My daughter, Emma Grace, is my guest blogger today:
It’s officially Day 3 of our cross country trip. After staying the night at our friend Kate’s house, we ate a delicious breakfast with their family, consisting of eggs, bacon, biscuits and homemade blackberry jam. We packed up the car and set out for Memphis, Tennessee. It took us about four hours to reach our next stop: The Bass Pro Shop at the Pyramids, the largest retail store in the world.
Each of us in the family chose one stop on this trip and, of course, Luke saw this store as a must. It doubled as a hotel and had a restaurant, fudge shop, lots of fish, as well as fishing and hunting gear galore. We started at an arcade hunting game and made our way around the place. Once we got to the bait and tackle section and settled down for some fudge, Luke, much to our surprise (not really), told us that he lost his wallet. Off they went. Luke and my parents went to search for the lost treasure while I stayed back and ate the rest of my peanut butter fudge with Seth.
As many people that know me have witnessed, I always prefer the activity that involves food, especially chocolate. Well, about thirty minutes later they got back with Luke’s wallet found at the front desk (someone had turned it in), and we set out to explore Memphis.
We headed toward Beale Street (known for the Blues) but my parents got one look at the madness on the street on Memorial Day and kept driving. We then drove on to the Lorraine Motel, the place where Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed on the balcony in front of room 306 in 1968. There is a small National Civil Rights Museum there now and several other memorials commemorating his death. In an adjacent building, about 50 yards from his hotel room, is a glass window from which James Earl Ray fired the single bullet that made such an impact on history.
After taking a sober walk around the motel and taking a few pictures for us and other families, we headed to the barbecue place right across the street.
An hour and several “down by the river” and “sticks” games, Dad went up and asked the waiter about our food. They had forgotten our order. We were hoping for some sort of treat because of the mess-up but no luck there. Our food was rushed out to us though. We had ordered BBQ nachos, a brisket platter, and some pork barbecue that came with mac ‘n’ cheese and Memphis-style beans. It was amazing – especially the brisket and mac-n-cheese (so creamy).
After dinner, we drove to Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley, just to get a quick picture. We really weren’t interested in paying money to do the tour but I guess, we had to say that we stopped there if we were in Memphis.
To our surprise, the hotel was right down the road from Graceland. Our friend, Kate, who we stayed with the night before had us concerned about our hotel. She used to live in Memphis and told us that there were a lot of rough areas and hotels. On the short drive to the hotel, my mom explained how she wanted Dad to check out the room before he called us in. She said, “To check for bed bugs, go into the room while it’s still dark, use your phone flashlight, lift up the mattress and look for black bugs.” That’s what my aunt told her to do. So we did it.
No sign of bed bugs. We were clear. The room had 2 king beds so three of us could each sleep on a bed. My bed didn’t have a fitted sheet on it – just two flat sheets. We called to the front desk to get a fitted sheet but they never came. My mom said, “That’s what you get for $40 a night.” But it was clean, the beds were comfortable, and the A/C was cool. Another day down on our road trip across the USA.