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Memphis Travel Blog

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arriving in Tennessee

To take a couple-day respite, I went to Memphis, Tennessee with a couple travel buddies.  We hadn’t traveled together for a couple years now, and being the summer, we wanted to take a getaway.  Memphis is just a four-hour drive from our home in Southern Illinois, so we were able to pack in quite a bit in during our two-day trip.

Leaving bright and early Wednesday morning, we arrived in Memphis about 11:30, just in time for lunch.  After getting checked into the hotel, we set out afoot to find the Little Tea Shop, located downtown.  In doing some online research for our trip, I came across this place.

How much more Southern can you get?? Okra and tomatoes, collard greens!
  Nothing could have prepared me for the enchantment that awaited us there.  I must tell you, this was the most divine dining experience I've had in all the world.  We arrived at the end of the lunch rush, but the place was still packed.  Our waitress was an absolute delight; she made us feel like we were eating at her family table.  The menu consisted of traditional Southern cookin' and so much to choose from -- it was hard to make a decision!  I opted for okra and tomatoes, collard greens and a side salad, remembering my Southern grandmother.  We were also served complementary corn fritters which were to die for; we finished up with peach cobbler a la mode - delicious!  I didn’t want to leave, we were having such a good time.
Graceland Mansion
 

Our afternoon proceeded with my mandatory visit to Graceland.  My co-travelers really did not want to visit Elvis' home, but I insisted - I could not go to Memphis and not pay homage to the king of rock and roll (mind you, I'm not much of an Elvis fan, but I do enjoy his music).  Judy and I toured the estate - Jordan refused (he didn’t think an admission fee was necessary, and certainly not one of nearly $30, boo hoo), and sat in the gift shop.  I am so glad we toured Graceland.  Although I was not as impressed as what I thought I'd be with the mansion itself, I left with a greater appreciation for Elvis, an American icon.  The tour does an excellent job of explaining the estate and Elvis' life and career.  The entire place has been frozen in time; it's like being transported to the 1970s.

struttin' along the red carpet
  My favorite room was the jungle room, complete with indoor waterfall.  Of course, we paid our respects at Elvis' gravestone; a somber visit.  It was also cool to watch Judy, who prior to this visit, detested Elvis, but became entranced by his music.

Next on our agenda was the Peabody Hotel, to witness the duck parade.  We arrived early, to claim a spot right beside the red carpet for the 5:30 procession.  I stayed near the red carpet, holding a spot for Judy, Jordan and I, while the two of them shopped in the gift shop.  Slowly, hundreds of people lined the red carpet, fountain, and balcony to watch the ducks strut the red carpet from the fountain to the elevator, led by the Duckmaster. (It was cute, though, one little boy asked the Duckmaster if he rode the elevator with the ducks.

Sweet tea
  He responded, Of course! The ducks can't push the button!)  This was overall quite a spectacle that I thought was hilarious.  Most of the crowd wasn’t children, but grown adults watching these silly ducks parade down the red carpet.

We returned to the hotel for a quick rest and to change clothes and then head out for the evening.  No trip to Memphis would be complete without authentic BBQ.  Hundreds of barbecue joints to choose from, we went to legendary Charlie Vergos' Rendezvous.  Now, I'm not that crazy about BBQ (nor pork, for that matter), but the pulled pork shoulder was quite good.  The sauce made it even tastier.  Funny thing - Judy asked for unsweet tea, which was met with a strange look by our seasoned waiter - I explained that we were in the South and she would be drinking sweet tea, which we all did.

We spent the evening on Beale Street.  It was raining, so it was relatively quiet down the famed avenue.  We hit the Hard Rock Cafe (I'm a collector of their pins - this makes #13) and souvenir shopped.  Jordan and I ducked into Rum Boogie, but we were too early for the live entertainment, so he had a couple drinks.  We found Judy then, who had spent the time shopping, and went back to our hotel for the night.

Bluetraveler says:
Looks amazing :)) Hope I can visit here soon :))
Posted on: Nov 10, 2009
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arriving in Tennessee
arriving in Tennessee
How much more Southern can you get…
How much more Southern can you ge…
Graceland Mansion
Graceland Mansion
struttin along the red carpet
struttin' along the red carpet
Sweet tea
Sweet tea
our room
our room
eating one of the fantastic corn f…
eating one of the fantastic corn …
peach cobbler a la mode
peach cobbler a la mode
The Little Tea Shop
The Little Tea Shop
the Jungle Room, complete with ind…
the Jungle Room, complete with in…
Elvis and Priscillas wedding att…
Elvis' and Priscilla's wedding at…
Jailhouse Rock!
Jailhouse Rock!
may the King rest in peace...
may the King rest in peace...
Judy and I managed to unknowingly …
Judy and I managed to unknowingly…
The fountain at the Peabody
The fountain at the Peabody
The Peabody Ducks
The Peabody Ducks
And we also managed to wear coordi…
And we also managed to wear coord…
Charlie Vergos Rendezvous BBQ
Charlie Vergos' Rendezvous BBQ
our charming waiter
our charming waiter
pulled pork sandwich, with baked b…
pulled pork sandwich, with baked …
enjoyin the ribs
enjoyin' the ribs
Beale Street
Beale Street
Rum Boogie Cafe
Rum Boogie Cafe
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Memphis
photo by: vulindlela