Sunday, 4 January 2015

DAY 25 - Meeting Margo In Mississippi On The Way To Memphis

Hi y'all, greetings from Memphis, Tennessee, where it is currently a balmy minus three degrees. For a while there we were forgetting that it is actually winter over here. Thankfully the weather has pretty much cleared up after the constant drenching rain that seemed to define Huntsville for us.

Today was a back-to-back transit day following yesterdays effort from Atlanta to Huntsville. Today we travelled from Huntsville, Alabama to Memphis, Tennessee covering a distance of 261 miles / 420 km. Looking at the map below, you may think that the route we took was not exactly the shortest route between the two cities with a sharp turn southwards at Cherokee, Alabama down the Natchez Trace Parkway to join on the I-78 and on to destination B (New Albany, Mississippi). That's because Margo lives in New Albany, Mississippi.

Our journey from Huntsville to Memphis with an awesome detour

Margo is a dear friend who I haven't seen since 22 years ago and have only seen once since 32 years ago. Margo was a fellow student and close friend at Everton Park High School in Brisbane in years 11 and 12. My friend Chris Rose and I used to look for every opportunity to visit Margo at her home because she had an in-ground swimming pool. I think she was also the first American that I ever met and probably sowed the seeds for my affinity with the USA. Margo and I graduated year 12 in 1982 and parted ways to pursue our individual life adventures. We briefly caught up again at the 10th anniversary of our year 12 graduation and have become Facebook Friends for the past few years, through Robyn and Jane's work in planning a thirty year school reunion back in 2012.

It was so awesome to catch up with Margo, her Husband Kenny, her Father Robert, Mother-in-Law Becky and Son Patrick and we really appreciate being invited into Margo and Kenny's home which is situated on the outskirts of New Albany backing onto the forrest. I'm just sorry that we couldn't stay much, much longer to reminisce about the good old days at Everton Park High, we had so much to catch up on.

Margo and I

Before we got to New Albany to visit Margo, our GPS (Bob) suggested an alternate route along the way which was going to knock six minutes off our time to destination, so I decided to give it a go. The route took us down the Natchez Trace Parkway, just to the east of New Albany and I must say I am glad we took that route. It is a beautiful, scenic roadway that commemorates 10 000 years of American Indian history. However, our route only took in 50-60 miles of this 440 mile long parkway. One interesting Australian observation I made is that a 'Lookout' is called an 'Overlook' in the US. Here's a couple of picks from along the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Along the Natchez Trace Parkway

Along the Natchez Trace Parkway

Along the Natchez Trace Parkway

After visiting Margo and her family, we headed off towards Memphis, stopping only for lunch at KFC in Holly Springs, Mississippi. However, what was a little weird was that this KFC offered a Buffet service. I have never seen that at a KFC before...ever.

We arrived in Memphis around mid/late afternoon and checked into our Hotel for a well-earned rest. Following advice from Kenny earlier in the day, we then set about heading into the City to have dinner at the world famous Charlie Vergos' Rendezvous Charcoal Ribs Restaurant ( This restaurant sells ribs that are so impressive that you can order them to be delivered to you around the country, and they will be delivered by FedEx (which is Memphis-based).

Unfortunately, however, our hopes were dashed when we finally found the Restaurant (which is down a dark ally in the centre of town) only to discover it is closed on Sundays and Mondays which are the only days we are here. Do'oh!

Thankfully we had recently seen an episode of the Food Network's hit show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives which featured one of Memphis' treasured restaurants the Central BBQ ( which apparently sells Memphis' most popular Pulled Pork Burger and also has hugely popular Wet or Dry-Rubbed Ribs. We stopped there for dinner and were truly impressed, to the extent that Maureen and the boys think we should do dinner there again tomorrow.

The Pulled Pork Burger was absolutely awesome

So were the Ribs...and they were also huge!
We finished the day very chuffed after visiting Margo and her family and settled in for the night with full bellies and big smiles. Well that's it for today.

Any ideas of where we should visit whilst in Memphis tomorrow? ;)