The first thing we did, once we checked into our Econolodge room in Memphis, was take about a mile walk to a restaurant I had scoped out on the web beforehand. The place was named South of Beale, an upscale burger/beer “gastropub” in what the internet called the South Main Arts District. Sounded good to me. I was getting grumpy and all I wanted was to sit down and drink a tall, cold beer while taking my time to look over a menu so that by the time I ordered I could have already gotten a start on a second cold beer. (timing is everything). I was hoping for a Blind Lady Ale House or Station vibe (for you San Diegan’s reading this) and that’s what I got. The food was great, it was exactly what I needed to reset.
On to Beale St!
Like I said, I had been a little grumpy. Not at anything in particular, I was probably getting a little tired of hanging out with my dad. So we sort of took an unspoken break from each other and parted ways. I took a walk up and down the historic business district, talked to some friendly strangers and drank a few beers outside of an Irish pub.
It looked like madness in there and I really had no desire to be inside any more bars. (Conveniently, the Irish pub had a little to-go window right on the sidewalk, so I could order a beer and make faces at the sweaty people jammed up against the bar!)
These girls told me they drive 4 hours from their homes in Arkansas to party in Memphis on the weekends. Interesting! Their bulky-Razorback-football-star-boyfriends were just out-of-frame. I told them I was from San Diego and we bonded because some of their military friends are stationed there. I think I said, “Well it sure is a beautiful place to prepare for War.”
This bar was interesting.
Above: Sweet views from our $99 Econolodge room.
The next morning we did a little exploring. For some reason, the Mississippi River that borders Tennessee and Arkansas seems much more official than the Mississippi River that we [half-drunkenly] threw rocks into in New Orleans. So of course we went down to the shore to make it count.
On our way out we stopped at Graceland. Apparently that is Elvis Presley’s wall. Elvis Presley was a famous musician and performer who died 11 years before I was born.
A few hours later we stopped in Nashville for some Honkytonk and barbecue. We got out of there at just about sundown inorder to continue our drive across the state. Late that night we checked into a Super8 in Knoxville to rest up before the next leg to Washington DC.
Click here for more photos from Tennessee.