Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Road Trip: Memphis

We arrived in Memphis after midnight on Saturday and were on our way by 2 pm the next day, but we really made the most of our very short stay in the land of Elvis and blues and barbecue!

We awoke early to tour Graceland. I am not usually much of a tour person, but we all agreed that the self-guided audiotour of the King's mansion was surprisingly great. The decor in Graceland is ridiculously tacky -- note the stuffed monkey and panda bear (???) -- and narrated by a combination of voice over information and Elvis interviews and music of course!

There were rooms full of Elvis's awards and of his costumes, and of his cars, and of his airplanes. It's amazing how many things he's won and how many Elvis songs we all know without realizing it: I'm thinking Hound Dog, All Shook Up, Jailhouse Rock, Viva Las Vegas, and Blue Moon, just to name a few...

After seeping ourselves in King lore, we moved on to exploring Memephis's other two main attractions: barbecue and blues. We got barbecue at Central BBQ -- go there, get the wings. Memphis barbecue is all about the slightly sweet tomato-based sauce, and it was delish. After eating (too) many savory smoked ribs dipped in delicious sauce, we made friends with the manager and he gave us a tour of the kitchens and huge hickory smoker.

After lunch we only had about an hour before we needed to leave for the next city, but we couldn't just couldn't visit Memphis without walking down Beale Street. Though this is primarily a late-night place, even in the middle of the day it was hoppin!

Upon a Memphis friend's recommendation we stepped into B.B. King's for a song and of course stayed for about six and of course made a spectacle of ourselves on the dance floor. Blues my friends. So so so sooo good!

I would love to go back and spend more time in Memphis, but on to the next/last stop: Kansas City!