Pittsburgh and Memphis 2007 (55 images)

We decided to drive instead of fly for our yearly trip to Pittsburgh to celebrate Jane's mom's 89th birthday. We wanted a chance to stop and see Memphis as well as possibly seeing the leaves changing along the way. Unfortunately, a combination of a very warm Fall and a lack of rain through AR, TN, and KY meant that the leaves were late in turning. We didn't see much color in any of the states we passed through.

Our first day (Wednesday) took us to Memphis. We had dinner at Jim's Interstate Bar-B-Que which we had heard about on a Food Network show. Then we cruised Beale Street downtown to check out the music and action. There was some sort of motorcycle event/hangout going on but we didn't ask about it. We ate some ice cream and listened to music in the W.C. Handy park. We also checked out some spots downtown for our return trip.

The next day we headed off to Mammoth Cave, KY where we took a two-hour cave tour. We did not realize, despite the use of the term "cave" rather than "cavern", that there are no cave formations like stalactites and stalagmites in Mammoth Cave. It is, literally, just the world's largest cave (360+ miles so far), but interesting in its own right. We stopped for the night just east of Lexington, KY and rolled into Pittsburgh on the third day.

While in Pittsburgh, we went to the Phipps Conservatory to see the glass exhibit by artist Dale Chihuly. We had previously seen his work at the Fairchild Gardens in Miami. Stunning glass pieces were interspersed among the plants and gardens all over Phipps.

In a vain search for some Fall color, we drove up to Ligonier, PA east of Pittsburgh. We had lunch and shopped the town and visited the pre-Revolutionary Ft. Ligioner. It was a nice side trip but not the colorful drive that it might have been a week or so later.

Leaving Pittsburgh on Tuesday, we stopped in Cincinnati to have lunch with college friends Steven and Shelley Goldstein whom we hadn't seen in over ten years. Then it was on to just west of Nashville for the night.

On Wednesday, we got started early and hit Memphis about mid-morning. We headed straight for Graceland since neither of us had ever been there. Now we can say we've been. A bit pricey but interesting. We then headed into downtown Memphis where we wanted to see the famous Peabody ducks march through the lobby and back to their "palace" in the hotel at 5:00pm. We had a drink in the lobby and watched the large crowd gather for the parade. We decided to try and view the parade from the mezzanine which might not have been the best choice as we couldn't see the ducks walk all the way into the elevator.
If you have a high-speed connection, you can view my movies of the event at Duck Movie #1 (watch about half way through where a duck swims in an nips the half-asleep duck roosting on the fountain!) and Duck Movie #2 (turn up your volume to hear the intro and the John Phillip Sousa march that accompanies the ducks).
We both decided that being the Duck Master would be a great job!

After seeing the ducks, we walked around downtown, rode the streetcar, and ate at B.B. King's club. We headed home to Austin the next day.

Click a picture to see a larger view.