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Monday, September 22, 2014

Overview of Memphis

Hi everyone,

Mom and I returned home yesterday from our weekend trip to Memphis. It was AMAZING and we had a lot of fun.  We arrived in Memphis at 4 (pm, central time) on Thursday afternoon and after we checked into our hotel, we decided to walk around Beale Street to explore. We ended up at the Blues City Cafe and we both ordered ribs. Blues City Cafe had amazing ribs - they were the best I ever had. After dinner, we walked around to different stores and decided to take a carriage ride. That night we saw Ghost Town Blues Band after we took a carriage ride around Beale Street and Downtown Memphis. The ride was very informative and Anthony, our tour guide, said it took Downtown Memphis 30 or so years to get back on its feet (it almost sounded like Memphis for a while was like Detroit; I have to do some more research because it's interesting). Anthony was also cute and I liked talking to him. :) I really liked Beale Street and it is music central - it seemed like bands played 24/7. 

On Friday, mom and I went to the Peabody Hotel (across the street) to watch the Marching of the Ducks. It's a tradition for the Peabody Hotel for ducks to march down a red carpet from their million dollar penthouse on the roof, then swim in the lobby fountain until 5pm, then they marched back to their penthouse for the night. I really enjoyed it.

Mom and I then walked to the Cotton Museum and that was really neat. I liked learning more about King Cotton and even about Southern culture. Memphis used to have a Cotton Parade, which sounded like (for my Philadelphia area friends) what Philadelphia does on New Year's Day with the Mummers. The costumes were funny and at the same time really pretty. After spending time in the museum and gift shop (I want to order the cotton earrings and then this shirt that said: "HEAR NO WEEVIL, SEE NO WEEVIL, SPEAK NO WEEVIL" with cotton balls holding their ears, mouth and eyes), we walked around Confederate Park and watched the Mississippi River.

Mom didn't rent a car for the trip. Parking was really expensive, but fortunately Downtown Memphis is walkable. We were only fifteen minutes away from Tunica, Mississippi and mom and I really wanted to go. Dad went nine years ago for work and said it was a neat town. City-Data pointed me to the Blues Cities Tours and we thought they took us to Mississippi - I even called on Wednesday to confirm with them that we'd be going to Tunica and they confirmed to pick us up from our hotel at 1:45 pm. They picked us up late, took us to the ticket office and they told us since we weren't in Mississippi we had to stay in Memphis. We took the river cruise in Memphis. It was pretty, but we were bummed out that we were misled. We only did the boat tour - the bus tour (which was paid for) were things we could do on our own. After we got off the boat, we saw the ducks at the Peabody march back to their penthouse on top of the Peabody. That was so neat. That tradition is so cute.

Rock and Soul museum was really cool and I learned a lot about music made in Memphis. I really liked the music I heard on the tour. We didn't finish the tour on Friday, but we could pick up where we left off on Saturday. Rock and Soul museum would also take us to Graceland and Sun Studio for free on Saturday. After Rock and Soul, we went to dinner and saw an amazing performer called Key of CG. I really liked his style and I just downloaded one of his songs on Reverbnation (I have to get Ghost Town Blues Band on iTunes). Chris was really friendly; he let me take a few pictures with him and let me take his pictures. He's a really great musician. After that, mom and I went to the Absinthe Room, where we went on our first night and last night. It was authentic absinthe - in Pennsylvania and Delaware, absinthe with wormwood is illegal. In Tennessee, you can get absinthe with wormwood. It tasted good. It was a neat place and it reminded me of a smaller version of the Note in West Chester. Then we went to the Rum Boogie Cafe to watch another band that was really cool. I really liked Beale Street. It was fun, the music was great, amazing food and it had a lot of unique shops.

Graceland was fun, but unless you're a huge Elvis fan I wouldn't recommend. We waited in line for 4 hours because you have to take a bus to get into Graceland and things stop for weddings (there was a wedding). The tour was an hour - we spent five hours at Graceland. I thought Elvis's house was beautiful and I'm glad we were allowed to take pictures. It was also really expensive (for a regular mansion tour, that was $35/person, we did the platinum and that was $50/person and VIP was $72/person). We did get to see Sun Studios, but the tours were sold out. Instead, we toured Gibson guitars and finished the Rock and Soul museum. I really liked the Gibson factory. They have a tiny guitar and I wanted to get one. Maybe I'll trade in my acoustic Fender for a tiny Gibson. :p I still have a Stratocaster, though. I did get to play that tiny Gibson and the shop said, "Just keep practicing! If you keep practicing and come back, maybe someone from Nashville will be here and you'll be famous!" I wish; but, I do want to start practicing again.

I'm going to write pieces for this blog and portfolio. I want to get more in depth. It was a filled three days and it was so much fun. I'm going to send you the album and videos of musicians I took as well as the duck march.

Key of CG  -- check out these two bands!



  1. Ribs were my fave food growing up.
    I saw Absinthe at the liquor store recently, and thought of you!

    1. Ribs are so good. :D I made an appointment with my dentist to get a crown. He has to check insurance, but we'll talk about it at my 6 month check up in a few weeks.

      It's so good. In the Tristate area, absinthe with wormwood is illegal. In Memphis it is legal; it didn't taste much different, but it was a bit stronger. I was thinking of ordering a bottle, but I don't think I could get it sent to PA. :(

  2. Memphis sounds like so much fun. I've never been. My only experience in Tennessee was about 12 hours in Nashville when I drove cross country last year. I wish I had more time to explore - maybe I'll need to make a trip back to visit both!!
    I think I've had absinthe in a mixed drink but I'm not sure whether it was the kind with the wormwood, and I've definitely never had it the traditional way. Did you hallucinate after you drank it?

    1. Actually, it didn't taste too different than the one without. It was a bit stronger and I felt it more, but I didn't hallucinate. :) I think the bartender put a lot of water and sugar in. I'm 4'10, so he probably assumed (rightly) that stronger stuff wouldn't be good.

  3. Replies
    1. The wait was long, but I thought his house was beautiful. :)