I’m late, I’m late…
We’ve been busy. Really busy. Last weekend J, the small one and I saw Eric Clapton Live and Elvis’s grave at Graceland.She spent most of the concert with her mouth hanging open. It’s great to watch her appreciate talented musicians. Not only were Mr. Clapton and Roger Daltrey (who opened) just phenomenal, but their bands were equally impressive. There was some fantastic musicianship all across that stage.
Just a quick shout out to Memphis Tourism. You guys have it down. We’ve made several trips to Memphis lately. Every one of them a success. From the time we arrived to the time we left people were helpful and nice and get this…they were POLITE! I felt like I was actually being served instead of my patronage being an inconvenience. I hate when in a restaurant, hotel or entertainment venue I am treated as though they are doing me a favor to take my money. So thanks Memphis. It didn’t even ruffle my feathers that the nice lady at the concession stand at the Fed Ex Forum called me honey, baby and sugar all in one conversation while she apologized that I had to “gasp” wait in line to buy a soda.
The small one had asked to go to Graceland before but honestly we thought she wouldn’t enjoy it. Imagine my surprise when she looked at me after we spent several hours there amidst a large group of young girl scouts (and a few screaming siblings) and said “thank you.” Wow. Was it the gold records or the sequined jumpsuits? Perhaps the fancy cars and motorcycles? Maybe it was the fur covered furniture in the jungle room? I think she was amazed to find out that what would be an average sized home for some of her more affluent school companions, Graceland really was once considered a mansion.
We were going to eat at the famous Marlowe’s BBQ after Graceland, alas it didn’t open until 4 p.m. and we had to be back on the road to LR before then. So we searched ‘area restaurants’ in our TomTom and an address for Sam’s Down South BBQ and Hot Wings came up. As we drove down the street the small one expressed some concern about the condition of the neighborhood. Upon arrival we discovered a smoker on the cracked front sidewalk of a strip mall. With window bars. And peeling paint on old concrete walls. But it smelled so good. So we entered. And were immediately greeted with “you folks aren’t from around here are you?” I am not kidding. That’s a quote. What? They don’t see “our kind” there? How sad. The cook watched us warily for several minutes, commented how nice it was to have a loving family in his place and asked us all kinds of questions to make sure he fixed our meats just the way we wanted. Nice. After he finally figured out that we just like to eat, he sat down with us-there were no tables, just a couple of beat up old vinyl chairs-and we had a nice conversation while balancing styrofoam boxes full of MEAT. He even brought out some of the meats we didn’t buy for us to try. We had ribs, wings and a pulled pork sammie between us but we tried the brisket which was heavenly, pork shoulder mmmm and rib tips. Sam thinks his rib tips are the bomb and he might be correct. Sam, those were some of the hottest, meatiest, messiest wings we’ve had in a long time. And yes you were right, the ribs are better dry.
Then J and I went off to Eureka Springs for 3 days while he attended a work conference. We were just in that gorgeous little town right after Christmas for some R&R. I knew I couldn’t shop-or rather I shouldn’t. Instead I ran the winding and hilly historic loop (from our hotel it was about 2.7 mi) where all the quaint little shops and restaurants are located, did hill repeats in our hotel driveway and then walked the loop again to get lunch. The following day I was completely lazy and read books, mostly cookbooks that I had “won” at the silent auction the night before. I watched more TV that day than I had in the last month I think. I became addicted to some show about people who “do” hair. How did I live not knowing about Shear Genius? Yeah. Whatev. I haven’t watched it since that day and I can’t say I’ve missed it. But THAT day, that day it was essential to my mental well being.
In December, I insisted that no exercise would be part of the trip. It was relaxing remember? But this time we took our mountain bikes and finally got to try out some of the trails at Lake Leatherwood. Here we are on Miner’s Rock Trail. The sweeping downhill was so worth the climb up! Sweet Ride. That’s a really nice little city park. Well done Eureka Springs.