Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The World's Best Fried Chicken...At Gus's-Beale St. and Graceland

We got out of work at 4:00pm and decided to go back into downtown Memphis for dinner. We were told by our friends, Lew and Dottie, that we have to eat at Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken. It is one of those hole in the wall places that has great food. It is a real local place to eat and certainly nothing fancy. We walked in, sat down and ordered drinks and our fried chicken meals. The drinks came out and a few minutes later, out came our meals. The pieces of chicken were big and GOOD! Remember, I am not a big fan of chicken either. After dinner, we decided to head back to Beale St. since it was a nice day and we needed to take a short walk to settle our meal.
Things were different downtown today. People were out, musicians were playing and the street was busy. We walked the length of Beale St. and checked out all the restaurants, bars and the Pepsi Cola Pavilion. A band was playing at the outdoor pavilion and we listened to a song or two. We then made our way back up the street and back to the car.
Since we were so close to Graceland and it was still nice out, we headed for the home of Elvis. Of course Graceland was closed for the day but we searched the grounds for a few photos opportunities. We saw the gate to Graceland and even got a shot of one of the houses on the grounds. The Elvis auto museum is also near the grounds (actually across the street) and it would have been fun to go in and see some of the cars on display. Maybe next time.

Peg got into the act as she presents a couple of photos and the neon signature of Elvis on the side of one of the Graceland buildings.

 We had a good time as we became "accidental tourists," as Peg commented. We had Graceland all to ourselves, but you know...Elvis had left the building!

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Crystal Shrine Grotto - Memorial Park Cemetary

Monday morning the rally vendors (like us) were starting at 12 noon, so we had a little time to explore Memphis a little. We headed to the Crystal Shrine Grotto. Peg did some research on this grotto and though it would be interesting to see. We used our new GPS sent to us by Rand McNally to test and evaluate for our American RVer show. It is working much better than our old Garmin. It lead us straight to the Crystal Shrine Grotto.

The first thing you see is a small pond and a covered bridge carved out of a large tree. Pretty cool! The grotto or cave was constructed by Memorial Park founder E. Clovis Hinds and Mexican artist DioƱicio Rodriguez in 1935-38. Natural rock and quartz crystal collected from the Ozarks for the background of the nine scenes of the life of Christ. The cave was built of concrete in imitation of rocks, boulders and trees. The entrance is quite impressive and made us feel like we were in a section of "middle earth".

Peg and I checked out all the scenes and I was especially interested in the huge quartz crystals used in the walls of the cave. With the lighting inside the grotto and the reflective crystals the interior looked quite mystic.

Even through the weather was still overcast, this little diversion was a nice departure from work...at least for this morning...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

We're Walking in Memphis - Our First Day Here...

We are on the road and now in Memphis, Tennessee after traveling Rt. 40 near the Mississippi flood waters. We made it to the American Coach Association Rally at the Ag Center just outside of Memphis. 

We set up the MCD booth on Sunday morning and had brunch with Peg's nephew, James, who was traveling through Memphis on his way back from a wedding in Nashville with three other people. He lives in Ft. Worth, so it was ironic that we were all up in Memphis together. We ate at The Grove Inn and the food was very good. One of the women that was traveling with James knew the owner/chef and suggested we all meet there. It was a nice time and after the meal, we all headed downtown to check out the river and Beale St. It was cold and windy but Peg and I did walk a little ways on the river walk to see how high the Mississippi river was. There was still evidence of the water that had flooded that area only days before.
We then headed towards Beale St. and took a few photos of the "birthplace of Rock N Roll" in downtown Memphis. Not too many people hanging around on the street because of the weather so we decided to come back here at a later date in better weather.