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Wednesday, 24 October 2007

A Cross-Country Excursion through the Southern States - Page 2

Written by Josh Mitchell
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When my roommate told me that he was leaving Boston and moving to San Diego, I jumped at the chance to drive with him through the southern states – a part of the country that I have always longed to explore. There are not many times in your life when you are able to dedicate an entire month to traveling.

southAfter we satisfied our sweet tooth, we decided to end our night by heading over to Frenchman Street to hear some dirty southern rock at Igor’s Checkpoint Charlie.  I made friends with a local homeless guy who calls himself "Billy The Kid".  He can balance a Bud Lite can on his head while he does the Watootsie.


New Orleans is a bohemian city that is rich with eclectic individuals and infused with a survival spirit that you can feel permeating through the air – if the stale stench does not overbear it.  Bourbon Street in the morning smells like The Little Mermaid died and crawled up Free Willy's behind.


Before our livers could take out restraining orders against us, we warmed up our vocal chords and hit the road for the home of The Blues and the birthplace of rock and roll:  Memphis, Tennessee.


After the six-hour drive through a variety of sweltering Louisiana cities, we were "Walking in Memphis" with two feet off of Beale Street – one of America’s most famous musical streets. As we explored the three blocks of more than 30 nightclubs, restaurants and retail shops, we felt the soulful ghosts of Elvis and Johnny Cash everywhere.


This is where the action unfolds and, even on a Monday night, Beale Street was bouncing like B.B King on uppers.  We grabbed some BBQ at this down and dirty joint called Pig and had ourselves some pulled pork sandwiches, cole slaw, and baked beans.


After that we walked over to Handy Park where we sat next to the W.C. Handy statue and listened to some local legends croon about how their woman stole their whiskey.


The next morning we went on a guided tour of Sun Studios where, in 1954, a young Elvis stumbled in and told legendary record producer Sam Phillips that he wanted to cut an album for his mama.  The rest is rock 'n roll history.


We took a free shuttle over to Elvis’s home, Graceland, but we were too cheap to pay the $28 admission fee.  We were able to briefly sneak onto his private plane, The Lisa Marie, and we walked over to his mansion and saw his grave.  We also did some bad impressions, gyrating our bodies like two epileptic mackerels, in the touristy gift shops.


southFor dinner we went to the infamous BBQ ribs joint Rendezvous where we enjoyed a full rack of charcoal-broiled dry ribs – they serve them bare and allow you to apply an assortment of messy, yet tasty sauces.

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Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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