Monday, May 27, 2013

My Friends are Better than Yours.....hehehehe

The "Red Shirts" are Erica and Fuzzy Gerdes! Plus I just like the random "Doctor" in the background

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Memphis in May Day 3

So we started off Sunday looking for a place to eat breakfast. Because we weren't paying $30 for a breakfast bar. Sadly we drove all over town looking for something and ended up at the downtown Denny's. Not exactly the local flare.
After breakfast we went back to the hotel and got ready for the day. We started out the day doing the tourist thing again. Which after a nice drive around Memphis we ended up back downtown for the nicest day weather wise.  We went to see the Gibson plant. It was pretty interesting to see how
all the guitars and other instruments are made. Plus I got to play some  awesome guitars. Really, really nice guitars. Five figures, nice guitar. So after hanging out in guitar heaven, Mary and I went across the street to the Rock n Soul museum. It was very empty and after talking to the ladies that ran the ticket booth/gift shop, we decided not to take the tour. But the ladies let me play an awesome little cigar box guitar. Which was the most fun I had playing the guitar in while. The ladies also recommended the place we eat lunch at. They gave us a list and I wish we had found A & R BBQ, but we didn't have time.

So we ended up hitting Beale Street. I have always thought of Beale Street as the little brother of Bourbon Street NOLA. Its smaller, cleaner, bit more family friendly. Got alot of street performers and interesting stores, but doesn't have that sleazy over commercialized feel.  Its just a nice street, touristy, but nice. We had BBQ again at the Blues City Cafe. It was pretty good. The waitress got pissed off at another table and gave us great service just to spit them.
So after eating we headed down to the festival site
We saw some gospel music from The Slide Brothers, some Alt-Country from Deer Tick and blues music from Gary Clark Jr.

We also caught few songs by Papa Roach (Mary was so Happy), Phoenix, and Lucero. But after three days of running around we were tired and skipped The Smashing Pumpkins and The Flaming Lips.
We hit up The Flying Saucer for some beers, food, and a challenge from my fiancee involving Hot Mustard. Had a lot of fun.
Waiting on some Music
Memphis in May Day 4

So to end our Memphis adventure, Mary and I got a good night sleep and found a great place to eat breakfast, The Blue Plate Cafe and visited the Memphis Zoo. The Zoo would have been better if it hadn't been over run with school children and raining. But Mary loves zoos and I love her. So I made the sacrifice (Zoos make me sad. All those animals caged up want to run free). We then hit up Fazoli's in Southaven and headed home. To start planning our wedding, which Mary made massive amounts of progress on in that first day.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Memphis in May Day 2

So I start off day 2 with a bit of a problem. All my "romantic" ways of proposing were outside at night after the show for the day. But after the events of the day before that seemed like a bad idea. The shows had a wind chill coming off the river that put it in the 30s. Not the most romantic environment. So we woke up Saturday to find it was a beautiful day. I made decision. Was it right? Was it wrong?
I don't know.But as we got ready for breakfast I got the ring out of my bag and in front of our big windows with the sunlight streaming in I asked Mary if she want to get hitched. I'm not kidding. That is how I phrased it. *FACEPLAM*
Anyway the deed was done.
She said yes of course, because you know, I'm pretty freaking awesome. So after we went down stairs and got breakfast. $30 for hotel breakfast bar seemed a lot. But we enjoyed it. She made phone calls to all her family. My family know everything by this time so I just enjoyed my biscuits and gravy.
After the Fridays freezing conditions we concluded that we needed to pick some stuff up before Saturday's shows. We hit up a Target, Sporting Goods Store and Bass Pro Shop to find socks, gloves, hand warmers, and better jackets. While looking for these stores we found really cool looking nature preserve on the east side of Memphis. We saw bike trails, joggers, and bison.
It all seem very cool and I wish we had more time to explore. But Mary was on a agenda and we had to do the tourist thang for a bit before hitting the festival.
I find it strange that I have been to Graceland three time, but have never been to Sun Studios. Yeah, its a bit of a tourist trap. Yeah, you spend an hour in the gift shop before the tour. But still was pretty damn cool. If you think about all the cool music and people that played there over the years, it is easy to see why they promotion Sun (and Memphis in general) as the birth place of Rock n Roll!

