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Stax Soul Museum – 18 February (Southern Belle Road Trip)

Up early and had a very entertaining breakfast in the hotel, watching all the tourists fight over coffee and investigate the mints (yep, at breakfast. Weird.)

Then out to the less affluent part of Memphis, where the Stax Soul Museum resides. Stax Records was, by the sounds of things, and from Dad’s memories, an incredible hive of musical talent. More of its history can be found here and here.

Though I wouldn’t have said I knew much blues, and certainly not much about blues music, I found I recognised so much! It was beautifully put together, staffed by very knowledgeable, young people, and told the triumphant then tragic story of Stax in a very moving way. I found it almost unbearably poignant in places, but uplifting that from the ruins there is now the museum, a record store and a school and music academy, ensuring the legend will live on.

Should you ever be in that part of the world, please visit, it was unquestionably one of the highlights of the trip. Photos to follow.

Then on to Nashville… And I drove all the way!

“My beloved Tennessee” – 17 February 2012

… as Dad put it when we crossed the border, which I thought was lovely! I had cake for breakfast in honour of Sophia’s birthday, and then today was mostly about driving – I drove across an entire state (Arkansas) in a day! It was good experience, but not the most inspiring of landscapes –but we entertained ourselves by trying to find a Cracker Barrel to have brunch at – the one we saw a sign for in Texas appears to have been stolen, but we found several after that 🙂


I found the signs for Memphis and Nashville weirdly evocative.IMG_7496

Took a photo of Daisy near an empty truck. The trucker behind said he’d be upset if I didn’t take one of her with him in his truck. So I did. Spot the duck!


 Daisy with our food when we eventually found a Cracker Barrel (this was hugely entertaining at the time, but I realise probably lacks the humour in a blog post…)IMG_7481

Entering Tennessee, over the bridge. 


Even with The Great Cracker Barrel Hunt, as it will ever after be known, we arrived in Memphis in good time in the evening. Our hotel, rather wonderfully, was right behind Beale Street, so we were able to park the car and mooch round the corner to Beale Street to have dinner at BB King’s 😀

Dad pointed out, when I was trying to decide which boots to wear out, that it is not a cowboy town, and he’s right – Memphis has a feel all its own, and it’s fantastic. It’s vibrant and noisy and full of people, and reminded me a little of Covent Garden at night, if Covent Garden had neon lights and really good blues music. And we had endless fun with Daisy lol…


DSCF0301DSCF0297DSCF0323DSCF0310    DSCF0311 DSCF0318 DSCF0320  And then, slightly randomly, we went into Hooters – and I found the poster telling the girls how to dress bizarre – hair must be “down and styled glamorously”, and tattoos must be covered with opaque makeup and there’s quite a lot of instruction about how the tank top and hotpants should be worn…


Next post – Stax Soul Museum and on to Nashville 😀