Land of the Delta Blues...
Memphis Travel Blog› entry 1 of 2 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.
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.