Blogging is a great way to keep friends and family up-to-date on our travels and special events. The ability to combine photos and written words to tell our story is fun and even educational. What we blog may also be useful for people searching for information as they plan their own adventures. Comments are always welcome.
Friday, November 16, 2012
The Schmid's - Big Spring and Memphis' Beale Street - August 29, 2012
We are on our way to Memphis this morning. We saw enough springs yesterday to last nearly a lifetime, but we have to pass the largest spring in Missouri on the way to Memphis so we made room in the trip for one more. Big Spring is in Van Buren, Missouri and is located in a large state park. I camped here once with friends while we were on a float trip way back in the early 70's.
Gisela couldn't pass up the chance to swing.....it had been many years she said.
We checked in to our hotel which was located in West Memphis before heading downtown. West Memphis is actually in Arkansas and is on the west side of the Mississippi River from Tennessee. We stayed there due to lots of concerning research I did about the crime rate in and around Memphis, TN.
We hit the streets in downtown Memphis to experience Beale Street.....the home of Memphis Blues, BBQ, and Catfish. They actually block off traffic on Beale Street in the evenings so tourists can wander from one side of the street to the other with impunity and safety.
Beale Street is very colorful and reminds me of Bourbon Street in New Orleans and Westport in Kansas City. Southern style food is plentiful as is the Blues music and liquor.
I am a fan of BB King and had to eat BBQ at his Blues Club while in Memphis.
The BBQ and atmosphere was great at BB King's.
Some of BB King's old "Lucilles" were mounted on the wall. Lucille is the name that BB gives his guitars.
After dinner, we had a few more drinks and listened to a couple of guys who took requests and played great Blues. Of course, I requested "Kansas City" and "The Thrill is Gone"....BB King's trademark song. Here is a link to the real deal...BB's music video:
We had to shop for shirts at the Memphis Hard Rock....Lars had never had a Hard Rock anything so this was his big chance.
Later in the evening something unexpected and wonderful started to happen. Motorcycles by the dozens.....heck by the hundreds started to pour on to Beale Street. How lucky can we be? Lars is a big motorcycle buff as I mentioned in a previous post so he was in hog heaven again.
If you look closely and maybe enlarge the photo below by double clicking on it, you will see that the engine is highlighted by blue LEDs. Several of the motorcycles at the rally had the same feature. It was the first time I had seen this....maybe it is a new fad or I am just catching up to whats new in motorcycle decor. The color of the LEDs is matched to the color scheme of the motorcycle.
Gisela kinda likes the cycles too. Especially this one with the Stars and Stripes. When she first arrived to the US, she referred to the Stars and Stripes as a "Union Jack". I explained that the "Union Jack" was British and looked entirely different from our Stars and Stripes. It is fun to have visitors from another country here and to help them understand our customs and culture. I am sure they enjoy our visits with them for the same reasons. Of course, Sigrid already knows all about Germany, but I don't.
By the way, if you enlarge this photo and look carefully down the row of motorcycles, you will see some Norwegian flags. there was a Norwegian motorcycle club there with about eight members. They had their bikes shipped over to the US and had been touring for the past few months. They had just been to Sturgis for the big gathering there before coming to Memphis....very neat. They were loving the US.
Can you imagine four blocks totally lined with fantastic motorcycles?
Tomorrow, we will pay our respects to Elvis and tour Graceland.