Monday, April 13, 2015

Day 3-Rosie, We're Not In Nashville Anymore...

Somewhere between the hours of 5:00-6:00am I was abruptly awoken, and I am not talking hey are you awake? My tent was being shook viciously, I heard a male voice saying, "hey! hey wake up!" "get out, now before I call the cops and have you arrested!" "This is private property." I replied ok, I am working on it. This conversation was all in less than a minute, so he was rather impatient with our attentiveness though there is only so much you can do to jump out of a double zipped tent. I walked out half asleep, half in the midst of a heart attack; to find a man in a security polo. I explained that we are on a cross country trip from Connecticut and left yesterday and had to rest throughout the night. Alright fine, we didn't leave Connecticut yesterday but I had to make the urgency as to why we were camping on private property. As Rosie so finely states it, "doesn't seem very Christian like to force two girls traveling cross country out of God's house when nobody was being bothered. Sometimes my fellow "believers" disappoint me." Right then I disassembled my damp tent as quickly as I could and didn't bother to pack anything away. Everything was just thrown into the car so we could get off the property as soon as possible. When most everything was away, he beeped at me and I thought he was being a impatient asshole; I walked over to where he pulled the pickup truck up next to our car to find him grinning and asking, "so you're really traveling cross country?" I replied yes? He said it must have been pretty uncomfortable to sleep on the ground, I chuckled and said well, I hiked the Appalachian Trail last year and spent 6 months on the ground. This patch of grass here sir was pretty comfortable might I add. He wished us good luck and to be safe and off he drove as we got in the car and left as well. Well, that Walmart sounds pretty good right about now we thought, thankfully it was just 5 minutes down the road. We pulled in to a spot, turned off the car and I tried every position imaginable in the driver's seat to get comfortable. My neck was so stiff and uncomfortable, I tried my feet on the dash, folded like a pretzel, off to the side, nothing made sleeping easy. But I did get some rest, Rosie posted photos to Facebook and just hung out. I woke up with the most dry mouth ever, so thankful for the last drop of sweet tea from lunch yesterday still in the car. Around 8:00 I decided sleep was no longer a priority since it was not easily obtainable, so I started to upload the photos from the camera and add them to the blog posts. Finally caught up we are trying to figure out our destinations for today in Memphis and what the plan will be to aim for tonight. Since the car was packed to the roof, we decided to square away all of the camping gear and organize. Last I checked, it was preferred to see out the windows while driving. After we got dressed, we went into Walmart so Rosie could get a pair of flip flop (shower shoes.) Next stop would be Beale Street so we could get some lunch! We walked down one side, and up the other to get a feel for where we wanted to eat. Outside stood a young man who started talking to us telling us we should come in for lunch, of course he is going to say where he works is the place to eat. I asked him how long he has lived in Memphis and he said all of his life, I then proceeded to ask the as a local where would you choose to eat. He still said where he worked and the place across the street was probably our best bet, but he sold us on their one of a kind deep fried ribs. We settled down inside at a table and pulled out our maps and guide books to tentatively figure things out. When it came time to order we decided to split the ribs and a cheeseburger so we could try two things instead of one. The food was outstanding, the cheeseburger was so good, and the ribs had an amazing smoked flavor and a really good BBQ sauce on the side. We got a side of baked beans which were to die for as well as potato salad and French fries. After lunch we decided to subdue the spontaneity for a night after the night we had last night and make a reservation at the KOA campground near Oklahoma City for tonight. Once that was squared away, we finished off lunch with a few last blues songs by the live musician and then headed back to walkin in Memphis, with our feet ten feet off of Beale. (Sorry I just had to!) We thanked the host outside for the great recommendation and went next door into a gift shop. There were a lot of cool things inside, including a few antique museum items to check out while you looked around. I ended up getting a cute little wooden spoon hand carved in Memphis with a heart engraved on the handle, I also picked up a Turkish pendant which attempts to ward off the curse of the evil eye. I first saw this worn around the neck of a friend, and then realized another friend had it in her apartment and I was intrigued by it to say the least. After the shopping