Oh Memphis, I will always love you.
In all honesty I didn’t do a damn thing in Memphis except stroll Beale again. There was another museum that I wanted to check out, but the heat, the exhaustion of two weeks on the road, etc etc and I was happy to visit the familiar shops and bars of Beale. I went back to sleep after dropping off Cait and didn’t head out until 10am.
I hit the Peabody first to see if there was anything that I *needed* from their gift shop. Didn’t find anything I couldn’t live without. When I came back out onto Union, I was approached by a homeless guy asking if I needed help finding my way. Unlike the homeless in Seattle that just sit with a cup out hoping for change, the homeless here offer to show you how to get to Beale, Civil Rights Museum, etc in exchange for a few bucks. I said I didn’t need any help, so he asked if I had some spare change (which I didn’t – change or $1’s) so I said sorry and started toward Beale. He started walking along side and asked where I was from. We walked and talked until we hit Beale (at which point I learned his name was Richard). I was heading toward Starbucks, so I offered coffee and a muffin if he wanted to join me (he asked if he could have a dollar instead, but I reminded him that I didn’t have cash, was just going to use my starbucks card). He agreed but refused to go inside. So I got our drinks (he didn’t want a muffin) and then we sat outside. He told me all about Memphis – most of which I already knew. Told me what areas not to go by myself (which is really everywhere outside of a few block radius of my hotel – and yes, I know this). We didn’t talk for very long, but he was very nice, polite and left with a ‘God bless you’.
I had lunch at BB kings and around late-afternoon headed back to my hotel. And I didn’t leave. I ordered room service for dinner and then contemplated heading to the Peabody for their rooftop party, but then the rain rolled in again so I went to bed early (by trip standards). It was delightful.
I was up at 8:30 this morning and got my stuff ready to go. It was about 10 before I pulled away from my most favorite hotel. It’s not the fanciest, but something about it. Every single interaction with staff leaves me with a smile on my face. When I ordered room service last night, we were chit-chatting about the tornado siren the previous night and I told her that it really hit home after OKC. Her hand flew to her mouth and she was like, “Oh Lawd no… they just like to be dramatic around here. I haven’t seen a tornado since I was three. And it was a tiny thing!” Then the woman at the front desk was joking around and as I turned to leave she said “Oh honey-child, you have a safe trip, okay? And you’d better come back to see me!”
From Memphis I headed east toward Nashville. I skirted the outside of the city and went to the home of the 7th President Andrew Jackson. Was a delightful tour with people dressed for his time period. It wasn’t exactly the Monticello and while the grounds were lovely, it was a bit dreary as a rain storm moved through. The house itself was small, but lovely inside. The wallpaper from Paris was beautiful and the original hardwood floors put our floors to shame (sorry Dad).
One of the things I really loved, was the collection of different trees from where he served during the War of 1812. I also loved that his grand daughter lived in the house until it became a museum in… whatever year that was… and was able to help them place things exactly how they had been when he lived.
From there I slowly made my way up toward the outskirts of Louisville, Ky. I didn’t arrive until 7:30ish. I made a quick stop at Wal-Mart for a set of tennis balls. Ever since that white-knuckle drive after the tornado, my shoulders have been crazy tight. Best $2.28 I ever spent. I spent 15 minutes laying on those and already I feel much better. My hotel has a delicious amount of brochures out front so I’ve been thumbing through things I might like to see. It’ll be a busy weekend in the Louisville/Lexington area, for sure!