Monday, June 21, 2010

Along the Way .. #1

In Memphis ... part one ...

Beth and I arrived here around 5pm Friday night ... 650+ miles put on the car altogether, which includes running all over the east side of Memphis to try and find Butch, eat supper and locate a motel. Turns out we wouldn't be staying with Butch for reasons I'd just as soon not broadcast all over the blogosphere.

It was wonderful to see him! We'd been quite worried about the state of his health and were anxious to get up here personally to ascertain for ourselves his present condition and ask pointed questions to his face that couldn't be easily dodged.

We were greatly relieved when we first saw him. He didn't appear as tho he'd been ill at all. On the other hand, as the three of us spent more time together the next couple of days and we saw the actual living conditions in his apartment, other - unanticipated and more immediate - questions arose.

We felt he was being less than forthright with his doctor, and we both - separately as well as acting together as one person - talked candidly and openly with him about our concerns ... me as a former lover and proposed marriage partner from years ago and one who still cared very much about him as a person of worth, and Beth as his loving sister. Beth even took it upon herself to fully inform Butch's daughter Kelly, who is a nurse, of his living conditions. Kelly had been, at best, only vaguely aware of the problem.

Anyway, we're hoping that Butch will act positively on his own behalf. He seemed to take whatall we had to say in a constructive manner. He knows we love him.

Saturday, after sleeping in, changing motels and obtaining Internet service, we picked Butch up and took just a great tour of the 'midtown' area of Memphis. When I visited with Butch here 10 years ago, it was mid-winter and too cold to do much else other than stay inside where it was warm.

Boy, does Memphis ever have some lovely neighborhoods! Mile after mile after mile of them. We spent a couple of pleasurable hours treating ourselves to the sight of attractive houses and well-manicured lawns that complemented their sites beautifully. Lots of churches. I wonder if Memphis has zoning laws? I'm guessing they do.

One terribly depressed area we drove through included the surrounding areas of Graceland, where Elvis Presley had lived. Beth had taken the tour of his home, I think, when she came through here years ago, but I hadn't been interested in doing that when I was here visiting. (Butch took me on a 'virtual tour' of the property on his computer when I was here back then, but I wasn't interested in doing more than that at the time.) This time, however, I at least wanted to drive by the place.

My goodness, the monies that must have to be spent just keeping the place up and trying to make sure intruders and potentially-destructive persons don't get in! I could only get a brief glimpse of the house, but just the grounds themselves were breath-taking.

From Graceland, we headed downtown. We were scheduled to depart on a dinner cruise at 7pm from a Mississippi waterfront location, and wanted to make sure - even tho the cruise wasn't scheduled for another hour and a half or so - we had our bearings straight.

Along the way, we spent more than just a few minutes trying to circle by car the extensive grounds and buildings of St. Jude Hospital. Impossible! Some pretty hefty security there, which I found a little surprising. Have you ever seen that campus? Most impressive!

Then we crossed the Mississippi River into Arkansas. We wanted to see what the river looked like from over there. Well, what the river looks like from the Arkansas side is a little like the Florida swamps. Do you remember one of Burt Reynolds' movies? Like that. Interesting!

We found that out only later, tho, as we were on our dinner cruise. That was nice! Well, all except for having to walk up a flight of stairs to get our seating assignments only to learn just ten steps later that we had to navigate another set of stairs back down again! It made no sense at all to me, and I expressed my distress most succinctly to the powers that be.

In their efforts to try and make my cruise more enjoyable, I was served the buffet at my table rather than having to navigate the stairs up and down again - first to get the buffet, and second to bring it down to our table. It was a good one, too! Barbecued pork, marinated chicken, beans, corn, cole slaw and Mississippi mud cake, which I imagine was of a souffle-like texture (Don't know for sure. Have never had souffles, only heard about them!) .. .. very light and kind of melted in my mouth. I ate only a little bit of it, tho. Most desserts aren't really on my list of preferred things to order.

