Lisa and Bob in
Memphis and Ripley Tennessee



Friday: Memphis and Mississippi

We were on a very tight schedule for this trip, because I was right in the middle of killer-busy call season at PowerProse.com and Bob's work was also very, very busy. This meant that we were flying out of Logan in Boston at around 6pm Friday night, and flying back home at 6am on Sunday morning. But I really wanted to get out to see Great-Aunt Nancy and Great-Uncle Lynwood, because I'd been writing letters back and forth with her for a while and enjoyed them immensely. We had frequent flier miles from USAir which apparently had to be used quickly or lost. So off we went!

We hit traffic getting to Logan and were running late by the time we were there. We had Bob's laptop with us, and unfortunately the case had a few small screwdrivers in it for repairs. Yup, they saw those right away in the X-Ray and wanted them. They wouldn't hold them for us, so we left them behind and went on. We flew into Charlotte NC, changed planes without any problems, and in relatively no time we were landing in the Memphis TN airport. We picked up our car and were off!

Memphis TN is only a few miles from the Mississippi border, so in our standard Quest to Visit All States, we headed south. State #33!! We stopped into a WalMart to get a shotglass, although there weren't any thimbles or magnets. Bob got some sunglasses and we saw some store employees stealing items. Hmmmmm.

OK, back north. We drove up to the Graceland exit and got off. We drove past the outside of the mansion, lit up with pretty colors, and saw his two airplanes on the other side of the road. It was late by now - maybe around 10pm - so it was relatively quiet. There were tons of motels and dive restaurants in the area all laying some claim to Elvis-popularity. Apparently we were told that nobody from this area actually goes to these attractions - it's all out of state and out of country visitors. We were also told that August is Dead Elvis month, and this year is the 25th anniversary of his death.

Enough of Elvis. We headed north, driving the regular streets to get to Memphis. It wasn't that far, but this wasn't the best way to get there. The neighborhoods were very run down, and we passed a police barricade to the right. Eventually, though, we got to the city, and Redbird Stadium. I mean, Autozone stadium. We drove around it, but the game must've gotten out a short while ago. There were just cleanup crews in there.



The next block held the main hotels of the area - the Peabody, famous for its ducks that ride in its elevator, and ours - the Holiday Inn. We took our little car up into the parking garage and were very happy it was little - it barely fit into the one remaining parking spot. We headed in and up to our room, where we read the information about the area and watched the Tour de France on TV.

Our room was on the south side, so we looked right at the Peabody and the horse-drawn-carriages that left from its doors. Down the street to the left was the AutoZone stadium, one block on our side of the road. Here's the view down the street to the right:



You could actually see the Mississippi river if you looked just a bit further down the right from our window. If you walked right to that intersection and then turned left at it, only two blocks away was the infamous Beale Street. We read that you could get wristbands for $10 to let you into the Beale Street area - it's a long road running parallel to ours that is pedestrian-only for about 3 blocks. It's solid bars, solid people, solid music and beer. The wristbands get you in from 5pm to 5am. All of the bars are open from 11am - TILL. And TILL often means ... 11am. We weren't up for that tonight, we left that for tomorrow night.

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