Walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, then you are probably already sick of how much fun I had with Julia in Memphis this weekend.We chose the city, mostly because we both had never been there and it was vaguely in the middle of us, and we wanted to…The truth is I don’t really remember our whole motivation for choosing Memphis, because my entire knowledge of the city before this weekend came from this song:
(incidentally, we definitely did land in the middle of the pouring in the rain, but we were not blue)
and this movie:
(Sorry about the janky video.)
Anyway, we had an amazing time, especially because we stayed in the best AirBnB ever, not only was it adorable:
but our hosts left us a book with a list of things to do (and more importantly eat) while we were in town.
Like I said it rained for most of our first day in town, but we found some fun inside, including the very strange phenomenon which is the Peabody ducks:
After that we followed our hosts’ recommendation to check out Ernestine & Hazel’s for a Soul Burger, and we happened to catch this really fun bar band:
The next day we went to Graceland! Which is very Disneyland-esque, and surreal, and yet somehow still personal and I left with a new appreciation for Elvis as a person.
Jules modeling her Elvis mug. (I got one too!)
I hope he was half as good/interesting/humble/charasmatic as the iPad tour (inexplicably narrated by John Stamos) made him out to be. While I was there I took a million photos, here are my favorite 5:
The living room complete with stained glass
The truly surrealy 70s TV room
The ceiling in the pool room, which he had upholstered in this fabric I’m kind of in love with
The Jungle Room!
His hall of gold records
Walking through the trophy room reminded me that Elvis recorded at Sun Studio, which meant of course that Sun Studio was in Memphis, so we went there next!
(Photo Credit: Julia Davidson)
And in contrast to Graceland, it felt nothing at all like a theme park. Yes there were pictures of all of the amazing stars that had recorded there, and they sold memorabilia, but they also still sold soda and decorated mostly with albums recorded there. It seriously felt like at any moment Johnny Cash or Carl Perkins could just walk out of one of the rooms.
I have never felt cooler than at this moment.
From there we went to the National Civil Rights Museum, which is really well done, moving and thought provoking. It’s housed in what used to be the Lorraine Motel, where Dr. King was assassinated, and it does a good job of honoring that without focusing too much on him above the contributions of the larger movement.
Jules made a good point that it might be best to reverse the order we did our day, because it can be a somber way to end the day. (But the lines/wait times at Graceland are kind of insane, so definitely make reservations ahead of time.)
After that we drove around a bit, inadvertently crashed a wedding and made our way back downtown to get some barbecue at Central BBQ, where they had this sign that made me very happy as a fan of this song and puns:
(Then we were tired so we went home and watched Bring It On, which was an excellent decision.)
The next day we had another delightful meal, and then walked around a bit downtown. Julia’s flight left hours before mine, so I wandered a bit on my own, and attempted to get some homework done. (Because I decided the week before final projects started being due was the best time for a vacation) and stumbled upon this great cafe:
It’s called Cafe Keough, and it had an Irish Tricolor hanging on the wall and I had a meal made almost entirely of cheese:
Overall we had a fabulous time, but feel like we really only scratched the surface of what Memphis was really about. I for one can’t wait to go back. (And not just to stay in that carriage house again.)