Sorry for the tardiness of this post, everyone! When we hit Memphis, we just dropped our stuff in the hotel and ran out to have some fun. But anyway, yesterday was a very big day, so I’ll start at the beginning.
We started early at Churchill Downs, taking a tour and visit the Kentucky Derby museum. Because we’re a bunch of Yankees from Upstate, it might be a surprise to know that the Kentucky Derby holds a special place in our hearts. Back in 1990 I was born on Derby weekend and thus became my mom’s Derby Baby. This past year, my grandfather passed away on the morning of the Derby and as a tribute to him, everyone bet on horses with names they thought fit my grandfather. My grandma bet on I’ll Have Another and the rest is history.
Anywho, away from all the sappy stuff, it was a really cool museum. One can easily see that this Kentucky Derby is so much more than a horserace. We got to see horses on the track, watch this past year’s race, and learn about everything from the training of a racehorse to this history of the attire and food. If you’re ever around Louisville, don’t pass up a trip to Churchill Downs!
The first leg of our drive was short, as we wanted to stop in Nashville to see the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. After a decent lunch and an excruciating wait for tickets in front of an bridal shower (for those of you who know me, you know how much I just LOVE large groups of females), we got our tickets and experienced the progression of country music from its origins to now. What I took away from the museum was that it’s not about how long a musician had been playing or how popular they are; those things don’t matter. It’s all about the content of their music. Additionally, I found out that the men in Nashville are very pretty to look at, in case you were curious.
After leaving the museum, we sat in construction traffic for a while before finally hitting the road to Memphis. Our thermometer played mind tricks on us, pretending to get “cooler” and then spiking back up over 100 at least 3 times in the 3-hour drive. Upon arriving in Memphis, like I said, we basically dropped our bags and headed for town.
On my first trolley ride ever, my mother got hit on and somehow managed to divert the creeper’s attention to me. He just love her cowboy boots (really, he just liked her legs), and he couldn’t wrap his head around us being mother and daughter as opposed to sisters. Needless to say, we scooted off the trolley at Beale Street and all but ran away.
Beale Street. Beale Street. Beale Street. What a shock to the system. I’ve only ever heard of Beale Street in the song “Walking in Memphis,” and since that’s such a sweet song, I certainly wasn’t expecting flashing lights and loud music and open containers all up in my business. I would call Beale Street a hybrid between Time’s Square and New Orleans (though I haven’t seen the latter). We walked the length of the street before deciding where to go, and settles on Dancin’ Jimmys because there was no cover and a free band on the patio. Our frozen hurricanes were delicious and the band was rocking, but we chose to move on so I could get the full effect of Beale on a Saturday night.
We asked a cop for the best place to eat, and he recommended Silky O’Sullivans. He was no small man, so we took his advice and went inside. Our beef brisket nachos were delicious and just the right size to share, but that wasn’t the highlight of our stop at Silky’s. The true gem at Silky’s was our “gallon of southern goodness.” This gallon of what looks like Mississippi River water is a true mystery: we don’t know what was in it, it looked like true river water, and (unsurprisingly) it tasted better and better as we drank it. The biggest plus at Silky’s was our seating right at the fence. I’d say this is the perfect way to experience Beale Street because you can see all the debauchery but there’s a fence between you and the masses. Oh, and did I mention that Silky’s is the home of 2 goats??
After finishing our rivery concoction of goodness, we decided it’d be best to head back to the hotel. While we could’ve easily stayed on Beale Street til the wee hours of the morning, we knew that there was more fun to be had in the morning and driving to be done all day. Today we’re headed to Graceland, the Civil Rights Museum, and Shreveport, Louisiana. I promise not to suck at blogging this time and will check in with y’all tonight (and add pictures to this entry)!