Last weekend, Jeff and I took advantage of a rare free weekend (just between the end of basketball and the beginning of volleyball/soccer) to go to Memphis. We'd never been before, but I figured it was close enough that the drive wouldn't be miserable and far enough that we'd feel like it was a real trip. Turns out I was about 1/2 right!
Daniel and Nathan spent the weekend at their dad's house, and Bonnie and Chris watched Jacob for us. Jacob was THRILLED to get to spend the weekend with them and their dogs! We were just thrilled to have a weekend away together. You know how it is when you have kids...not much chance to be a couple if you aren't careful.
I spent the week before our trip watching as the weather forecast dropped lower and lower for Memphis, ending with a prediction of snow. Um, yea. Or not. So I spent my drive home from work Friday on the phone with Southwest, looking for a cheap flight anywhere warm (that's literally what I asked the lady..."Could you find me a flight from St. Louis to somewhere warm?" She was very nice about it.) Lots of cheap flights, but they all require 2-week advance purchase. No spontenaity there! So, we stuck with the Memphis plan.
I had parent-teacher conferences until late Thursday and then half a day Friday, so we were hoping to have an early start. Jeff's boss, unfortunately, didn't cooperate and we ended up leaving close to 5. We got to Memphis and checked into the hotel after 10. We had planned to head down to Beale St. Friday night...but we're...um...old and lame, so we just hung out and relaxed in the hotel room.
Saturday morning we got to sleep in (one of my favorite things!!) and then went to Graceland.
It was smaller than I imagined it would be. And, oh, so 70's. I thought the house, overall, was pretty tacky, but the tour made me like Elvis even more.
Below is the living room...
TV room...love the paint job!
Both sides of this hall were lined with gold and platinum records (and cassette tapes!), Grammies, etc. It was a loooonnng hall.
WHY don't guys dress like this anymore? lol
This is another room full of awards. It was probably 2 stories high at least, and three walls were covered with awards.
The man loved his toys. Here's a snowmobile modified to run on grass. That is, drive on the grass.
We even got to tour his planes (did I mention it was COLD???)
Yeah, that's real gold on the airplane sink.
Bed on the plane. The smaller photo shows the "FAA regulation" seatbelt (with real gold buckle).
As we left Graceland, it started to snow. We got lunch in downtown Memphis, walking through the snow to get there and then walked several blocks to the Memphis Rock & Soul Museum.
Here we are at the Rock & Soul Museum. Which was closed due to the inclement weather. But the outside was pretty cool. :D
We considered walking to the National Civil Rights Museum, but as we started walking the neighborhood looked pretty sketchy, so we decided we'd just drive there. When we got back to the car and looked it up, we saw that it closed in about 40 minutes and so decided to just go on Sunday. We headed back to the hotel to relax and warm up before going to Beale Street for dinner.
Beale Street was lots of fun. There was a zydeco festival going on, and the music was great. We were still full from lunch, so we skipped dinner, but we enjoyed going to a couple of clubs and listening to the different bands.
First stop: Blues City Cafe to hear Roy Carrier and the Night Rockers. Great!!
Second stop: Rum Boogie Cafe to see Dikki Du and the Zydeco Crewe. Fantastic! We stayed for two sets.
Oh, my gosh...it was so much fun! Another cool thing about Memphis is the streetcars.
Streetcars run to and around downtown Memphis. Since our hotel was right on the streetcar line, of course we had to take the streetcar to Beale Street. The ride there was pretty uneventful, though we had a pretty chilly wait at the trolley stop.
On the way back, we caught a trolley immediately. Great! We had to switch lines once to our hotel and then we were home free. So we got to the next stop and waited. And waited. And...
Of course, it was still snowing...
So we tried to stay occupied...
But eventually we just gave in and shivered...
We ended up waiting for about 40 minutes in the cold. Yeah, it would have been easier to just take a cab, but we didn't know it would be 40 minutes at the time. What happened was that one trolley had broken down, so another trolley was pushing it to get it out of the way. The working trolley was on its way and would pick us up after getting the other one out of the way. Finally we saw the trolleys coming!! Yea!!
But we celebrated too soon. Somehow the front trolley got a little ahead of the back one. The back one then slammed into it right in front of us. All of the sudden a big fire flames up right in the driver's area. So...now we have two non-working trolleys right in front of us...and still no ride. Thankfully one MORE trolley came, stopped a careful distance from the disabled ones, and took us back to the hotel. What an ordeal...I mean, adventure!
On Sunday, we toured both the Rock & Soul Museum and the Civil Rights Museum, neither of which let you take pictures inside (I know you're heartbroken...those of you who are still with me...haha). The Civil Rights Museum is housed in the Lorriane Hotel, where Martin Luther King, Jr., was shot. It was both disturbing and very inspiring.
Once we were finished at the Civil Rights Museum, we headed home. We left about 3:30, expecting to be home by 8. Wellllll......it turns out the Arkansas isn't well equipped to deal with the snow and ice they got, and the interstate wasn't even plowed! It was treacherous going for sure. We saw SO MANY cars off the road, and it took us 3 1/2 hours to drive 80 miles. The moment we hit the Missouri state line, the roads were perfectly clear. But we didn't make it home til 11:30. It was definitely a LONG end to a great trip!.
Of course, we took WAY more pictures than just these ones. If you want to see more, you can check out this link: Memphis pictures