The + is back! I hit up Memphis and Germantown, TN, as well as what I like to call Rest Stop, MS, with two friends this weekend. One of them has done us a massive favour and bought a jeep that we, with complete lack of creativity, call Jeepy. I assume its previous owner was a massive stoner, because there was definitely some sporadic, unintentional, and altogether non-consensual hotboxing going on.
We kicked off the trip with a visit to a local doughnut place and as I lounged in the back of Jeepy and munched, I felt gravity increasing on me. Halfway through the first doughnut, I started regretting having bought two. But mamma didn’t raise a quitter and I knew I had to have room for Memphis BBQ later, so I shoved them both down my throat. Then I stared out the open window for half an hour, trying not to vomit.
Exploring (Day 1)
We explored Mississippi a little bit. If you can call stopping for gas and the disappointment of snacks not wanting to leave their vending machine homes ‘exploring’. The only reason I’m pointing this out is that I want to post this photo of two idiots attempting to rattle out their crisps. I stood and watched them fail. It was ace.
We had accommodation lined up in Germantown and were greeted with beer when we got there around dinnertime. An hour later, we hopped back in Jeepy and went downtown for a Doug Stanhope show. The main thing I took from that show was that I’m not a huge Doug Stanhope fan, although I can see why other people would be. More than anything else, the experience made me miss The Stand back in Glasgow.
Food and Drink
I thought I knew good BBQ. I knew nothing. There was quite a long line for a Sunday evening but we had to get downtown in time to see that show I raved excitedly about earlier, so we bought our food to go. We sat on an unspecified grass area near the New Daisy theatre until security guards forced us to go to the park across the street. I use the term “park” here in the loosest sense you could possibly imagine. The food was amazing. Us mere mortals have some catching up to do.
Bit of advice: Do not ever leave your leftovers in a jeep overnight, drive them around for a few hours in the southern heat, then eat them.*
As you’ll see under Exploring (Day 2), I went to Graceland while we were in Memphis. I made some friends who had come down from Ohio for an extended weekend and one of them bought me lunch. More BBQ. This time it was free. Everything good that could possibly happen to a person happened to me in Memphis.
Cost: Free if you meet generous people who talk to you in spite of your resting bitch face and realise within ten seconds that you are *gasp* nice
The Corner Bar
After looking at ducks (once again, details under Exploring (Day 2)), we found ourselves needing to rehydrate. Then we saw a poster that claimed the Three M’s – margaritas, mojitos, and martinis – were on offer for $3 on Mondays. To hell with hydration. If you drink alcohol, you’d be a monster to pass up that offer.
Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken
This was our last stop before we hit the road and headed back down to Baton Rouge. The food was delicious and there was a functional jukebox. What more could you want? It would have been nice to not be a third wheel, but my travel buddies kept the time spent making out admirably low, so I’ll live.
Remember I said “we had accommodation lined up”? Oh boy do I have news for you. We spent the night in a CASTLE. Gigantic garden, private lake, pool, at least three cars, four floors, game room with unlimited air hockey, choice of bedrooms the size of a small flat, and what we called the “lighthouse,” with an excellent view of the lake. I guess the correct term would be something more akin to “mansion” but still.
I’m still in denial. As if all that wasn’t dreamy enough on its own, our lovely host made us a luxurious breakfast in the morning. She apologised for running low on supplies. Imagine leading the kind of life where scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, watermelon, cinnamon rolls, and decent orange juice is a “running low on supplies” kind of breakfast. I eat dry cornflakes sometimes when I’ve forgotten to buy milk.
Oh and did I mention it was free? Wastaaaaa.
Exploring (Day 2)
I’m quite fond of Elvis. It’s a fondness I inherited from my grandpa (along with the need for things to be organised and people to use proper grammar), so I took him to Graceland with me. It was nothing short of a pilgrimage and in spite of my high expectations, I was not let down. The experience was spectacular.
I visited Graceland, Elvis’ Automobile Museum, the Archives, and the I Shot Elvis, Tupelo, and Hawaii exhibits. It was worth every penny. I could go on for thousands of words about how I felt walking through the exhibits, but I’ll spare you the deeply emotional stuff this time around and just cut straight to the photos.
Cost: $42.50 for students (Platinum Tour)
I spent almost four hours at Graceland and the other exhibits, so we missed the march of the ducks at the Peabody. We went up to the Duck Palace to numb the pain and see the Mississippi River from above. The Mississippi is what it is, doesn’t matter how far up you go, but taking your glasses off makes it a lot prettier.
In terms of actual Memphis, we didn’t do much sightseeing. It would have been great to stay a bit longer, but I was content with the somewhat spiritual visit to Graceland with my grandpa. Definitely worth the six-hour drive, even though I had to drive straight for so many miles, I wanted to stab myself with the car keys at the end.
*Advice courtesy of Sab and Jo’s idiocy. Even I am not that stupid.