[Speaking of desserts, Beth and I stopped to eat on the way to Memphis Friday at a restaurant in Arkadelphia called "The Barn". I often have trouble ordering food these days. I don't eat that much anymore, and when you're traveling like we are, there's no way the uneaten food will not just be wasted. Especially in this heat! I thought Beth was coming to my rescue when she offered to share what I wanted to order .. .. a hamburger with onions, cheese, lettuce and a side order of either french fries, onion rings or a combination of both. That was a perfect solution! The hamburger was delicious, Beth enjoyed her onion rings and I my fries. I found out only after we had arrived here in Memphis that she'd had an ulterior motive. She had spied a dessert she thought she'd like to order, but didn't think she'd have enough room left in her tummy after she'd eaten her entree. Turns out she still didn't have enough room! LOL]

After we'd all finished eating, Butch and I walked around a bit on the bottom deck and enjoyed the scenery. Beth went all over the place with her digital camera, looking for photographic opportunities. It was a gorgeous evening, nice and clear, with a breeze blowing just enough to help cool things off. There was even a half moon visible in the early evening sky.

To add frosting to an almost perfect cruise cake, the captain made the smoothest landing imaginable between two other ships back at the dock, easily navigating the narrow slot. After dropping Butch off at his apartment, we found ourselves back at our hotel by 10:30 and kind of fell onto our pillows .. .. me doing my thing an hour or so later by getting up again. :( I'm not getting nearly enough sleep .. .. mainly fits and starts!

Eventually, I walked across the street to a Waffle House - around 2 or 2:30 in the morning, I would guess - and had some breakfast (I seem to be eating just a little more these days) .. .. scrambled eggs, crisp bacon, hash browns, toast and hot chocolate. The bacon, eggs and toast were good (I brought a couple of pieces of bacon back to the room to eat later), the hash browns had kind of a peculiar taste (I left them) and the hot chocolate was one of these packaged mixes, but it was all hot and hit the spot in my tummy.

Yesterday, Sunday, we picked up Butch and drove on down to Horn Lake, Mississippi, the site of the ACBL's new headquarters. Why Mississippi? Why not stay in Tennessee? Don't know. ANYway, their one-story building is located out in the country a little bit and the surroundings are quite lovely. They've only been there a couple of months, but there's been talk of adding a fountain to the retention pond nearby. We weren't ----------------------------------------------------------

Sorry, guys. Was wanting to finish this post this morning and publish it, but have decided to hit publish and have this be "part one" ... ... maybe, if I'm a very good girl and my boss (Beth) decides to let me work on my blog after we reach Louisville later today, you'll see a 'part two'.

There's a whole lot more to say about our stay in Memphis, but I've run out of the time I need to write it. It's my birthday, too! Wouldn't you think I could be babied and have my way all day long, just for today? Geez!

Later, gators!


Tammy said...

Happy birthday Goldenrod! I get such a kick out of our birthdays being on the same day. :) :) :)

The Bug said...

Happy birthday Goldenrod (& Tammy!)! Sounds like you're having a good trip. Hopefully you'll get your friend straightened out.

I got your gift this weekend. We've already named her Chloe. She'll be on of the pictures in my weekly picture post next Saturday. Thanks!!!!

Jacky said...

Happy Birthday! Glad that you posted....I was worried that you never got out of Houston.

Chuck said...

Happy birthday!

Polimom said...

Happy Birthday (again)! Probably better this way than the off-key serenade I gave you on the phone. Haha!

Sounds like you're having fun!

Craig Peihopa said...

Happy Birthday Goldenrod and also it is a great thing you do showing others you care. I loved Memphis.

Goldenrod said...

Hi, all! Greetings from Columbus, Ohio. Have to leave shortly .. am hoping to play in a duplicate bridge game this afternoon .. but wanted to post this teeny response before you got to thinking that I'd fallen off the map again. :(

Will post a longer one later.

Goldenrod said...

And a happy, happy birthday right back atcha, Tammy! Am not checking other people's blogs just now. It's all (more, even!) I can do just to post one of my own!! LOL

Chloe? Chloe?!? Rrvit!! Can hardly wait until I get settled in New Hampshire next week, Bug, to read your posts and make a comment or two. :)

Jacky, I'll be publishing one about my last full day in Houston later. Needless to say, it was something of a nightmare and I'm not a bit surprised that you thought I'd never gotten off on my trip! I wouldn't have been able to do it w/o the help of my son-in-law.

Thanks, Polimom, Chuck and Craig, for your well wishes. All gratefully received.

More later. Not sure when, exactly .. .. hoping to do another from Ann Arbor either later this evening or tomorrow morning before I check out of my motel.