If you ever find yourself in Memphis with a few hours to kill the whole downtown is fun and fascinating. But after a morning of proposals, shopping and touring we were getting hungry. And Memphis is a town known for some good food.
We decided to try Gus's Fried Chicken. We arrived and put our name on the wait list. Yeah, there is a wait list on a Saturday morning to eat Fried Chicken. But we purchased a few beer and went and sat outside in the sunshine while the sunshine lasted. Now I don't know if this chicken was worth a 45 minute wait to be seated. And I don't know if it was worth the 20 minute wait after we ordered. But I will will admit for two people to eat for $20 that really was THE BEST fried chicken in the world. It was delicious. I recommend it to anyone who goes to Memphis. Just try to avoid tourist date, like Memphis in May.
So, after eating, we head back to the hotel to get ready for the afternoon shows. We arrived to find a strong security presence than the night before, which looking back makes sense. It was the most popular day of the festival.
We found some ridiculous good parking thanks to Mary's small car.
Which was good because in the hour or two between leaving Gus's and returning to the park the weather again turned bad. There was more cold, windy, rain. Luckily, thanks to our shopping trip we were way better prepared for the bad weather. But we still hid in the gospel & art tents.
Still had a great time seeing The Heartless Bastards, Jerry Lee Lewis, &  The Black Keys (!)

Fish and I engaged to be married, watching The Black Keys
We decided to call it a day after The Black Keys, so we headed to the Fly Saucer, had a beer with Mary's cousin Owen and headed back to the hotel. It was a good day.

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Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Memphis in May Day 1

Day one was a long one. I woke at 6am, loaded the car and hit the road to drop off Saint Scrappy of the Who Dat, and pick up Mary aka Fish aka Sea Kitten. I retrieved the ring from my parents safe and printed out the tickets for the three days of music we had already paid for (come hell or high water of the flooding Mississippi River). So after Fishy picked me up we took off for Memphis in the pouring rain.
The drive up sucked! ALOT!
But some time in the mid afternoon we arrived in M-town. We had to stop off at Mary's Aunts house to deliver/pick up some stuff from Mary's grandmothers (its a long complex story, don't worry about it). We stayed at the Hilton Memphis and I highly recommend it. We checked in, unloaded, had some adult fun time and got ready to go down town. I won't lie, it took us a few wrong turns and missed exit to navigate Memphis for the first day or so. All part of learning a new city. But we finally ended up in the Beale Street area of downtown.
I have always thought of Beale street as the cleaner version of Bourbon Street and after this trip I maintain that feeling. Mary & I choose to eat, what else BBQ. We hit up the famous Rendezvous for some dry rub pork ribs and ghost river beer. The interesting part of eating there was that the Memphis Grizzlies were playing the LA Clippers in the Quarter Finals of the NBA play offs. So you got a strange mix of music lovers and sports fans in the same few blocks.
Anyway, after eating, we headed down to music festival which was in Tom Lee Park. Right on the river. It is not uncommon for it to rain and be muddy for Memphis in May. But the low for the night was 38 degrees. 38 degrees in Memphis, Tenns. in May! Really? Can I plan a romantic get-away or what? Still, we braved the cold wind and rain to see some music from some of Mary's favorite music artist. Like, The Wallflowers                                  
And Sheryl Crow

I would love to say that we stayed to see the Friday Night Headliners, Alice In Chains, but the night had become bitterly cold & wet for people not well dress for it. So we stopped off at The Flying Saucer to meet Mary's cousin Owen,for beers. He is the manager. It was packed from the Game and MiM.So after a beer we called it a night and head back to the hotel.

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Monday, May 06, 2013

So....yeah, this happened....

I got engaged to my long time girlfriend.

We went to Memphis in May music festival. Had a great time, despite the horribly unseasonable weather.