expedition, we decided to drive to Sun Studios where Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and many others recorded their records. We decided to take the tour which started at 2:30 so we had a half hour to kill, meaning we should manage our time wisely and go to the park to see the bicycle gate. I was really looking forward to seeing this colorful monument, so we drove 10 minutes down the road to get photos, and then we would return in time for the tour. Well, we pulled into the park; drove all around, asked the zoo within the park if they knew where it was-no clue. Asked a guy jogging along side the road-no clue. Even asked some landscapers and wouldn't you guess it they didn't have a clue either! How could no one know what I was talking about? It was 9 minutes before we were supposed to go on tour of Sun Studios and at the last minute Rosie spotted it off in the distance to our left! We struggled to get out of the park and back on the main road, when we did, we realized we couldn't pull into where the gateway was, there was no entrance. There was however a small uturn like pull through that I parked at in the middle of an intersection. Rosie waited in the car and I ran over to the gateway, I was so happy we found it; such a unique hidden gem apparently. After running back to the car we only had about 4 minutes to drive the 10 we needed to, luckily we were only about 5 minutes late to the tour. Inside, we walked upstairs to the museum where radio show replica booths were, memorabilia, Elvis's social security card anddiploma, and other items stay preserved. Coco (our tour guide) told us all about the studio and these famous performers who once filled this building with life. After the museum tour we went downstairs to the actual recording studio; we saw the original instruments, tile floors, ceilings, and a microphone used by the King himself. While listening to hits from these famous musicians, Coco told us more about each songwriters life and songs. After we were able to take photos with the famous microphone, kiss the X which marked where Elvis stood, and check out Jerry Lee's cigar burn he put on the key of his piano. It was a really cool experience to be in such a famous legendary place. After, we headed over to see Elvis's house. My mom has loved Elvis ever since I could remember, we weren't going to pay the $35 for the full tour, but I still wanted to get photos. We pulled into Graceland and was told the house was across the street and we could take a shuttle up there. We decided to see if we could park somewhere and walk over, luckily there was a pull off where you could park right next to the wall and gates of his house. We got out and took a bunch of photos and signed the wall, I sent some to my mom and I could tell she was uber jealous. I told her I'd do the tour with her someday. We headed out to check if the Beale Street performers were entertaining since it was raining on and off. Couldn't spot them on our drive by, so we decided to head out of Memphis. I am really glad we stopped in Memphis and got to see what we did. We weren't able to stay long, and Nashville is more of my scene, but I think we got a nice experience and touched on a lot of musical history. If there's one thing I've learned in the last three days it's this, we are just scratching the surface of these states, towns, and cities. It would just be impossible to see everything, everywhere, in the time frame we have. So, we have to figure out which trumps another place so we can stay longer there. We had about a 6 hour and 45 minute drive to the KOA Campground near Oklahoma City. It had been raining on and off all day but mostly when we were driving so we never got caught in it, it decided to do the same for the length of my time driving. At some points in Arkansas it was pouring so hard I could barely see the car in front of me. I Facetimed with Mom, Hunter, and Felix for a few before the rain got bad again. The drive was pretty straight forward and boring, nothing to see but a whole lot of rain. I got hungry and remembered we took a couple ribs and fries leftover from lunch earlier, which made a perfect road snack. After a little over 3 hours of driving we stopped to get gas and switch drivers, my eyes were so tired between contacts and driving so I figured I'd give them a rest. Although I wasn't really able to, since I figured I'd upload the photos from the camera and staring at the computer hurt them too. The rest of the drive we just anticipated getting there and listened to music. When we arrived at the KOA we struggled a bit in the dark with no signs to find out campsite. After driving around a second time we finally found it, set up camp and crawled in for the night. Thankfully it stopped raining when Rosie started driving so we didn't have to worry about setting up in the rain. Though, more rain would be coming our way overnight and into tomorrow. Goodnight all, Oklahona City exploration tomorrow awaits.

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