We absolutely LOVE Tennessee! We can't believe how nice the people are here. We have traveled the entire state and not one person we have met has been anything less than polite and friendly.
Today we drove from Cookville to Memphis which allowed us to stop in at Nashville. We had hoped to see the Grand Ole Opry but due to flooding (from May 2010 when the river overflowed) and construction, we were not able to see much more than the back of a building that was only slightly grand and not very "ole" at all. We learned that in October, 1934, the Opry moved into The Hillsboro Theatre and then on June 13, 1936, to the Dixie Tabernacle in East Nashville. The Opry then moved to the War Memorial Auditorium adjacent to the State Capitol. And then on June 5, 1943, the Opry moved to the Ryman Auditorium where it was until 1974, when the show moved to the 4,400-seat Grand Ole Opry House, just east of downtown Nashville where it is today. Regardless of the disappointment at being unable to see such an icon up close and personal, we were excited to have been in a place that houses so much musical history.
And of course The Morrissettes will never be deterred from finding good local food. In a hunt for a light sandwich or salad in a land laden with fried chicken, we happened across Lenny's Sub Shop. I never need to eat a sub or sandwich without Lenny's Hot Pepper Relish ever again.
When Katella needed a break, we stopped at Casey Jones Village in Jackson, TN. John Luther ("Casey") Jones was an American railroad engineer whom, on April 30, 1900, was killed when his passenger train, the "Cannonball Express," collided with a stalled freight train on a foggy and rainy night. The village included a mini-golf course, a buffett, a soda shoppe, a church, and several stores.
After that, we had a good four more hours on the road before Memphis. Tennessee is a LONG state and I'm here to tell you that every mile of it is tree lined and beautiful. Thankfully, Katella kept her furry little rear in her seat today which resulted in me being in a much better mood than yesterday. Ugh. That dog scared me silly!
As we arrived in Memphis we noted how much it reminded us of Irvine, CA. There are corporate buildings and centers sprawled out among apartment homes, very nice neighborhoods, small restaurants in strip malls, and high end shopping and dining.Everything is clean and well kept. We checked into our hotel and Katella immediately made herself at home yet again on our bed. I guess we're sleeping in the crate tonight.
After settling in, we tried to find a dog park for Katella to run off some energy. We found one that was private and we were not able to enter but we threw the ball for her in a grassy field across the street and the poor puppy tired out after only a few throws.
Back at the hotel, we cleaned up a bit and headed out to find a rib joint as we heard that ribs are a "must do" in Memphis. We decided to check out Corky's BBQ because it was close and got great reviews. We ordered ribs for 2. Half of them had a dry rub which was to die for, and the other half were wet ribs which I smothered in a combo of Apple BBQ sauce and hot sauce. The Apple Sauce was was so unique and yummy that I bought a bottle to bring home. And you know what that means: All of you lucky friends in CA will likely be invited over for a mini-BBQ when I'm out there. Yee haw!
Now, we know that if we really wanted a traditional Memphis BBQ, we should have gone to Charles Vergos' Rendezvous but we just didn't have another 25 minute drive each way in us. So, all of you Memphis folks, we're very sorry! Next time.x
And yes, there WILL be a next time. I absolutely fell in LOVE with Memphis. Ron is going to have to drag me kicking and screaming out of here tomorrow and even then I might not go. I love, love, love it here! Thankfully, I will get to spend a little more time here in the morning when we venture off to see such treasures as "The Jesus Cave" and of course, Graceland! But you'll have to wait until tomorrow for those tales. For now I will leave you with a song...