Last week at this time, I was heading to Memphis, listening to the latest music Suzi provided for me (Johnny Cash and Elvis made top of the list, of course).
By 6pm, I was humming Marc Cohn’s “Walking in Memphis” and strolling down Beale Street.
… I didn’t have blue suede shoes though, so I wore my gray Minnetonka Kilty Suede Moccasins instead.
After doing a little bit of shopping, I was drawn to the live music playing outside of King’s Palace Cafe.
So I enjoyed their BBQ Platter — ribs, pulled pork, and “Voodoo potatoes” — while I watched the live performance. By the time I worked my way through all that delicious food, it was getting dark and Beale Street was a little seedy for a solo roadtripper like me, so I headed back to my hotel and watched The Birdcage on TV before falling asleep.
In the morning, I swung by Graceland to pay my respects to Elvis Presley. I got there too early to do a tour, but I couldn’t have done one anyway as it takes 2.5-3 hours. So, I walked around the grounds for a bit, then got back in the car and drove toward Nashville.
In Nashville, I got gas and ate at the Loveless Cafe. Well, okay, there was a 2 hour wait, so I got my grits, biscuits, and ham egg and cheese to go and ate in my car (even the seats outside were all taken!) I am not normally a grits fan, but damn. Those grits were good.
I hit pockets of rain on my way to Virginia, but got to the Hotel Roanoke around 7pm.
It was built in 1882 so it has gorgeous old-world charm. Look at this lobby!
There was even a secret sitting room off my room. I may have enjoyed my room service in here… ;)
Friday, I woke up super early, threw on my best red, white, and blue and booked it back to Connecticut. At 4:30pm, Stan was giving me the best hug ever.
We ended the night watching fireworks under an umbrella at my Dad’s house and enjoying Suzi’s 4th of Jell-O cake! (See what I did there? ;)
Though I would have loved to share my trip with Stan or a few family members or friends, it was really liberating and empowering to do it on my own. It’s still incredible to me that I drove across the country and back on my own. I experienced pure natural beauty (Rocky Mountains, Arches National Park, Grand Canyon) and geeked out over Thelma & Louise, Buffy and Breaking Bad filming locations. I had amazing food and some not-so-great food, too. I listened to some great music and audiobooks (The Fault in Our Stars and okay, some Harry Potters) and an overrated one (sorry, Kerouac). I visited friends and family and it was amazing!!!
See all of my road trip updates here:
- Road Trip Update 1: Connecticut to Iowa
- Road Trip Update 2: Nebraska to Utah
- Road Trip Update 3: Music & Movies
- Road Trip Update 4: California
- Road Trip Update 5: Arizona & New Mexico: Feeling Grand & Breaking Bad
- Road Trip Update 6: Tennessee, Virginia, and Home – you’re here!