Sunday, July 25, 2010

OK, well shit, I guess I need to start posting about this road trip.

Seein' as how both Bruno (not his real name) and Mushy (nope, not his real name ether) have both posted stuff about my visits, I guess I should get off my ass and contribute somethin' to this drama.

Let's see, it all began a week ago. We left Killeen at about 8:45AM, two Saturdays ago, and drove all day, getting to Hope, Arkansas, just east of Texarkana, by the early afternoon.

When we got there, Denise decided that we needed to check out Bill Clinton's boyhood home. I was like, "Huh?", but it turned out to be very interesting. Seriously. I wouldn't shit you about that.

They have the place set up essentially as it would have been in the 1940s, when Bill and his mom lived there. So all the gear and fixtures were from the period. As a history dude, I found that cool. WAY friggin' cooler than I thought I would when the little woman broached the idea.

They had some of the books that little Billy read... Or did he just look and the pictures? Hmmmm.

All in all, it was a cool interlude in the long assed drive from Killeen to Memphis. When we left, I took the opportunity to relieve myself. I won't say WHERE I relieved myself, but I promise, it was in an appropriate place. And when we got back to the car, I opened the sunroof and lit up a good cigar, sort of, in commemoration of the moment. Of course, mine wasn't slathered in the stuff Bill had enjoyed in the Oval office, but still, the sentiment was the same. We drove on east from there, arriving at the Westin in Memphis around 7PM. It was a long drive, but it was uneventful.

When we got to the room and cleaned up a bit, we headed down to Beale Street, which is only about a block or two down from the hotel. This is where Mushy (again, not his real name), Judy and I stayed last year when we spent a few fun filled days in Memphis during my last road trip.

Denise'd missed out on that trip, having to fly home early to go back to work. So I'd promised her that we'd go back. Believe me, it was my pleasure. The hotel is VERY NICE, and Beale Street is becoming one of my favorite pit stops. Hell, they even had Elvis there in the lobby to greet us when we arrived. I think he was really waitin' for his ride, but it was cool anyway.

When we checked in, the little girl behind the counter told us we'd been upgraded to a better room. I was like, "That's cool!" I knew how nice the room had been last year, so my mind was racing, thinking about the possibilities. However, when we got in the room, my impression was mixed.

It was interesting, having all this work-out equipment in the room, but who the hell do they think they're dealin' with here? Oh yea, we put it to good use, just like the stair machine in my living room. By the end of the day that treadmill was covered in clothes and bags. I did take the weights down once. They were pretty cool, but I'm glad they upgraded me to this room. I'd a been pissed if I'd had to pay for all this useless shit.

On the other hand, the bathroom was the coolest! There was a huge assed shower in there, with two big nozzles that swiveled independently. Yea, that thing could EASILY accommodate a half dozen folks, who wanted to get REALLY well acquainted. The tub was cool too, but I've never been into sitting in a pool of my own filth... Unless the water's REALLY hot and movin', if you know what I mean.

Like I said, after freshenin' up, Denise and I headed down to Beale Street. The cool thing about this hotel is that it's right next to all the fun on that famous street. You walk out the front door and around the corner and you're right there. The two other times I'd been to Beale, the crowds on the street had been fairly tame. Not this time. I guess Saturday night is the night to hit it. It was wild, and the crowds were thick.

After walking up and checking out the scene, we decided to have some good BBQ at B.B.King's Blues Club, and the top of the road. We'd gone there a few years ago, and the food and entertainment had been wonderful. It had been a long day, so rather than experiment, we went for what we knew would be good. When we got there, the hostess told us it's be thirty minute wait for the table, so as Denise went for drinks, I started to capture a video of the talent that was rippin' up the stage.

This kid, Will Tucker, is 16 friggin' years old! I was amazed. I'd give anything to have that kind of talent. Maybe even sell my soul. I was soooo happy to be back on Beale. I love this friggin' place! By the end of the video though, Denise was yellin' to me, tryin' to get my attention. It turned out the wait was more like five minutes, so we had to head upstairs to our table.

Denise went for the pulled pork BBQ sandwich, while I chose the fill rack of ribs, with corn bread, BBQ beans, coleslaw and and extra order of hush puppies. Mmmmm, I'm tellin' ya, I think it was actually better than all the BBQ we'd enjoyed last year.

For drinks, we started out with a 7&7 for Denise and a Rum & Coke for me... Two rounds, and then we switched to Yuengling off the tap (with a 7-Up chaser for the little lady). It was all wonderful, and the music continued to be good until we'd filled up and had to depart. I found myself a new T-shirt on the way out, and then a few more at one of my favorite spots, Tater Red's, just down the road from BBs.

There were other stores there too, including the one where I tried on this hat. No, I didn't get it, but I did think about it. You can see from my shirt how hot and muggy it was. As bad as it was though, I figured hot and muggy was better than the thunderstorms we'd seen in the forecasts, and that we usually enjoy whenever we go to Memphis. This time the rain stayed away, but the heat was stifling.

Even so, Beale was hoppin' even more as the sun went down and the evening progressed. We took a long walk back down to road, and then back up, with me puffin' on a good cigar all the way. As we walked we saw and heard that the street performers were goin' strong. There was one kid, and amazing athlete, doing flips all the way down the road, to the applause of those lining the road. I tried to get a video of him, but it didn't turn out. What can I say? I'm still learnin' how to use this camera. Too bad. It would have been cool to be able to show it to ya.

My attention thought was always gravitating to the music that wafted up and down the road as we walked. The music was WAY better than it'd ever been on my two other trips to town. Saturday night is definitely the night to hit Beale. This kid and his band were making some good noises as we walked by.

As we headed back to the room, we both noticed all the official presence on the street. There were way more cops out there this year than we'd ever seen before. They were all over the place, and EMS folks were there too.

Denise noticed these mounted cops, and walked over to chat them up and find out what the deal was. It turns out, these guys clear the street at 2AM. They ride, four abreast up the road and rive the crowds out. Interesting. Maybe next time I come I'll try to get That on Video. Anyway, after that long assed day, we finally headed back to the room around 11PM, and then it was a great shower and a wonderful nights sleep in that killer room.

We slept in Sunday morning, getting a LOT of rest for the plans we had for the day. We got the car around noon and drove back west to the Cracker Barrel just off I-40 and I-55. After a good breakfast, we began the drive north on I-55 towards... Cue the music... Bruno! That's right, his Brunoness! The dreaded enigma of Jackson, MI. You know him, you love him. Just be glad they haven't come up with a scratch and sniff setting in Blogger. I'm just sayin'.

Anyway, I'll save y'all all that drama for the next post. Remember, you can always click on any of these shots to see the larger version, and if you wanna see any more pictures from the trip, click here and enjoy. Cheers.


Mushy said...

Yeah, you've got a lot of catching up to do!

Great shots and video man.

BRUNO said...

Yeah, he'll be thinkin' about that trip to Swampeast-Missouri for at least another 3 or 4 days, as the swelling goes down...!☺

FHB said...

Mushy - Workin' on it.

Bruno - Naaaa, it was nuthin'.