Kansas to Memphis
Memphis to Knoxville
We drove from Kansas to Memphis yesterday, passing through Oklahoma, and had dinner at Corky's, a BBQ restaurant our friend Jay from Mississippi recommended. The next day we woke up early and made our way to Graceland, Elvis' former home, national landmark and final resting place. After the tour we hopped back in the car and set off to Knoxville, Tennessee to complete the second to last leg of our journey.
Memphis was a joyful experience. The entire city seemed to vibrate with the Rockabilly spirit of their famous former resident, the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, and it was evident in their food. Corky's has been around since 1985 and has built a small empire out of their passion for pure smoky, saucy, tender goodness. Throughout our entire meal the server was so happy she would intermittently sing out loud to herself and with some of the other waitstaff who seemed equally excited to be there serving Corky's famous BBQ love. I ordered the bbq pulled pork with a side of twice-baked potato salad and coleslaw and Brian ordered the bbq brisket with baked beans and coleslaw. It was a party on a plate. Our server so enthusiastically asked if I wanted a banana pudding it didn't occur to me to say "no" despite the fact I had eaten a respectable fraction of a pig and sides to boot.
The next morning we arrived at Graceland for the tour of Elvis' mansion, cars and TWO airplanes. One of the planes was so big they had to cut off the wings when they rolled it into town. One thing is for sure, Elvis lived. After spending about two hours in the guy's space it became clear it wasn't just his music that made him famous or his impeccable fashion choices. It was his ability to connect with his audience and his magnetic energy that brought millions to their knees. He broke every record for attendance and record sales because people just wanted to experience Elvis, a man who was true to himself and made his passion for living a lifestyle. He ate, sang, dressed and loved passionately and anyone who encountered him could experience it then too. All you have to do is take a look at his kitchen (yes these are pictures of his actual kitchen) and the other rooms built to entertain to know that he wanted to share his joy with everyone and dedicated his life to it. So with a Rockabilly rhythm in our step and a new-found appreciation for green shag and rhinestones we set off to Knoxville, Tennessee.
We sped along in our car humming to the Killers as the evening moonlight poured over bare fall trees in Nashville. It's a city that evokes an emotional response with flirty modern high rises amidst wooden watertowers and craftsmen architecture. There was definitely music in the air. It reminded me why I love being a city girl and how exciting it is to begin an affair with a new city; to eventually marry its spirit to yours and collect the experience, creating a unique perspective that hopefully in the end helps you to understand the world just a little more.