Monday, October 11, 2010

Have I Mentioned That I Love Memphis? Oh yeah, and we saw some other states too...

The Crystal Shrine Grotto caught our attention because we thought it would be a weird and funny addition to our trip. I mean the thing is a man-made cave with a bunch of Jesus-themed statues in it, designed and created by a Mexican folk artist named Dionicio Rodriquez in1937. And it's in the middle of a cemetery! How could it be anything other than bizarre? 

Actually we were surprised to find that the place was both cool and reverently interesting.

Here is Ron behind a man-made tree that serves as a shaded seating area. Behind him is the entrance to the grotto. 

 This is the overall view of the grotto. The ceiling is covered in quartz and semi-precious stones. It's very pretty.

We may have spent a few minutes too long admiring the grotto because Katella was none too happy about being left alone in the car. The poor thing seems to hate every second of these trips despite our best efforts to provide her with plenty of toys, treats, blankets to snuggle and dog parks to play at. 

Onto the World Overcomers' Statue of Liberation Through Christ. While ostentatious (to put it mildly), we believe in what the statue represents: America's foundation on Christian values. ( "The general principles on which the fathers achieved Independence were ... the general principles of Christianity ... I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that the general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God." - John Adams) So silly as it is, we kinda' like this monstrosity of faith. 

If we had more time and no puppy with us, I think we could have spent all day (and a ton of money) in Graceland.  We had to be brief and we were too early to be able to tour any of the exhibits, but we managed to sneak a few photos of Graceland and The Lisa Marie. I'm trying not to be too disappointed that we were unable to see all of the Elvis sights, but it's tough. I just keep reminding myself that I'm going to insist on moving to Memphis next. I'm certain Ron could get a job running something at Graceland!

 Below is the 1st studio in which Elvis ever recorded: Sun Studio. (<-- click that link - it has a few great recordings with all those great pops and scratches of an original vinyl.)
 Below is the 6th largest pyramid built in the world. This is the Pyramid Arena in Memphis. No longer serving as an arena, it stands vacant but rumor has it that Bass Pro Shops has purchased it and will turn it into one seriously large sporting goods store.
 Unhappily, I allowed Ron to drag me out of Memphis and the only thing that kept me from sulking for an extended period was crossing the Mississippi. I just love that river! I have no idea where this fascination with The South came from but it seems to be in my blood.
 There isn't much exciting in Arkansas (save a  Fancher Family memorial from the Mountain Meadows Massacre in NW Arkansas) but we did find this great place to let Katella romp for a while - Burns Park. She enjoyed playing with a couple other dogs who were there and lying in the mud. (She's getting a bath tomorrow morning!) We enjoyed the beautiful scenery.
 Another piece of beautiful scenery! The question on this drive was: "When does Hardee's become Carl's Jr.?" The answer: Texas... but the signs apparently pop up on US 30 in Arkansas! And for the record, Hardee's is NOT the same as Carl's Jr. and while Hardee's can provide a passable alternative to CJ's in a pinch, CJ's is decidedly waaaaay better!
 Ron had been wanting to stop at the Texarkana Post Office all through Arkansas. He had some great idea for a picture that involved a complicated set up and an extensive Photoshop session. Alas his project was thwarted due to a large congregation of people having church on the steps of the post office. My ever-reverent husband did manage to sneak in during a prayer and snap a quick picture of the only building in the US known to be split in two by a state border. 

The last weird stop on our way to Dallas was at The Pilgrim's Pride National HQ in Pittsburg, TX.You can read about the giant head of the founder here because quite frankly, I'm tired and I want to go to bed.  
Oh, but 1st, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that we had to stop at Taco Bueno for dinner per the Shnecks and the Brewers. Sorry guys, we decided that between the fast-food taste and the subsequent tummy aches, it was less than bueno. But we're taco snobs.

So there ya go. That's day 4 of this year's road trip. Tomorrow, we have the vast expanse of West Texas and the weirdness that is Roswell, New Mexico. Good night for now!

1 comment:

jes said...

How do you guys find this stuff?! Alas, it brings me joy. Especially the enormous pilgrim head. :)
Glad your trip is going well!!