Our Tuesday in Memphis started off by sleeping in a bit and skipping breakfast in favor of getting to the Peabody Hotel early enough to get seats to see the ducks. We got there in plenty of time to sit at a table in the large and elaborately decorated lobby. An enormous floral arrangement sat atop the fountain where the ducks spend several hours a day swimming. Just before the server came to take our drink order, mom saw that the woman at the table in front of us had gotten a fruity drink with a tiny rubber ducky floating in it – she had to have one. 🙂 The server explained it was orange juice, pineapple juice, and coconut rum. I had to have one, too. It was 10 am, but hey, the drink seemed like a good way to get my vitamin C for the day! The lobby filled up quickly and the “Duckmaster” came out to lay down some ground rules and explain how the ducks came to be at the Peabody. It should come as no great surprise that Jack Daniels played a significant part in the ducks’ story. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a great view of the ducks coming off the elevator and waddling into the fountain, but we did stick around to watch them swim and eat their breakfast. They were adorable and you could tell they are very well taken care of.
After The Peabody, we walked to the Memphis Rock n Soul Museum, which was a research project of the Smithsonian Institution. The tour started with a brief film and then an audio guide took you through the rest of the museum. There were displays of juke boxes, old radios, suits worn by performers, even a musician’s Triumph motorcycle. The audio tour included dozens of songs from various musicians that could be played at any time – it was pretty cool.
Since we skipped breakfast, after the Rock n Soul Museum, I was starving. Good thing we were headed to Central BBQ for some delicious Memphis barbecue. Upon walking into the restaurant, the smell was amazing. We both got a pulled pork sandwich – mom’s with cole slaw, mine without – and I added a side of baked beans. The pork was smoky, a little sweet, and super tender. We were so hungry and the food was so delicious, we didn’t even pause to take photos.
Tuesday evening was pretty laid back – a few beers and a little Blues music on Beale Street, and dinner on Main Street at Aldo’s Pizza Pies. I highly recommend Aldo’s for any pizza addicts who love New York style crust.
Wednesday morning started with an iced coffee and a ridiculously good croissant sandwich at a local place called Cafe Keough (note to self: find fig jam and buy enough to fill the pantry). Then we packed up the car and drove to the Historic Elmwood Cemetery. Mom and I have always enjoyed spending time at cemeteries. It might seem odd to some people, but they are quiet places, full of history, and often times beautiful trees, flowers, and monuments. Elmwood fit that description to the max. It is considered one of the first “rural garden cemeteries” of the South. It is overflowing with massive magnolia trees whose flowers filled the roads with a sweet fragrance. There are a lot historically significant people buried there, as well as some real characters – for example, Alma Theede rests here; known as Vance Avenue Alma, she was accused of shooting three of her six husbands, serving time for two. I’ll let the photos and captions do the rest of the explaining.