This is a two part story about the only vacation I have ever taken with my family. This happened when I was 25 or so. I was between heart surgeries and living in the old apartment.
My father, sister, J, and brother, T, all took a drive. My father owned part of a mountain in Arkansas. There was a house on it, and we weren’t sure if his ex girlfriend was still in it or not. He also had a full storage unit that needed clearing out.
But we decided to have a little fun on the way up and stop in Tennessee to visit Memphis before we went to Arkansas. My father had some money as his mother had fairly recently died. My brother and sister were both in between jobs. And I hadn’t taken a vacation in several years due to my heart surgeries.
My father drove the entire way from Florida to Memphis. We left on a Friday after I got home from work. We were all supposed to sleep while he drove and then be refreshed Saturday morning for Memphis. But I have terrible insomnia under ideal situations. And my father’s driving is far from ideal.
Unsurprisingly, I could not relax enough to sleep. So I stayed awake and talked to my father. I was convinced that if I just kept vigil then he couldn’t wreck and kill us all. And he didn’t, so I can only assume I was right.
We got to Memphis Saturday morning and took showers and immediately went out to explore the city. I hadn’t slept in about 27 hours by that point. We had breakfast at the closest place to our hotel. It was directly across the trolley tracks.
The restaurant was called the Blue Plate Cafe. It was adorable inside. We were served with a big basket of all you can eat biscuits to go with our meal. Now, many of you know that I like to cook. And I am a good cook. And I make excellent biscuits. But these biscuits made mine seem like hockey pucks. I took some home and had them cold later in the day and they were still fantastic.
Then we took the trolley down to Beale St. This was long before I started drinking. And it was still early in the morning. So we explored the shops. Trolley rides were a dollar and some of the cars were so old and cool.
That song was stuck in my head the whole time I was in Memphis.
I ate ribs for lunch and dinner every day we were in Memphis. They were delicious every place we went. My father even ate them and he doesn’t eat pork.
We of course drove past Graceland. And saw the Martin Luther King museum that was built at the hotel where he was shot and killed.
Every night we went down to Beale St and everyone got drunk (except me) and had a great time. As you know, my family gets on VERY well we we are all drinking.
But the best thing we saw was the Belz museum. It was our last day in Memphis and I had wanted to go to the Cotton Museum (I love any kind of museum about pretty much anything) but tickets were just too expensive. As we were wandering the city we happened upon the Belz museum.
My family is Jewish and the combination of Asian and Judaic art was pretty much irresistible to us. Also, it seemed like a bizarre combination.
This museum was incredible. If you are in Tennessee and don’t visit then you are only cheating yourself. I literally gasped at some of the pieces on display there.
Memphis was a friendly and fun city. However, Arkansas was our next stop and we were going to find it very different from Memphis. In my next post.