Thursday, July 19, 2012

This is Oklahoma.

We just saved you a day of driving. You're welcome.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

We're going to Graceland, Graceland... Memphis, Tennessee..

We woke up refreshed this morning (despite the fact that it's 100 degrees in Memphis!) and headed down to "the birthplace of Rock and Roll," Sun Studio. In 1950, local Memphis radio DJ named Sam Phillips decided he wanted to open a small recording studio to record his favorite music, the Blues.
Sam's motto was "We Record Anything, Anywhere, Anytime". He even put out ads in the local paper to get musicians to come record:
Soon after the studio opened, a number of well known musicians began to come through, and it was at Sun Studio that the first Rock and Roll song was recorded - "Rocket 88". It was only a few years later that an 18-year old Elvis Presley walked through the doors to record a few songs, "just to hear what he sounded like on record." That little recording led to Sun Studio becoming the epicenter of rockabilly, blues and Rock and Roll for years to come.
This is an actual mic used by Elvis!

After learning all about Elvis' beginnings, we headed over to Graceland!
The Holy Grail of Elvisdom
This is Elvis' living room - note the bust of Elvis on the coffee table.  

This is the kitchen, where all the peanut butter-and-bacon magic happened.

When Elvis learned that Richard Nixon had three TV's to watch all three network news broadcasts,
well... Elvis thought that was a mighty fine idea.

Elvis imported thousands of yards of fabric to completely cover his pool room, top to bottom.

"The Jungle Room" - Elvis liked it because it reminded him of Hawaii... 
Especially the green shag carpet on the floor and ceiling.

There's a reason why they called him "The King" 

Elvis' personal racquetball court has been turned into a trophy room (one of many!)

Elvis fans continue to send gifts and flowers to this day. There are people at Graceland 
responsible for going through these gifts and placing them on Elvis' grave.

Rockin' and Rollin' our way across the country! 

Walkin' in Memphis...

After a brief (but delicious) stop in Nashville, we made our way across Tennessee to another music-oriented town. Memphis is known for a few things: Elvis, the blues, barbeque, and (apparently) no open container laws. The main strip in Memphis is Beale Street, which is similar to Bourbon Street in New Orleans, only more music and less of... everything else that happens in New Orleans.

Look at all those neon signs! You just know it's gonna be a good time...

 B.B. King's Blues Club on Beale

 Memphis tourism breakdown - 25% history/music/food, 75% Elvis

There's a crew of street performers called the Beale Street Flippers - they do this all night long!

 We had dinner at the Blues City Cafe: BBQ ribs and fried catfish - a true Memphis feast

Tomorrow's a big day - Sun Studio and GRACELAND!!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

On the road again...

Friends, family, Facebook stalkers: welcome back! We are officially on our way to San Francisco, and we are planning to blog along the way. Tomorrow is our first stop -- Nashville. We're looking forward to some good food and good music (and hopefully a cowboy hat or two). We'll report back with our findings. Good night!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Home safe!

After a relaxing, enjoyable stay in Mendham, New Jersey with our friend Rachel (and her adorable Boston Terrier, Ruby) we made our way down the Jersey Turnpike, and back home. We had an amazing trip filled with delicious food, intense hikes, and great people. Can't wait for the next one!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

New Hampshuh revisited

As we were planning this trip, whenever New England was mentioned, Emily brought up a few things she would like to experience – fresh lobster, camping in Acadia, and seeing lighthouses. It was our assumption that every town along the coast of New England would have a rocky coast with a lighthouse. You can only imagine our disappointment when stop after stop, we saw “Lighthouse Motel” or “Lighthouse Gifts,” but never an actual lighthouse.

Then we got to Portsmouth.

Portsmouth is one of the oldest cities in New Hampshire, there's a lot of Revolutionary War-era history (Paul Revere rode here!) and has since become a "popular summer tourist destination" according to Wikipedia. Portsmouth also happens to be the home of our friend Kelly, who graciously took us into her home and showed us some of the highlights of her town, including...

Built in 1771, rebuilt in 1804, and finally re-rebuilt in 1878, the Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse is a fully-functioning lighthouse which has been under the control of the U.S. Coast Guard since the late 1940’s. Luckily for us, a few lighthouse enthusiasts started up the Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and they agreed to a deal with the Coast Guard – they will work on the upkeep of the lighthouse, and they also get to give tours of the lighthouse. We (obviously) took the tour.

The stairway leading up to the top of the lighthouse.

After the lighthouse, Kelly took us on a whirlwind tour of the rest of the city of Portsmouth.

Our hostess and tour guide, Kelly

Lunch was a phenomenal jumbo lobster roll from Petey's

Kelly and Emily exploring the rocky shores of New Hampshire

The rocky shores of New Hampshire (that's Whaleback Lighthouse in the distance)

Downtown Portsmouth

We spent the rest of the evening enjoying good food and good company, and a great view from the dock outside Kelly's house. Tomorrow we begin the trip home - next stop, New Jersey!

Our New England vacation is finally complete!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The ORIGINAL Portland

We slept like babies (how could we not, after a day like yesterday?), and woke up bright and early to pack up our campsite and head south. As per a late night agreement, we started the day with a stop in Ellsworth for another Maine tradition...

Wild blueberry pancakes!

Next stop? Portland – a cool, funky, artsy city by the water... sounds familiar...

There are three main streets in downtown Portland - this is the street in the middle, named "Middle Street"

The Portland marina