On the road again...

Trip Start Aug 18, 2008
Trip End Aug 27, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Thursday, August 21, 2008

Waking up this morning-after much needed sleeping in, our first stop was Miss Laura's Brothel.  Upon arriving we were greeted by an overly enthusiastic woman named Gretchen who offered to be our tour guide of the old bordello.  She, a retired navy nurse, was excited to hear about our venture to New York and all our travels along the way.  She walked us through the brothel giving us much info about Miss Laura who bought the place in 1908 and paid it off in 17 months with her profits.  The brothel had been restored after a tornado had swept through destroying everything but a glass case full of old memorabilia.  Upon leaving Gretchen gave a recommendation to eat at a good old southern favorite restaurant named Calicos. 
Arriving at Calicos we were welcomed by several southern accents and ordered a crap load of food to include:  a chicken fried steak sandwich, fried okra, fried corn on the cob, fried squash and two side salads with homemade dressing.  No, we did not eat it all!  But did enjoy the array of food we were able to try and only pay $20.01 for the entire meal!  We found the fried okra a little slimy and corn on the cob not requiring the frying process.  Although tasty, the fried food is catching up to us!
Needing to make it to Memphis before dark, we hopped onto I-40 and made our way east.  Arkansas highways are beautifully lined with green trees, creeks and lakes along the way.  Although uncomfortably muggy-absolutely beautiful!  After a short distance we came across the Arkansas wineries and had to pull off the road.  AAA recommended Wiederkehr wineries so we went there and did a little wine tasting.  We were informed we must not be from Arkansas because apparently people from AR drink ALL of the wine they are served while we just tasted and poured out the rest.  When possible we always try to take advantage of the restrooms we come across...this location was not a wise choice.   I walked into one of the stalls only to turn around to a huge cricket staring me down, quickly I left the stall.  Starting to feel like Little Red Riding hood, I proceeded to the next stall only to find the largest spider I had ever seen!  Squealing, I called Emily over to see this 3" long Daddy Long Leg resembling spider but with a body of a grape!  I decided to "hold it" until the next stop.  If that experience with the bugs wasn't enough, we decided to take a walk along a path in the backwoods of this Arkansas winery.  Seeing several wasps and beetles the size of quarters that only belong on a cork board with a straight pin smack dab in the center of them-we headed back to the car!
We declined to stop in Little Rock other than a quick restroom stop due to a Cops episode I saw weeks ago and the fear that has carried with me-not to mention it smelled bad!
Finally, we made it across the Mississippi River into Memphis.  After a slight detour through the city, we found our destination-the Red Roof Inn.  Now, we may be quick to judge but our place seems a little shady.  Aside from the dark area and the disclaimer signs posted about the hotel not being responsible for lost, or stolen items-at check in the desk clerk, a 200lb white woman with a set of gold grills greeted us.  Different...or shall I say unique?
While I was checking in, Emily met a nice woman hanging out in our lobby.  A kind woman who asked if we planned on getting something to eat and if she gave us gas money, would take her to eat with us.  (She didn't want to walk anywhere by herself)  Now we are fairly responsible people looking out for our own safety so we said no because we had already eaten (lie).  Checked into our hotel (no coffee maker!) we got ready to head out for a bite to eat.  Leaving our hotel, about to walk down our flight of stairs, we headed towards the woman we just lied to who was sitting blocking our way!  Quickly we backtracked hoping she would not see us!  I do believe she did, but whatever, you have to do what you have to do.
Making it to our car the back way, drove off to Beale St.  Um, can I say awesome and NOT scary at all?!  First of all, we stumbled across a cop outside of his cop car taking a picture of a tourist sitting in the front seat pretending to drive!  Sorry, but that would NEVER happen in SB...or Cali for that matter!  Next, people are walking up and down the street with drinks in hand like Isla Vista but glasses right side up and full!  After debating about a place to eat, came to Rum Buggies which was recommended to us by the fellas from Fort Smith.  Pleased, we sat ourselves down to get our grub on and listen to the live Blues Band that was rocking out the place.  We ordered the appetizer sampler platter which included fried pickles and nachos topped with pulled pork from our hot server.  As we ate, we listed to live music and watched horse drawn carriages stroll up and down the street.  Awesome place!
After visiting a couple other places to include Coyote Ugly, a mellow live music bar and a hip hop club for ladies night, we headed back to our hotel with valid high expectations of tomorrows adventure. 
So far, we love Memphis!
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