memphis, the blues city

hello all, kelsey’s dad here.  it is my honor and privilege to be a guest blogger again.  this past weekend was my birthday and as a gift i was given the dream of being the guest duckmaster as the peabody hotel in memphis, tennessee.

as kelsey will tell you, one of my favorite sayings is “complete home run.”  i use this when anything or any place is spectacular, worth the time, worth the money, etc…as you read this blog, when you see COMPLETE HOME RUN, you can “take it to the bank” – it was worth it.

friday night we arrived at the peabody hotel in memphis.  tori was completely surprise to see our best friends mark and kathleen (from dallas) when we arrived.  our kids had arranged for a special birthday cake to be in the room as a celebration for me and for mark (his birthday is later this week).  COMPLETE HOME RUN, kids!  the chocolate cake was delicious.

now, saturday was a full and fabulous day!  mark had done the research for all the festivities, so we started at breakfast only a block from the hotel.  we took the ultra exclusive vip route through the alley to the bon-ton café.  COMPLETE HOME RUN.  whatever you do, be sure you order the big sammie.  COMPLETE HOME RUN.  while at the bon-ton, we struck up a friendly chat with locals hart and sarah.  hart is a third generation memphian, so it’s obvious that he should work for the chamber of commerce up there.  i told hart we were in memphis just for a short time and were looking to “blow it out.”  he kindly obliged and provided a complete list of “what to do and where to go” during our stay.

first stop of local activities?  sun studios.  COMPLETE HOME RUN.  take the tour because you get to go into the actual recording studio where elvis recorded his first record.

here i am striking my elvis-like singing pose.  yeah, baby!

next stop was lunch at the bar-b-que shop.  COMPLETE HOME RUN.  this restaurant is actually in a neighborhood but is completely worth the short drive.  our appetizer was bbq sausage and bbq baloney.  don’t laugh too loud, it was great!  use the regular bbq though because the “hot” bbq sauce is really, really hot.  fyi, you don’t get knives at this place because you do not need them at all!

then we went to graceland.  we are not the biggest elvis fans in the world but when in memphis you should pay your respects to the king.  we didn’t actually go in, seeing it from the street was fine, but the gift shop has everything elvis you can imagine, i promise.

we hoofed it back to the peabody for a short nap and then made our way to beale street.  beale street is a good spot.  a few of the streets are blocked off so there is no car traffic, which means walking, drinking, bars, walking, drinking, bars…you get the idea.

dinner that evening was at sob, south of beale.  COMPLETE HOME RUN.  food was terrific and mark had the jack daniels & coke bread pudding for dessert.  COMPLETE HOME RUN.

to wrap up the evening, hart and sarah had suggested earnestine & hazel’s.  COMPLETE HOME RUN.  when they someday build the “mount rushmore of dive bars,” this place will be on it.  ladies, do not go alone; you need to take a guy or some guys with you.  in the best possible sense of the words, this is a complete “dive bar.”  hart and sarah said that we must go upstairs, so we did.  COMPLETE HOME RUN.  we met and talked with nate who had terrific stories.  i promise, the picture of the toilet and bathtub is the actual bathroom that you use.

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now, let’s talk about the real star of the weekend:  the peabody hotel and all it has to offer.  over the years i’ve been to a lot of hotels, but the peabody is easily in the top ten.  a terrific lobby.  COMPLETE HOME RUN.  a “classic” in every sense of the word.  rooms are great, staff is great, etc…if you can, stay at the peabody.  COMPLETE HOME RUN.

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the peabody is host to one of the most mind-blowing experiences in all the world – the ducks.  now, i probably don’t have enough room to share the entire story, but trust me, you need to see the ducks in person.  at 11:00 a.m. each day, the ducks march down from their condo on the roof, into the elevator, march on the red carpet from the elevator to the fountain in the middle of the lobby, and then hop into the fountain.  i promise this happens.  COMPLETE HOME RUN.  at 5:00 p.m. each day, the ducks hop out of the fountain, march on the red carpet into the elevator, and go up to their condo.  COMPLETE HOME RUN.   you need to see the ducks in person.  youtube does not do the entire experience justice.  you need to see the ducks in person.  COMPLETE HOME RUN.

as part of the birthday weekend surprise, i had the honor of being the duckmaster.  COMPLETE HOME RUN.  i was introduced to the audience and helped lead the ducks from their condo, onto the red carpet, and into the fountain.  it’s as good as Christmas morning.

if you are looking for a unique/special gift for parents, grandparents, etc…, being the guest duckmaster is perfect.  go to memphis.  if you can, stay at the peabody.  if you can, be the guest duckmaster.

all in all, the town of memphis is a COMPLETE HOME RUN.  it’s easy to get around; everything is only about 10-15 minutes away.  if you live in the southeast, you need to drive and go to memphis.  if you live somewhere else, you need to fly to memphis.  the town is “that” good.  COMPLETE HOME RUN.

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