Last weekend, we took a teeny tiny road trip to Memphis, Tennessee. It is weird to me that neither Mark nor I had ever been to Memphis. Our kids have been several times over the years - one of Laura's college roommates/sorority sisters lived in Memphis plus both of our kids worked at SOS (service over self) for a week every summer during high school.
We loaded up the car and headed out on Friday morning. We took the "new" interstate 22 and I was mesmerized by all of the woods along the road. I don't think I had any idea that we had so much forest nearby. Along the interstate there is a large amount of reclaimed land from old strip mines, too. It is also a long way to the first bathrooms . . .just saying . . .and everyone got off at the same exit!!
We made it to Memphis and decided since it was raining, we would go ahead and find the Williams Sonoma outlet. My friend, Debbie, had told me about the outlet and the fact that they had great prices on All Clad cookware. We bought a 10 piece set, a waffle iron, and a couple of extra skillets. I'm loving it all ready . . .and the prices were amazing. There was a Pottery Barn outlet next door and I wouldn't even allow myself to go in . . .I had spent ALL MY MONEY at the Williams Sonoma Outlet!!
Mark wanted to try the dry rub ribs at Rendezvous Restaurant so we headed there for lunch and he was not disappointed.
We checked into our downtown hotel and decided to walk around and check out the neighborhood. Our hotel was one block off Beale Street so we were centrally located.
It is probably a really good thing that we don't have a Wet Willies in Birmingham. I am mesmerized by all the spinning vats of delicious drinks. (there was one in Savannah when we were there . . .) I had a concoction of strawberry daiquiri layered with a pina colada . . .and it was wonderful!
You can tell by the sky that the weather was iffy but we decided a little rain never hurt anyone. As we walked, we were a little surprised at the number of homeless folks on the streets. We have a large homeless population in Birmingham so I have no idea why we were surprised. One guy gave us such a great story (about knowing the police and the church down the street) that Mark gave him $20. As soon as we finished our conversation and turned to walk away, Mark said "we probably shouldn't have done that." We turned around and the guy had vanished. I mean - really vanished . . .in seconds. I told Mark that maybe we had just handed a $20 bill to Jesus. Do not make fun of me . . .really!!
After much walking . . .and a beverage . . .we decided to go back to the hotel for a little while to rest. This, in and of itself, is a miracle (thanks to a big drink) because Mark doesn't like to waste time when we are someplace with new places to explore.
I had TWO things on my must-do list while in Memphis. I wanted to go to the Williams Sonoma outlet (check) and I wanted to see the ducks at the Peabody. I had checked the times and so we headed out in what we thought was plenty of time for the 5:00 p.m. "walk of the ducks." In my research, I didn't see any notes from anyone that said "IF YOU WANT TO SEE THE DUCKS, ARRIVE AN HOUR EARLY." We arrived at the Peabody and we couldn't get close enough to see. Mark said he saw one duck . . .I saw ZERO. Now this is going to sound totally silly, but I almost cried. I only had two things I really wanted to do and one of them didn't happen. I put on my happy face after a few minutes of pouting and stomp walking . . .and we walked to Automatic Slims for dinner . . .at 5:00 o'clock . . . .yes, we were the only people in the restaurant at that time.
The restaurant was very unique. They had fried Wickles (and we LOVE wickless!) on the appetizer menu so we had to order those. They were great!
We didn't really enjoy our dinner . . .in hind sight, we should have walked back up to Beale Street and eaten a world famous hamburger at one of the bars.
We went back to the hotel . . .and it was still really early . . .and Mark didn't want to sit still . . .so we got in the car and drove around Memphis. He wanted to check out a couple of liquor stores to see if they had any different Bourbons. I don't know what we did before GPS on our Iphones. Siri and I became
great even better friends last weekend. An added bonus of the night was seeing the bridge with all the lights. Mark drove around until he got me on the banks of the Mississippi and I was able to get an ok shot with my phone. The picture doesn't do it justice - it was really lovely (you can see that the sky is still angry and sad).
The picture below is the main reason we went to Memphis -- Kate's graduation from the Memphis Theological Seminary. Kate is in our Tuesday night Young Professionals group and she and I work together and she has "house/cat sat" for us. We love Kate!
We were seated near the back and she said that she was happy to see us as she came in.
The graduation was at the Baptist church on Broad Street and in addition to the graduation service, there was also a worship service woven through the agenda. I have a video of the choir but I can't figure out how to get it into the blog. The choir was from an African American church and the preacher who gave the message was African American. It was so cool to worship in a different environment. Mark is hearing impaired (from years of shooting guns without ear protection!) and when the congregants talked back to the minister during her sermon, he had a hard time hearing (plus the microphones weren't always doing their jobs correctly - how dare they??).
I love this picture of the three of us!! Yay for Kate - we are so proud of you and can't wait to see what God is going to do in and through you as you continue to partner with Him!!