Love, Peace & Chicken Grease.

Trip Start Jul 24, 2011
Trip End Aug 25, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Monday, December 12, 2011

'Oh by the time we made it to Arkansas,
It must have been half past three.
& by the time we made it to Memphis, we were crazy.'

Oh Tennessee, oh roadtrips, oh how visiting any other city makes me love Chicago that much more.
This weekend has been the craziest of my life. 55 hours that went something like this; 26 hours driving (not as in sitting in the car, as in behind the wheel myself, driving). only 5 hours sleeping. 3 hours waiting for a mechanic. repelled all technology (1 headset, 2 room keys, 1 minivan). started the road trip with 7 people, ended with 2. consumed 8 & a half cans of red bull, 6 cups of coffee, 4 no-doze. got into a mexican animal war. heard countless southern accents. lost my voice. gained an ipod or two. and so very vaguely remember visiting Graceland & Elvis at some point aswell.

                                                                                  But I wouldn't change a single thing.

I truly can't express just how much I loved every second of it. From our au pair christmas party which we managed to cram countless awkward moments into a single half hour. To getting lost before we even made it out of our own city, we were doomed from the get go! 13 hours for what was meant to be a 10 hour drive. Blasting old school tunes all the way, baggin' out Kirby for her complete lack of a musical education, consuming countless amounts of caffeine which resulted in me being the one person completely buzzing & cheery & waking up the rest of the car at about 3am screaming 'WE'RE IN MISSOURI BITCHES!'. Making minute long stops at each state line, freezing our asses off just for proof of our whereabouts. Even got my car floormats shampooed, no charge!

Finally, what felt like a lifetime later, we arrived at Graceland, Memphis. Elvis's metaphorical Heartbreak Hotel on Lonely St proved like such a happier place than one would expect. And the Graceland tour, though I could understand hardly a word of the silly tour due to a dodgy headset (honest to god, I repel any & all technology) was glorious. Though it didn't take long to have seen & heard so much Elvis I was ready to explode. My favourite part has got to be the tour of his plane, the Lisa Marie, in which we were told of him flying her to Colorado (over a thousand miles away), so she could play in the snow 'for a few minutes' before getting back on the plane! We toured his house, admired his trophys, patted his horse, broke his cars, pumped his gas (; & watched all of about 5 minutes of the 24 hour Elvis TV. It was magical.

After we got so very sick of Elvis & all the cheesy giftshop merchandise (that even included Elvis Mr. Potato-heads) we headed towards the scary Black Pyramid to downtown Memphis, which is in all honesty, about 3 streets.. We were all absolutely shivering cold & a group divided in what we wanted to do, but we got some cutesy touristy photos, had fake Dragonball Z fights outside the Autozone baseball park (& real bitchfights about 100 metres down the road), Kale, Tatjana & I all bought matching gloves to go with our matching beanies, ate the legendary Tennessee meal of chicken & waffles at the 'sancti-fried' Miss Polly's Soul City Cafe, visited the Peabody Hotel (home of self-playing pianos & genius marching ducks) and did a drive-by of the incredibly underwhelming Sun Studios & the famous Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King was assassinated.

After hittin' up Maccas for dinner (instead of gettin' the FREE PINK LIMO RIDE to a nearby restaurant, I might add) & almost breaking our bags smuggling beer back up to our hotel rooms, we finally got to chill & relax. Until the other girls came by asking for a ride to Walgreens for further snacks, at which point our car basically self-imploded. Absolute chaos & hilarity quickly ensued. After the manager of Walgreens tried jumpstarting our car, (which worked only to find out sweet sweet Bessie the Beast decided to go all Christine on us & just rev & accelerate all on her own!) he too realised we were absolutely & horrifyingly screwed & simply offered to just drive us back to the hotel so we could deal with it come sunrise. I was a wreck, though still managing to make endless lame jokes & crack myself up in my overtired, overcaffeinated state. Malin's & my next morning's exercise was found in walking back to the car, then to the auto store, then back to the car to take photos to take back to the auto store, then driving back to Walgreens to jumpstart the car once again to drive to the auto store, then back to the hotel myself to check out & carry 3 big bags back to the auto store LOL. At some point during this scenic tour of Elvis Presley Boulevard, the others back at the hotel decided their only option was to abandon all hope & jump ship, booking tickets & catching a bus all the way back to Chicago. Haha, I joke, somewhat. They had work at 6-7am Monday & we had been given no sense of time frame for the car's recovery so it was more than understandable. Found it quite funny though that they sent us multiple guilt-ridden texts apologising for leaving us & wishing us luck, when in the end I feel our journey trumped theirs in both comfort & entertainment haha (:

So our day, instead of spent driving, was spent hanging out in the back of the car in the sunshine, eating leftover doritoes & chocolates from the drive down, waitin' on the mechanic (which once he arrived, poor Bessie suffered some pretty severe performance anxiety & decided to start & run without any visible problems -.- no jumpstart even necessary!) But still, the problem was located & a new part needed. By about 3pm though we were good to go. With a slight detour further south simply so we could enter the wonderful Mississippi, we were on our way home, glorious home! Funnily enough though, I feel the trip back with only 1 other person, was vastly more entertaining than the trip down with 7 people. We talked, sang, screamed to every possible song. Stopped at a random 'authentic'
Mexican restaurant on the way home, where the waitors greeted us with 'Hola Amiga' & meowed everytime he walked past.. yes, MEOWED. I'm still unsure why, but of course that didn't stop me from barking, neighing & baa-ing back. & Once we were walking out the doors Malin & I both howled at the moon just for effect haha. So incredibly strange. Spent most of the dinner mocking the endless Tennessee accents we'd heard (I'd gotten giddy with excitement everytime we heard someone say 'Y'all' or even 'little darlin' in all seriousness) before realising we were still too far south to be able to get away with imitating it too loudly! Then finally, we made it far enough back to see the gorgeous Chicago skyline. Coming home has never felt so wonderful! Especially with the perfect music Malin lined up especially for that moment, even though it was so fitting
& glorious that it distracted me into taking the wrong exit..
so we took a detour home through Chinatown!

The whole weekend doesn't feel as if it really happened. Looking back on it has this hazy, shimmery quality like looking back on drunken nights (I'm assuming it was due to my delirious lack of sleep state) but it truly seems as if there was no other way for the trip to have gone. It just wouldn't have been the same otherwise. I loved every last glorious, bitchy, dramatic, hi-larious, ASM, southern moment of it. & all the wonderful people I went with, our little group really is beginning to feel like a family. Ach I love my life.
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