stuck in time, but I think that added to the tour. The most amazing part to me were the halls decorated from floor to ceiling with his records that were all framed. Even the racquetball court was completely covered with framed records. What a testimony to how popular Elvis was. Another thing I didn’t know was that Elvis’ family members, as well as himself, were buried on the Graceland property. We took the Platinum tour, and got to tour the mansion, a few other exhibits, and the airplanes. Whew! It was hot an muggy that day, but we all survived.
That night we went to eat at Bosco’s Restaurant & Brewing Company. It was very good food, and the beer was excellent. I had their Scottish Ale that night. The brewery was also in a different part of Memphis, in the Midtown/Cooper Young district, so we had to drive, enabling us to see one of the universities, as well as some beautiful neighborhoods.
On Sunday, we went to the zoo first, since it opened the earliest. We all love zoos, and the Memphis Zoo is quite beautiful. I had never seen a panda in real life, and so that was one of the main reasons I wanted to go. Unfortunately, neither one was inclined to move around at all, but they still looked pretty cuddly. Thankfully also, Memphis had a cool down that day, so it was about 12 degrees cooler. Such a nice day for a walk through a zoo.
We spent all of the morning at the zoo, grabbed a quick bite to eat for lunch, and then went to the National Civil Rights Museum, at the Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot in 1968. The Lorraine Motel was designated an historic site by the Tennessee Historical Commission. I personally was very moved by the somber feeling and reverence of the site. It was such a sad experience, especially when I was wondering how much more Dr. King could have accomplished had he lived. I am so glad I got the opportunity to visit.
After the museum, we had some time to kill before going to eat, so we went down to one of the parks by the Mississippi River and walked around a bit. The breadth of that river is quite impressive, and it was moving fast that day. Fortunately, it was far from being flooded.
We had to get some BBQ while we were in Memphis, and so we chose Central BBQ. It was adjacent to the Museum, and oh my, was it tasty. We found somewhere online that said it was the #2 place to try for barbeque in Memphis. Number 1 was Rendevous, but it is closed on Sundays.
The next day we packed up and headed for home, stopping along the way at Lambert’s Cafe, Home of the Throwed Rolls. We had been there before, but had a three hour wait to get a table. This time, it was a Monday, so we only had to wait about 15 minutes to sit down. The rolls really are their claim to fame, and literally melt in your mouth. There is no way I could recreate them at home.
Well, that is pretty much it. We took lots of pictures, had lots of fun, walked many miles, and ate way too much really good food. Isn’t that part of traveling though, eating what you can’t get at home? We always make sure that we do that:)
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