Memphis (part one)

Firstly (is this a real word?) let me introduce you to Wally. William Wallace XV is the West Highland terrier my grandparents got 4 years ago, but I had yet to meet him until this trip.

So adorable and the best little personality ever. He pretty much followed me around all week at the house, a sweet little pup for sure. I’m really glad he’s there with my grandparents, I know he makes them very happy.

It was a great week to catch up with my family that’s out there, do a little shopping and eat great food every day. (homemade peach cobbler what’s up!) On Tuesday my grandparents and my Aunt Jill had their friend Faye (who has lived in Memphis since 1954) to show me the town. I have been to Memphis before for family things, but never really made it downtown before. We checked out Graceland a long time ago but that was about it in the downtown scene.

On our drive towards the Peabody Hotel to see the ducks (will explain) we drove by Sun Studios. You know the spot that Elvis and Johnny Cash and lots of other famous recording artists made their early music. We didn’t take the tour but I hopped out and snapped a couple of pictures.

Then it was on to the ducks at the Peabody Hotel. For those who don’t know (I surely did not) everyday at 11am the ducks that live on the rooftop in their “Duck Palace” get on the elevator, ride down to the lobby (with the Duck Master of course) and then march into the fountain in the hotel lobby.

This was pretty much exactly how it happened, but the entire area surrounding the red carpet and the fountain was FULL of people. When the ducks came out I’ve never seen so many flashes going off cameras in my life, it was like Lindsey Lohan was marching into the fountain. The ducks spend their day swimming around in the fountain until 5pm, then they are led back up to their “palace” on the roof. Apparently this all started back in the 1930’s when the manager and his friends had been out hunting (and drinking heavily) all day and decided it would be fun to put their live duck decoys in the hotel fountain as a practical joke on the guests. I heard someone in the crowd say to their friend, “I wonder how many traditions have started off as jokes?” Good point, probably most of them. Also at the Peabody Hotel was the only place I spotted an Elvis, but he wasn’t fully dressed up. Bummer.

After the ducks we ate lunch at the Arcade Restaurant. The oldest restaurant in Memphis (1919!) and lots of movies have been filmed there over the years. Also Elvis used to eat there all the time, those famous grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Yum or not.

The Lorraine Motel was right around the corner from the restaurant so we went by there and I got some pictures. This is the famous hotel where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Kind of a weird vibe I got there, it was probably because no one was really around.

I asked about the river and if there was any spot where people could go swimming, I was quickly answered with a no. Too strong, too fast, too big, too muddy. So even though the James is the James at least we can get in it if you want. We went to this museum that was right on the bank of the Mississippi River (see current Facebook profile picture), it was a metals museum and had this cute little garden with metal sculpture everywhere. After leaving there we accidentally got on the highway headed for Arkansas, so I visited Arkansas for a few minutes.

We ended our lovely touristy Memphis afternoon with milkshakes from an old fashioned soda fountain. Where I enjoyed a vanilla malt milkshake and my grandpa enjoyed his strawberry soda. Obviously.

The rest of the week to come…

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