Today we are going to take a tour of Memphis. Our bus pulled into the hotel parking lot to pick us up at 9am and took us to the BB King / Elvis Presley Welcome Center where we will board another bus that we will be riding on for the next 4 hours as we tour the city.
Here are some photos in and around the Welcome Center.
Our tour bus.
First up was a slow drive by of Sun Studio.. this is where Elvis plunked down $3.98 to make his first record "My Happiness" and on the flip side "That's When Your Heartaches Begin."
This hospital operates solely on donations, no Federal or State money.
The next thing of significance that we drove past is “The Pyramid”. The Luxor Pyramid in Las Vegas is only slightly larger than this. Right now it is empty, but it used to be a sports arena.
The much anticipated highlight of the tour is next… The Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis. This is where the world famous “Peabody Ducks” live. They live in a penthouse suite in the hotel and every morning at 11:00 am they are brought down the elevator and they march along the red carpet and up the steps to swim in the marble fountain in the lobby all day. At 5pm the procedure is reversed and the ducks march back along the red carpet to the elevator and back up to their penthouse suite. Our insider information tells us that the ducks don’t so much march as run… as fast as they can because all they want to do is get in that fountain. So we were told to be quick with the camera or we will miss the whole thing. We got there a half hour early and the guests of the hotel had their spots staked out along the red carpet, so we headed upstairs to the 2nd floor to get an overhead view of the proceedings.
The guy with the cane is the “Duck Master” he is telling the audience about the history of the duck march and what to expect when that elevator door opens.
Watching and waiting.
It 11:00 am. The musical fanfare starts up and here they come….
They sure were moving, I couldn’t get a second shot of them on the red carpet, I was lucky / glad I got the shot I did. Anyways here they are in the fountain.
Well that was fun, and we are back on the tour bus heading for our next stop. This is the Lorraine Motel. Site of the assassination of Martin Luther King by James Earl Ray on April 4, 1968. Now the motel houses the National Civil Rights Museum inside and in various buildings around the site. A wreath hangs on the balcony marking the spot where MLK was shot.
Continuing on with our tour we were taken to Beale Street and let loose for an hour to explore. We wandered in and out of various shops and wound up having a drink at BB Kings Blues Club.
Various signs up and down Beale Street.
Because of a city ordinance, that is meant to preserve and protect the cities heritage and culture, this rather odd structure of steel beams is in place to hold up the facade of a building that had to be torn down. Very ugly if you ask me, but they couldn’t tear down the facade, just the rest of the building.
Our tour concluded at Graceland and since we had already visited Graceland yesterday, we just hopped off and walked back to our hotel. Peter and Janette went for a swim while Karen and I worked on naming our photos and writing the blog.
We ordered pizza in and did some packing in preparation for our departure from Memphis tomorrow morning.
To see all of our photos from today you can click on the link to our FLICKR site.