It wasn’t until after the reservations were made and the hotel room was booked that I realized Memphis is nowhere near our halfway point between Oklahoma City and Jacksonville. That distinction actually belongs to Tupelo, Mississippi, approximately 3 hours south and a quaint southern rock town in its own right (or so I’m guessing, seeing as we blew past Tupelo’s two highway exits before Matt even realized we’d already passed it). Another time, Elvis. Another day. I’m sure the opportunity to see Mr. Presley’s birthplace will return.
Memphis was still very good to us. This time I was fully conscious, thanks to my toughing-it-out mentality when it came to the changes in elevation. I was also encouraged to stay awake for most of this drive because summertime just makes everywhere beautiful. Eastern Oklahoma and Western Arkansas have never been so pretty.
We got to Memphis at a very good hour. Plenty of time was left to go exploring a bit of downtown and the three of us headed straight down to Beale Street. After a delicious dinner at the Jerry Lee Lewis Cafe & Honky Tonk (we were really surprised at how tasty the food was!), we decided to walk up and down Beale Street like any good tourist should.
That’s when I learned about this group of kids. They are out here almost every night performing backflips down Beale Street for extra cash. These kids are tremendously entertaining and hard-working, for sure, because it’s hot out there, people. Also, I used to be a gymnast and even I would never have attempted a back handspring on asphalt. Good on these guys!
After a few hours, we headed back toward the hotel but stopped inside the Peabody Hotel for a quick peek around. This is where the Peabody Ducks live and because I am the ultimate tourist, I wanted to see them in their fountain! I met a really nice gentleman who told me that on any other night of the week, visitors would be welcome to see the Peabody Ducks upstairs at their penthouse. This particular night, however, was booked with a rooftop party for which he was the pianist.
Sigh…so I went into the gift shop and bought us a duck magnet and picked up some duck-shaped soaps for my parents. Seriously, I love being a tourist just as much as I love kitschy tourist souvenirs.
Back at the hotel, I took Elle to enjoy her end-of-day traveler’s reward: the pool. This was followed by a horrible night’s sleep and a ridiculously long drive to the Atlantic coast of Florida. We made it, though, and that’s what counts. Our week so far has been a whirlwind of eating delicious food at city diners and beach town cafes, staring in amazement at the beauty that is Spanish moss, and taking side trips to a coastal Georgia island and Disney World (Matt and I went north while my parents took Elle to visit Orlando).
We need a vacation from our vacation…but by going to St. Simons Island, Matt and I already took that vacation from a vacation. So, we need a vacation from the vacation we took while on vacation? Something like that.
Next up: St. Simons Island, Georgia! And, hopefully, a really good nap.