Last summer we went on a family trip to America, we have family that live out there who we stayed with for the second two weeks of the trip. The first week, in true American style, we went on a road trip to Memphis and Nashville Tennessee. Now, I am a massive country music fan so I was in awe the entire time.
The first thing I noticed when we landed in Atlanta was that it was hot, a dry kind of heat that I’ve only ever experienced before in Las Vegas. After a long flight it wasn’t the ideal climate but I was far too excited to care. From Atlanta that night, we traveled to Memphis.
Driving in America is stressful, I wouldn’t be signing up to do it anytime soon but the scenery in Georgia, through Mississippi and Alabama was well worth it. Even on the highway you could see out into deep forests and catch glimpses of towns like the ones from movies like Steel Magnolias and Sweet Home Alabama. Possibly my favourite thing about being on the road in the south were the over head road signs. You know the kind that change to warn us about accidents or junction closures in the UK? Well this is what one looks like in Tennessee:
I loved the injections of southern charm that were alive everywhere we went. Even some of the state signs say things like “Welcome to Sweet Home Alabama” and “We’re Glad You Had Georgia on Your Mind”, just some really sweet nuances you’d only get to see by road tripping.
Memphis was incredible. The air was alive with music, blues and soul. Home of the King of Rock and Roll and the Great BB King this city has music in its veins. The hub of Memphis is Beale Street. The atmosphere there is fantastic, day or night.
When we visited in the day we stopped to have breakfast at Miss Polly’s, a Soul City cafe that boasted the best breakfast on Beale Street. It did not disappoint. Everything about the place just screamed southern to me, in all the best ways. It was a little greasy spoon tucked between gift shops and bars. There was music memorabilia up and down the walls, on the tables and on the ceiling, it was a real metaphor for how ingrained into the city Soul really is.
There are four foods you think of when you think of the South: that’s fried green tomatoes, catfish, fried chicken and Sunday gravy! I ordered bacon, grits and Sunday gravy. When your in the south do as they do! It was actually really nice, I highly recommend it.
At night, Beale street is crawling with people, booze is flowing and the music is pumping! Good music, good beer and fantastic company, that is Beale Street in a nutshell. We had an amazing time, we sang karaoke and danced on the bar.
Whilst we were in Memphis I bought some cowboy boots from a little town called Collierville. Collierville was made up to look like a proper western town. Watertower and everything! My main goal for this trip was to come home with a pair of cowboy boots and this little shop did not disappoint. They had loads of different brands and styles, trying them all on was half of the fun! Boots don’t work by normal shoe sizes you have to try them to see, you couldn’t just order a proper pair online. I got my boots from Hewlet and Dunn Jean and Boot Barn.
Whilst we were in Memphis we went on a super touristy bus tour, just so we could see all the sights since we only had two full days in Memphis. We got to see the Peabody Ducks, and learned a bit about Memphis history, yes including Martin Luther King Jr. And of course Elvis.
Graceland. All I have to say is 2/10 too much Elvis. If something exists in this world they sell it in Graceland with Elvis’s face on it. Elvis needlepoint I’m looking at you!
On that note, I’ll just say: I loved Memphis and I would go back in a heartbeat. I have honestly never been anywhere like it, I have never been anywhere that soulful.
Keep your eyes pealed for Road Trippin’ part 2: Nashville baby!