Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Eastward Ho!

IMG_3823July 27 – Yes, I’m a bit behind in the blogging, and the downside of that is that it is difficult to remember the details. Not the big stuff, but the little stuff like … where the hell were we on Wednesday?

Ah yes, we started in Kansas City, MO. And we drove east, arriving in St. Louis just around 10:00 a.m. I don’t recall anything about the drive, except that I believe it was rather unimaginative – nothing particularly beautiful or ugly. Just road.

The plan was to drive by the Arch, snap a few photos, and continue on to Memphis in time for the 5 p.m. duck walk at the Peabody Hotel (where I had decided we would spend the night, after our less-than-stellar Holiday Inn experience). But that Arch is pretty alluring – close up and in person, it is pretty magnificent. Since we had made good time, so up we went. (Actually, first you have to go down below the Arch, and then you take a pod-like tram to the top). And I realized that St. Louis is one hell of a big city. Really big. Oh, and the Mississippi River is pretty ugly down here, as compared to up north.

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After the Arch we walked along a small historic riverfront area (in need of some life), ate lunch and got back on the road. But, eeek! Would we make it by 5 p.m.? It was looking iffy but I was determined to make a go of it.

Chickasawba-20110727-00149We crossed into Arkansas – quick, stop for a photo, but keep moving. We crossed into Tennessee – quick, stop for a photo, but keep moving. Memphis-20110727-00152Yes, we were going to make it, with 3 minutes to spare (seriously) when, disaster struck in the form of … a wrong turn. Yes, a single wrong turn got us to the Peabody at 5:10, minutes after the ducks had departed for the evening. Sigh … well, there was still tomorrow.

So, we checked in, went to the rooftop for a view of Memphis, and then I had my annual meat fix at the Rendez-Vous. Bar-be-que that was definitely worth it.

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Then we headed to Beale Street. Everything I remembered and more – the more in this case being Bike Night, a Wednesday night tradition. Hundreds of bikers and bikes. Plus the usual streetside musicians, beer garden bands, and wandering crowds. And “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” being played and sung at every single bar up and down the street. Really, Memphis didn’t turn out any other song? None?

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Well, tomorrow includes a stop at Graceland, so we’ll see if there isn’t another tune or two around.