29th July - Walking in Memphis

Trip Start Jul 14, 2008
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Trip End Aug 17, 2008


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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Memphis

This morning we chucked on our blue suede shoes and headed out in the morning for a visit to the home of 'The King', Graceland.
We were bundled into mini-buses to take the 100m drive across the road from the visitors centre to the entrance to Graceland mansion. While it is set on massive grounds, the actual mansion isn't that big. A walk through the hallways took us past the bed in which Elvis slept, his kitchen, TV room and recording studio. While it was interesting, it was also bloody humid and everyone was keen to move on. We headed back over to the visitors centre and grabbed some late breakfast/lunch in an authentic diner. Adrian and I managed to hold our guts down and sample a fried banana and peanut butter sandwich, an Elvis favourite.....it was horrendous!! After Fiona got herself a 'Love Me Tender' temporary tattoo we headed back to the bus.

The next stop on the agenda was the Lorraine Hotel, the site of the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King Jnr. The hotel is now mostly the National Civil Rights museum although there are still some rooms available. On the way back to our hotel we stopped by Sun Studios, the birthplace of artists such as Elvis, Johnny Cash and many of the other largest names in music. Some people stayed around to catch a guided tour but the majority of us headed back to the hotel to relax before our evening outing.

That night we took in a true American experience, a baseball game. We went along to see a minor league game between the Memphis Redbirds and the Tacoma Mounties. Todd had organised a party deck for us, complete with buffet and a keg to which he famously proclaimed 'you won't finish that keg'. Stupid thing to say.....the keg got demolished. For the record, the home team was smashed by Tacoma 12-2!

After the game we headed to a bar called the 'Flying Saucer'. This was my type of bar; 200 international beers on tap, and they have a 300 club which you gain entry to by trying 300 different beers (only allowed 3 per day). We tried some awesome beers, particularly the Belgian ones and a beer made from raspberries that was served in a champagne glass. On the other hand, Todd suggested some truly awful beers including the Arrogant Bastard Ale and Rogue, which was black as midnight, heavy and tasted like an ashtray. He claimed it was 'too sophisticated for our unsophisticated Australian tastes'!!
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