Walkin’ in Memphis

Our fifth day was our long day of driving.  It also turned out to be a favourite of several of us, rather unexpectedly, even.  We left Nashville and drove about 4 hours to Memphis, arriving just in time for lunch.  We had received a wide variety of suggestions on where to eat lunch whilst there.  Being Kansans, and raised on KC BBQ, we decided to skip any kind of barbecue joint.  We had also heard about a place called the “Kooky Canuck”, but it, too, was outruled when we heard about Gus’s Fried Chicken from Bracker’s warehouse manager/travelin’man/our good friend, Seth.  It, too, was on food network – i think Diner’s Drive-ins and Dives.  I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing this chicken was….best I’ve ever had, no contest (sorry Mom!).  I seriously think I would drive from Lawrence to Memphis JUST for this chicken.

After that, well, what else WOULD someone do in Memphis?  We went to Graceland.  Sophie is a HUGE Elvis fan.  We also found out that Daphne’s teacher, Ann, is also a big fan.  Kelli was pretty much indifferent, I was more than a little curious and Dave was um, shall we say tolerant.  Interestingly, we came to find out that Sophie didn’t know a lick of Elvis’s music, she just thinks “he’s hoooottttttt”.  I find this to be hysterical because for years people told me that Dad looks a lot like Elvis.  Hmmm:

Yeah, ok, I can see that, I guess, and of course everyone knows that I look like my Dad, and Sophie looks like me…so, well, draw your own conclusions there, back to Graceland.  I know it sounds corny, but it really was really inspiring and dare I say, a life-altering experience.  Daphne was incredible, she listened to every single bit of information on the audio tour as she walked through the mansion.  She wanted to learn EVERYTHING about Elvis, I can only assume it has something to do with how much she adores her teacher, Ann.  For me, I have to admit, at one point, I was watching a video of Elvis – not one of him on stage, or in a movie, it was like a home movie type thing, only it wasn’t Elvis I was seeing, it was my dad, and it was then that I really saw for myself what people had been telling me for years.  I kind of started to cry a little.  And hearing about his crazy antics…well, those sounded pretty familiar too.  But the big story was David, who openly admits that Graceland was his favourite part of the trip.  It completely changed the way he thought about “the King”.  In case you don’t know, Elvis was extremely generous with his money.  There is a WALL of checks that he wrote to various charities in one year, each for $1000, and that was in, what, the 50’s?  And then there’s what Sophie calls “the record room” that has all his gold and platinum records….all I can say is that it can’t be captured in one photo!  Sophie also thought the “indoor waterfall” was pretty cool (that was in the jungle room).  I guess my advice is, if you’re in or near Memphis, don’t miss Graceland, even if you’re not a huge fan of Elvis.  It was a lot of fun, informative, and awestriking.  (I think I just made up that word).  After we finally left, we hit the road to head into Arkansas to spend the night in Mountain Home.  I have to mention that the Ramada there has an AWESOME pool.  (Gee, after all these blog posts, one might think I’m a bit obsessed with pools…)  The staff was really friendly too…just had to put that little plug in there for them.   Very family friendly place….kinda old-fashioned motel type thing.  Reminds me exactly of the type of place we always stayed on family vacations when I was a kid.  Very nice.

Stay tuned for more!

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