My wee travel partner and I just returned from a quick trip to Memphis, and I cannot tell you how awesome it was – have you ever been? If not, walkdontrun straight to Memphis right now- what an outstanding city!
One of the highlights of the trip for us was the Memphis Zoo, quite possibly the loveliest zoo I have ever seen. We visited with some panda bears, which was the Wee One’s favorite – and the giraffes were straight up adorable. Love! Here are some pictures:
We did some great eating while there – one of the standouts was a restaurant called Kooky Canuck, highly recommended by some locals, which featured Canadian food, if you can imagine! I was thrilled! I had some poutine (because of course I did), Montreal-style hot dogs, and great Canadian beer – it was a delicious meal! We sampled some Memphis-style BBQ, which we loved (especially since the place that we visited on Beale Street was a rockin’ blues club with two goats in the backyard – so awesome); another standout meal was at a place called Cafe Eclectic – everything there was yummy, especially my Elvis sandwich (grilled peanut butter and banana, ordered from the kids menu – so.good.).
Speaking of Elvis…we visited Graceland! I was surprised by how much I knew about the King, and totally taken aback by how much I LOVED it! We did the iPad tour (narrated by the lovely John Stamos – he can whisper in my ear any time he wants), which was very cool and informative – and the tour of the mansion and grounds was really great. I loved Graceland!
We also visited Sun Studio, where Elvis began his recording career. This wasn’t exactly the Wee One’s cup of tea, but I loved it a whole big bunch – we stood on the spot where the famous Million Dollar Quartet picture had been taken, I held the microphone Elvis sang in to, I touched the piano played by one of my musical favorites (and first concert I ever attended) Jerry Lee Lewis. The history there was magical, especially for a music lover like me – our tour guide Jane was awesome, and I loved the whole vibe of the place (did you know U2 recorded “Rattle and Hum” there? Neither did I!). Yaa!
We went to see the Broadway musical “Pippen” at the historic Orpheum Theatre – it was fantastic!!! That’s a show that’s not to miss – the acrobats, the sights…it was great!! We particularly loved the sing-along number (I didn’t see that coming!) – such fun!
We visited the Peabody Hotel to witness the march of the historic Peabody ducks. This sounds silly, but let me tell you….it was fabulous! If you aren’t familiar with the story, here it is:
The Peabody Memphis Ducks
In 1933, Frank Schutt, General Manager of The Peabody, and a friend, Chip Barwick, returned from a weekend hunting trip in Arkansas. The men had a little too much Jack Daniel’s Tennessee sippin’ whiskey and thought it would be funny to place some of their live duck decoys (it was legal then for hunters to use live decoys) in the beautiful Peabody fountain.
Three small, English call ducks were selected as “guinea pigs” and the reaction was nothing short of enthusiastic. Soon, five North American Mallard ducks would replace the original ducks.
In 1940, Bellman Edward Pembroke, a former circus animal trainer, offered to help with delivering the ducks to the fountain each day and taught them the now-famous Peabody Duck March. Mr. Pembroke became the Peabody Duckmaster, serving in that capacity for 50 years until his retirement in 1991.
Nearly 90 years after the inaugural march, ducks still visit the lobby fountain at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day.
We were only in Memphis a few days, but I can guarantee that we will be back as soon as we can – we loved it that much! Memphis is an absolute treat to see, the people are outstanding and the very best example of Southern hospitality that you could ever hope to find, and it has a warm, happy feel that will leave you a person changed for the better. I heart Memphis!