We arrived in Lynchburg, Tennessee at 10am for a date with destiny. The place was the Jack Daniels’ Distillery, and Randy ‘Goose’ Baxter was to be our guide. We’ve only been talking about him for more than six months, so there were a lot of expectations to be fulfilled. I’m happy to report that Goose met and exceeded them all.
Post-distillery, we raced back to Nashville for lunch, then got on the road to Memphis. It’s a 200-mile drive, but the lack of tacky roadside scenery, and the fact that we had driven 75 miles to Lynchburg and back, made it seem like a lot more. Luckily, Jay isn’t afraid to share his opinion about Tennessee drivers (“What would Jesus do? He’d signal!!”), and this kept us amused along the way.
We checked into the Heartbreak Hotel, right next door to Graceland. The hotel wasn’t too different than any other, except that it featured photos of Elvis over the beds, in place of the usual pastel garden scenes. We headed downtown to Beale Street, and Elvis’ very own restaurant. Lest Jay try to deny it later, here is photodocumentary evidence that he did, in fact, eat a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich:
Memphis is a little unclear on the tourism thing, though. Beale Street was almost completely deserted by 10pm. The stores were closed, and the bars featured live blues and jazz bands playing to empty rooms. It was kind of depressing. We headed back to the hotel bar, the Jungle Room, and hung out until scared away by the crazy locals.
Stay tuned. ‘Scared away by crazy locals’ may be a theme here.