Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Our long weekend in Memphis

I've gotten a few requests to do a Memphis recap.  Oops!  Forgot about that given the chaos of the last few days.  So here's a few pics for you!  (Okay, more than a few)

The last time we went to Memphis, I took one look at the booths and chickened out because I wasn't confident I'd fit in them.  I wish I'd known they had a whole side room full of tables with armless chairs!  Oh well, note for others and am proud to say we slide in and out of booths with ease!

These are Arcade's Sweet Potato Pancakes, a Food Network Favorite according to their menu.  A big favorite according to my hips.  I ate them 3x over 5 days.  Don't judge me.

We went to the National Civil Rights Museum where Martin Luther King Jr was shot.  The Lorraine Motel was kept the same on the outside and a wreath placed on the balcony where he was shot.  They also purchased the building across the street and recreate the room of the shooter.

The black window behind it is part of the museum where you can actually look out over the spot where MLK was shot.  This is made 100x more heart wrenching after viewing the magnificent documentary The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306.   Every human being should be required to go here.

We went to ultimate haunted dive bar Ernestine and Hazel's where we were greeted by Russ, the owner.  (Which is apparently a rarity that early in the day)  He cooked us up some soul burgers and we had an encounter with the haunted jukebox.

Thankfully a fellow patron asked about the former brothel upstairs and he took us up and told some stories.  This is what greets you on the way upstairs.

Our whole purpose for the trip was to see the Christmas lighting at Graceland.  There was a good crowd and they even made it snow.  Of course it's snowing now without their machine but it was nice for ambiance.

Graceland mansion looked so beautiful all lit up.  From the life size nativity scene to the blue christmas lights lining the driveway to the big "Merry Christmas to All.  Elvis" decoration on the left side of the lawn, it was the perfect way to kick off the holiday season.

A closer view of Graceland lit up.

The Pink Palace museum.  Lovely on the outside and I'm sure lovely on the inside when 300 children haven't descended upon it after Santa landed in his helicopter in the enchanted forest.  This was not what I thought it was but rather a paid version of Hell.  We enjoyed the rest of the museum which was completely empty!

One of our favorite things was the Piggly Wiggly replica.  I know, we're dorks.

We stayed at the Residence Inn downtown which we love particularly because of the staff.  Hugh is the best and Olga is a sweetie too.  Great prices and central location.  This view is from the rooftop patio down Main St.

Another view with the Main Street trolley making its way down the street.  We took it to the end of the line to go to Ernestine and Hazel's, Arcade and the National Civil Rights Museum which are all within 2 blocks of each other.  For $1, you can't beat it!

Muddy's Bake Shop.  Heaven in a shop.  A woman was shoveling a cupcake in her mouth and she was barely out the door!  That was all I needed to see.  From your regular flavors to peppermint for Christmas, they were perfect little cupcakes and we were bummed they weren't open the day we left so we could have some road food.  I always feel a little weird taking pics at the bakery counters so they're not all artsy.

My favorite was the Capote which was basically a black and white.  Yes please.

Our favorite on Beale St.  I know, how unimaginative liking a chain restaurant on Beale but BB does it right.  From the ribs to the pork chops to the sweet tea (which I forgot to order this year!  Dammit!) and you add some top notch blues artists like their All Star Band and Will Tucker and your night is set.

The graffiti on the walls in front of Graceland.  Fans began doing this when he was alive and he didn't like it.  Because of that, we don't write on the walls but we always take pics.

This is the tree in the front living room.  I absolutely love this pic and could spend hours curled up in the chair staring at the tree.  (Before being dragged off by security for crossing the ropes and curling up in the chair)

I love this one too because I think it's so reminiscent of what many of us had as kids or at our grandparents homes.  It screams childhood for me and I'm so glad we asked a couple to take our pic in front of it and we sent it out in our Christmas cards this year.  (Yes, they're already sent!)

The kitchen.  They used to let you in by the fridge but apparently stopped just after we went for the first time. I'm grateful because then I would've never seen that the King used the same spices we did when I was a kid and I've since located several tins at antique stores for display in the kitchen.

The infamous jungle room.  It's not even the most over the top room in the place!  But I love that they dressed it up for the holidays and Lisa Marie's panda bear in the chair.

