Memphis, TN – July 2012

I posted previously about mine and Lori’s Flights to Memphis, New Orleans & Nashville for our 10th Anniversary Trip.  We finally got around to organizing all of the pictures and now to posting about what we did in each city.

We arrived in Memphis early on Friday, July 20th after an uneventful flight.  After filling the plane with fuel and securing it on the ramp we took a cab to The Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis.  I had gone online the night before and got a good deal on Priceline for $125 a night which is excellent for a Fri & Sat night.  The Peabody Hotel is well-known for it’s ducks that march daily from the roof, down the elevator and to the fountain in the middle of the lobby each day and then back up to their penthouse on the roof in the afternoons.  We checked in just before 11 and were able to watch them march from the elevator to the fountain.  It was quite a production and there were a ton of people lining up to witness the event.  Afterwards it was lunchtime and we decided to go to The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium which was very close to the hotel for a bite to eat and a couple of cool drinks.

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After being refreshed it was time to hit the town.  We made the short walk to Beale Street and even though it was early in the day there were already some bands playing.  We walked the length where all the clubs are and stopped to listen to a blues band playing in an outdoor stage area and bought some souvenirs from street vendors.  We also stopped at the Hard Rock Cafe where Lori bought a bear to add to her collection.  We eventually made it to the Rock & Soul Museum which is right next to the FedEx Forum.  We took the self-guided audio tour through the museum and got out of the heat for a couple of hours.  It was well worth the time spent and a good overview of the history of music in Memphis.

With a quick trip to the hotel to freshen up we then took a trolley tour the whole way around the river loop which gave us a great view of Memphis.  We got off at Beale Street and went to dinner at the Blues City Cafe.  Lori and I shared a combination dinner of catfish & barbeque which was excellent.  We then spent the evening on Beale Street checking out many of the clubs and shops along the street.  There were plenty of people and there was a lot going on.  My favorite was a place called Wet Willies that had frozen drink machines with many different flavors.  A couple of these and it was time to call it a night!

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We woke up early on Saturday with a plan for a full day.  The first stop was the Arcade Restaurant which is a historic diner where Elvis used to frequent.  We had a good breakfast and then made a long walk all the way across town to Sun Studio.  Along the walk we went by the Lorraine Hotel and the National Civil Rights Museum where Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated.  There is a free shuttle that circulates between Sun Studios, the Rock & Soul Museum and Graceland daily.  We had to wait a bit but eventually the shuttle showed up and we got a ride to Graceland.  The tour through Graceland was very interesting and informative.  We got the Platinum tour which included the mansion and all of the other exhibits including the car and jet museums.  It was very interesting seeing how Elvis lived and getting a sense of how big of an icon he is in pop culture.

Right when we were about to take the tour of the Graceland mansion I got a call from the Ghost River Brewery that said we could take their tour if we were there by 3 PM.  After Graceland we took the free shuttle back to downtown Memphis and then hopped in a cab to the brewery.  Even though Lori didn’t enjoy this too much it was a very interesting tour of a small production micro-brewery.  They showed us their equipment and process and let me sample some of their beers.  It was very interesting and there were quite a few people that attended.

Our short two day stay in Memphis was just about at an end.  It was an early evening as we would be leaving at the crack of dawn the following morning for our flight to New Orleans.  A quick check of the weather in the morning and we were off at 6 AM in a cab back to the airport.  Within a short time we were off the ground and on our way to New Orleans.

Click here to read about the next stop on our trip – New Orleans.

Click here to see all of the pictures from our trip.

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