Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Road Trip With Mom! Days Two and Four: Memphis and a Bit of Nashville

Welcome to Day Two of Mom and my road trip! It's difficult to top a night at the Grand Ole Opry with all the olds, but Mom and I were determined to do our best! We had a lovely brunch on the riverfront, and bumped into a couple of lovely ladies who you all might recognize...

That's right, it's Reba McIntyre and Wynonna! Such a strange coincidence that we ran into these two superstars at a breakfast advertised as "Breakfast with the Stars" because there they were! It must have been our lucky day...

We (sadly) left Opryland, but our spirits were quickly lifted when we realized that, on our drive to Memphis, we'd be passing right by Loretta Lynn's ranch in Hurricane Mills! We stopped there and saw some fantastic memorabilia (we weren't allowed to take pictures - lame), went inside her tour bus, checked out the Motocross track, and even spied her personal horses. One had "LL" branded on it's butt. Kinda weird.

After our wonderful break, we finished the trip to Memphis. You know what man? I love Memphis. I thank the entire universe for Memphis. I know we only saw a tiny part of it, but really. This is where so much of what I love was born, and I couldn't be more thankful for that.

We spent our first evening in Memphis on Beale St. eating barbecue and fried catfish and listening to a jazz orchestra. Later, we went to B.B. King's club where we saw a blues band. My mom can totally hang! Fantastic night.

Beale St. at night.

Notes to self: On Memphis...Sometimes a city is just a city. And music is just music. And just because you're in a gigantically powerful, passionate city, listening to this beautiful music, it doesn't mean you'd fall back in love. It isn't the music and the city that make you love. It would have to be the person. This is what it means to be thirty and know yourself really well, and be open, but cautious, in affairs of the heart. Taking a cue from Johnny Cash, I'm keeping a close watch on this heart of mine...

Sorry for the cryptic junk - get plenty of vodka in me sometime and maybe I'll explain that one some time...Okay, so on to Day 4. I'm skipping Day 3 for now because I really need to process that entire day a bit more, but I don't want to keep you all waiting too long. I mean, I know it's very difficult to carry on with your regular life when I'm not blogging...sorry dudes!

We woke up in Memphis on Tuesday morning and headed straight to Sun Studio. Sun was a recording studio and record label in Memphis started by Sam Phillips. Okay. Deep breath. Dudes, we were in the room where Elvis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Louis, Carl Perkins, Howling Wolf, and so many others recorded! Seriously, this was so cool. We heard original recordings of all these artists, including Elvis's first record ever - he'd recorded a song for his mother for her birthday the first time he walked into Sun.

Jerry Lee Louis, Carl Perkins, Elvis, and Johnny Cash.

Later, we went to the Stax Museum of American Soul. This was absolutely the high point of this trip for me. Do you even know how much I love Otis Redding? Ever since the first time I saw Pretty in Pink and Duckie danced to "Try a Little Tenderness," I was in love with Otis Redding. I love every song he sings. I love the way he dances. I love everything about him. Once in awhile, as I walk by Lake Monona in Madison, I feel a surge of anger and sadness - this was the lake that swallowed Otis's plane when he was just 26 years old. To think that he accomplished so much in such a short life, expressed so much amazing music and art - it just blows my mind.

Stax was fantastic. Here's the hall of records - I think it's every single record put out by Stax. It went on forever...

That afternoon, we drove back to Nashville, checked into our hotel, and had a lovely sushi dinner at Ru San's, which is my absolutely favorite sushi restaurant! The Hodi-Totonchi family, plus many of my sister's friends, have spent many hungover lunches and dinners at Ru San's in Atlanta...and there was one in Nashville. Fantastic!

Here's a view of our hotel - it used to be a train station. I'll get more daytime pictures today.

I'm really loving it down here.

Next up! Day Three: Graceland and the National Civil Rights Museum.


Sara Ashes said...

beautiful sissy on so many levels! yes, totally keeping a close watch on this heart of mine too. xoxox

SophisticatedBrew said...

You + Your Mom + Your Vacation = lovely

jx said...

lots of random thoughts.

train station hotel sounds amazing. i want to hear more about the italicized section. reba kind of looks like bruce mcculloch as cathy with a c (or k?). i find it endearing that you two signed up for such a cheesy-sounding brunch..with the stars (say it in a breathy voice). haha. i went to loretta lynn's ranch as a kid with my mom and stepdad. i was so very not interested in any of the country whatnot. but i did think the nature was beautiful. memphis sounds nice. i heart otis redding, too. sfo is my favorite city and i get all nostalgic when i listen to "sittin' on the dock of the bay." if i were a famous or not famous singer, i would cover that song. come back soon, reem! or are you back?