 Elvis' grave in the meditation gardens.  You can go visit for free from 7:30am-8:30am I think.  It's always a somber place to see and now it's interesting to see how it affects other people seeing it for the first time.  And before you dismiss it, you absolutely do NOT need to be an Elvis fan to enjoy Graceland.  It's a trip back in time.  My hubby went from being neutral and supporting me in my love for him to a bonafide fan after our first trip!

The Lisa Marie jet, complete with a seat belted bed inside.  Her last birthday with her daddy was celebrated with her friends flying in the plane.

The car Elvis drove home in the early morning hours of the day he died.

The chair Elvis sat on for the 68 Comeback Special.  He looked SO hot in that.  I can still get a case of the vapors watching that.  Me-ow!

A final view from the rooftop of the hotel looking at the Christmas lights.

We'll see you again Memphis, I hope.  Thankyeeeeeeeew!  (Loved hearing that everywhere we went!)

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  1. I love to share your trips with you...great pictures :) Thank you for giving me a chance to visit Graceland!

  2. What a nice trip! My Dad has lived in Tennessee for over 20 years and I haven't been to Graceland YET. (Somehow I get too caught up in Nashville and run out of time.)

    Thanks for sharing the great photos!!

  3. You guys always have the best vacations. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your pics! Thanks for sharing these. Can't wait to get to Graceland one day.

  4. I think I'd enjoy a trip to Memphis, and it would be an easy drive for us. Hubby would enjoy the blues scene, but I probably couldn't convince him to go to Graceland.

  5. Looks like it was a great trip. I have never been to Memphis but since watching Memphis beat last year it was added to the places to go list.

  6. What an awesome trip! I love it when you share your vacation pics!

  7. Try two for a post. Thanks for sharing your fun with us! I would so love to go there one of these days. It's only about five hours from us. Loved the pics!!!

  8. Arcade's Sweet Potato Pancakes... I would give you my left arm for it.

    These pictures are so amazing, I'm so jealous of your trip that I actually made a pouty lip while reading - without even realizing it!

  9. Makes me wanna go there! Looks like so much fun! :-) Glad you both had a great time.

  10. How sad is it that I recognized the bakery case at Muddy's even before I read your caption? :)

    I grew up about 2 miles south of Graceland in the Whitehaven area. We always headed to Graceland as soon as the lights went up! That, and the lighting of the ginormous Christmas tree at the mall were huge holiday highlights for my little sister and me. :)

    The next time you're in Memphis, besides meeting ME, I would also recommend the zoo and Shelby Farms Park (and the nearby Greenline, where you can rent bicycles) for outdoor activities.

  11. Mmm...Aracade is so yummy! And I think BB's has better ribs than Rendezvous! Looks like you guys had fun! Thanks for sharing the pictures!

  12. Looks like a fun trip. I've only been to Memphis once and I'd love to go back.

  13. I had a great time and will cherish the memories. All of the food was great and it was the perfect little getaway for a long weekend before all the holiday hubbub starts up, which is now in full swing. Thanks for a wonderful time baby!

  14. I loved all of your pictures!!! When I was younger my parents had a movie of Elvis, and I used to watch it ALL THE TIME! He was my first crush, at all of 5 years old I'm sure :) I've never been to Graceland but I'd love to go!

  15. I loved Memphis when I went a couple years ago. The Civil Right Museum and Lorraine Hotel were certainly powerful. I didn't make it to Graceland while I was there, but I did go to Mud Island and that was really cool. It's definitely on my list of places to go back to if I ever get the chance.

  16. So glad everyone enjoyed them! It was a fun trip and we love visiting. When you do the typical tourist things like go to Beale St, Graceland and stuff, you will never be able to listen to the song Walking in Memphis without crying. Impossible.

  17. My sister lives just outside of Memphis in one of the suburbs. The last time we went, we ate at Neeley's BBQ. OMStars!!! We had heard of them via the Food Network. If you go, find the original. Yum!

  18. I'm so glad I clicked on the link to this blog from your blog today (a year later)! We toured Graceland and Memphis last May and I LOVED IT! You gave me a lot of good tips and it really made our trip even better. I don't know how I missed this blog last year, but dang I'm glad you pointed it out! How come your pictures are so much better than mine? Oh yeah, you're a REAL photographer! Nice job!


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