We left Graceland and got to our hotel outside of Memphis around 6pm. It was raining heavily and dark out so we decided we'd save going "downtown" for the next day and stay local to find something to eat. We checked with the desk clerk and she said to just drive up and down the strip - there were plenty of restaurants.
And this is where we had our third miracle of the trip. We did not realize that at a certain point, the road went from a two-way road to a one-way road. We figured we'd gotten to the end of the strip and turned around in a driveway to go back the other way. And we were driving the wrong way down a three-lane highway. Thankfully, the person coming towards us realized what was happening and stopped in the middle of the road and so did we. Now we were stuck there with no way to turn around - until we saw blue flashing lights coming toward us. We figured we were in big trouble, but so thankful that the officer was there to stop traffic so we could turn. And once we were heading in the right direction, he turned off his blue flashing lights and let us go on our way! The first restaurant we saw was Olive Garden - I quickly decided to break my rule about eating at a "big box" restaurant and we pulled in for a wonderful meal. Orlando turned out to be our favorite waiter of the trip!
The next morning we headed down to Beale Street. Our first stop was the Rock n Soul Museum which was all about the beginnings of music in the Memphis area.
We then went across the street with the intention of taking a Gibson Factory tour, but all the tours had been filled up already!
Gibson Factory gift shop
So we went down onto Beale Street to take in the sights for a while.
Eventually we got down the other end of Beale Street and we were at the Mississippi River!!! A first for both of us!
We had read about Mud Island so we decided to spend some time investigating that.
I don't know if you can see it in this picture, but there is a red monorail hanging from under the bridge, that you have to take to get over to Mud Island.
The cool thing about the Island is that there is a 1/2 mile long replica of the Mississippi River, including many of the towns along the banks.
I tried to get a photo of the sign on the bridge that says "entering Arkansas". We didn't get over to Arkansas from Mud Island, but we did get there on the Riverboat ride we took later.
At the end of the replica of the river was a "delta"
We came back from Mud Island in time to take a ride on the Riverboat
It was a real paddleboat
The boat ride was narrated - the narrator made the ride enjoyable and funny!
View of the city from under the bridge
We headed back to Beale Street for some more gawking and to find something to eat. At this point in the evening, the street was closed off and people could walk up and down the street with beverages in hand.
We ate at Flynn's......where I had some famous Memphis Ribs (yum!) and Hubby had a sandwich that involved two cheeseburgers with pulled pork in between!
On our way out of town we saw our first cotton fields.....then saw many more!
Finally: Our visit to Cincinnati