Memphis, Tennessee

So after New Orleans we drove to Jackson, Mississippi for one night. I guess we did so only in order to say we’ve been to Mississippi. There was really nothing to Jackson (sorry).

After Jackson we drove on to Memphis, Tennessee. On our first night we had an amazing BBQ dinner at Jim Neely’s Interstate BBQ, but I forgot my camera, so did it ever really happen? I guess we’ll never know. (it happened)

The next morning we headed out to Graceland to see where the King himself lived.

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This is me out front:

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And this is what happens when you get strangers to take photos of you:

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They cut off half the house but include a decent chunk of the driveway… nice

We were armed with iPads for the audio tour, which had a 360 degree view of the room we were in… I guess in case we didn’t want to look up from our screens?!

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Sweet living room

We were herded like cattle through the downstairs, wedged between hundreds of middle aged white Americans.

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The TV room, complete with creepy monkey

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The pool room

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The jungle room

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The back of the house

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Elvis’ signature costumes

It was really interesting to learn about Elvis’ movie career, his time in the military and then his nerves ahead of the big ‘come back’ in the 1970s. The tour really mentioned nothing about his death or any illness ahead of it. It was really sad hearing his iconic music and seeing all the stuff from his heyday, before walking past his grave.

It was quite expensive; $37 each plus $10 to park across the street?! So I found that annoying. Especially when we had to wait half an hour at the end to get a bus 200m from the house back to the car. But I guess you really can’t go to Memphis and not see Graceland.

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The Heartbreak Hotel restaurant, we didn’t eat here

For lunch we opted for an authentic fried chicken experience at The Four Way, a Memphis institution since 1946.

We both had fried white meat, Andrew got corn and slaw on the side and I got macaroni and cheese and mashed potato and gravy (hello carbs!).

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Look at that smile

We were not disappointed.

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Doesn’t the mash and gravy look like ice cream and topping?!

After lunch we headed into the city to check out downtown Memphis.

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A visit to the Civil Rights Museum is an absolute must. It chronicles the lives and struggles of African Americans since the beginning of slavery, through segregation in the 1950s/60s to the current era. It was really well presented and informative.

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The 1955-1966 Montgomery Bus Boycotts exhibition 

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The 1960s student sit-ins exhibition 

The museum is housed in the old Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King Jnr was assassinated. The second half of the museum, dedicated to the life and death of MLK Jnr, is located across the street were they believe the fatal shot was fired from. Pretty sad stuff.

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That evening we headed to Beale Street to take in some live blues.

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We went to a few places but spent most of the night at BB King’s Blues Club. Coincidentally it was the late BB King’s birthday, so his family were all there with a giant cake.

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We watched a couple of awesome bands and were keen to stay but (and I realise this sounds totally lame) we were completely freezing in there. The aircon in the south/south east of America is so intense. I’m really not a fan of air conditioning at the best of times, so I’ve been extremely uncomfortable whenever I’ve forgotten to take a jacket with me, you know, in the middle of summer!

Anyway. Memphis, such an awesome city. So great to spend time somewhere with an awesome music scene again.

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5 Responses to Memphis, Tennessee

  1. Patrick Caruana says:

    Bec I loved the Graceland photos but the ones that really touched me were the Civil Rights ones. Especially the one of Martin Luther-Kings Motel Room and the one of the bus. It must have been quite moving in those areas. I think that you both however will need to go get some blood thinning medication to clear your veins after that fried lunch you both had. I could feel my own blood filling up with all the fattiness just looking at it. I’m really enjoying your travelogue. When were you at Graceland by the way? My friends from Melbourne seem to be following you. If you hear an Australian accent and the bloke calling his wife Paula or she calling him Col say hello from me. Oh they’re my age, Middle aged LOL. Travel Safe.

    • Bec says:

      We were at Graceland two weeks ago! I am looking forward to some plainer, healthier food in South America as my jeans are getting rather snug!

  2. Kriddy Girl says:

    Bec, im loving your updates. Each morning I come into work & make myself a coffee & check your updates. It makes me want to extend my 6 week holiday just so I can see these places.
    Can I ask what camera do you use to take all your beautiful photos?
    I’m hoping to document my trip like this next year for all my Italian relatives & want to make sure my pictures are as amazing as yours.
    Have you guys done New York as of yet?

    • Bec says:

      I love hearing that! I used to do the same thing at work with other blogs 🙂
      I use the Samsung NX1000, it’s a mirrorless camera which is kind of the middle ground between a bulky DSLR and a tiny point and shoot camera. It has a slim body but you can change the lens around if you want. I pretty much just shoot in ‘auto’ though! I bought it a few years ago for travel and I’m really happy with it! Also it was about $460 which I was pretty stoked with at the time. (The thought of spending that now is slightly eye watering!)
      We are doing New York when we come back to the States in March next year (after South and Central America), but I’ve been twice before and loved it! I think I have some old New York posts… If you put ‘New York’ in the search bar on my blog they should come up 🙂

  3. Looking forward to my visit later this month. Thanks for your thoughts, photos.

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