Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My trip to Memphis (Pt 3)

Wearing my new shirt while watching the Kings game in the hotel room (they won.. go LA!)

Day three (our last day..boohoo, so sad) began with a nice chance to finally sleep in. We took our time getting packed, and headed back to the Blue Plate for our final breakfast in Memphis. Seeing as how the last time I ate here, I ate way too much and almost fainted in the car rental, I wasn't sure of what to order, so I stuck to a light meal. I meant for our last day to be a more leisurely day without as much of a strict itinerary, and that was pretty much what happened. There had been some spots I'd still wanted to see, so we planned out each one and ended up seeing it all with time to spare!

First up was the house Elvis owned before Graceland, on a gorgeous street called Audubon Drive. I wish there was a way I could have seen the inside because I hear that they preserved it how it looked back when the Presley's lived there, but I had to see it from the outside. It's a ranch style house that was said to have been the only house on the block with a pool at the time of purchase. I love it!

 

We then drove to Elvis' high school (which is now just a middle school), Lauderdale Courts (the public housing he lived in during his high school days), and the movie theater I'd been dying to see that he used to rent out for all night movie marathons (which is now a playhouse). Funny story: My mom pulled over so I could jump out and take a picture of the outside, but then I got curious and went in (it was open!) and no one was inside. Not a soul. I thought maybe I'd find some kind of plaque to commemorate the history of him using it) but there was nothing. I saw that the room with the stage was open, so I started to walk over when I realized the room before that was pitch black. I ran through it (trying not to scream), took a picture, and ran out. It was kind of spooky, but so fun.

 

I found Overton Square! This was high on my list, since I'd heard that it was full of cute shops and restaurants. Actually, I found it by accident while driving around looking for the theater. I spotted the mural and had to take that picture I'd been wanting to take, along with some pictures I took at the cutest cafe ever called Java Cabana in Cooper-Young that also sold vintage clothing and yummy cupcakes (I bought their strawberry one, mmm). I also found the record store that has that Elvis shrine, and we found a cute overpass as well. I love this part of town and I wish we'd known about it sooner or had an extra day to eat at one of the restaurants there. 





(Aside from having the coolest shrine, Goner Records is one of the best record stores I've ever walked into. You have to check it out if you're in Memphis, and stop by Java Cabana for some yummy coffee and cupcakes!)

We took a wrong turn on our way back downtown, and ended up stumbling upon a funny little tire garden. I never knew these existed before, and I'm so glad that we found it. It's funny, but also really creative! If I lived in a more country setting, I would paint some tires in pastels and go crazy with plants.



After that, we drove to the Civil Rights Museum which I'd always wanted to visit. But, honestly, seeing the Lorraine Motel in person was such an emotional experience, I still can't believe I was there to see where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. Truly a powerful moment. We first entered the museum that was very descriptive with all kinds of information about the civil rights movement beginning from the 1800's going up through the 1960's and 70's. Then you went upstairs to the room that MLK Jr stayed in while he was there to do his speech (which they preserved through a glass door), and the room he was taken to after he was shot. So moving. Then once you were done, you went outside to see it from the ground level. You also went up to the room where the guy shot him from, which was just too disturbing for me and we decided to leave. Overall, I am so glad that we visited. I never thought I'd ever be seeing that in person, and I'll never forget it.


 






We also had the best fried chicken.. ever. It was from Gus' which wasn't far from the museum, and we were in heaven. In fact, the restaurant was so packed we took it to go and ate it in the car. Super classy, I know. :)


I couldn't help but snap a few pictures of more murals in Cooper-Young that I just thought were cool and interesting.



Memphis was honestly one of the coolest cities I've ever been to, and I'm still so sad that the trip is over. I hope can go back someday, and now that I know the city like the back of my hand (we got lost SO many times), I know I'll have as much fun as I did the first time.


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