Continued from Part 2
Arriving in Memphis, we found our hotel, slapped on some makeup and teetered off in our heels for a Friday night in Beale Street. And what a Friday night it turned out to be. We devoured ribs for dinner whilst listening to some great jazz singers and shook our tail feathers with other revellers on the dance floor. Sitting in a bar, Anna-Marie and I were having a quiet giggle over some rather country club looking lads, think – polo shirts and candy pink and white striped shorts. They turned out to be friendly college students and invited us along to the local college nightclub spot. Needless to say, our heads hit the pillow at 5.30 am.
Five hours sleep later, we drove in a zombie like state to the wonder that is IHOP (International House of Pancakes) for a sugar rush to keep us awake on our pitstop at Graceland and our drive to New Orleans.
From Beale Street in Memphis, to Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Saturday night was spent occupying various bars with friends we were there to visit. We sang loudly in the piano bars and danced onstage in another when the DJ announced “I believe there’s a couple of kiwi girls here tonight?”
It is hard to comprehend that exactly a week later, those great bars, and the shops and markets we visited in the French Quarter were submerged by Hurricane Katrina.
Heading west to Texas, we discovered the saying “Everything’s bigger in Texas”, not only applied to the huge size of the state, but also to our waistlines after we discovered The Cheesecake Factory.
A two night stopover in Houston with family friends, where we shopped, ate and enjoyed an early birthday celebration for me. Continuing on, we had lunch on the Riverwalk in San Antonio, ate dinner in Austin and spent the night in Amarillo.
On the eve of my birthday we pulled off Route 66 and stayed in a motel that looked like a scene from a horror movie. Empty swimming pool. Pick up truck parked in the corner. No neighbours for miles. It seemed like a good idea at the time, until we were lying in our beds in the dark, and heard strange creaky noises. I was glad to see morning and my birthday!
Lunch at a diner in Albuquerque for a green chilli cheeseburger, we met Larry the butcher and bakery owner, who invited us to the butchers store to present us with cookies for our drive and ‘Nelson’s Meats’ trucker caps.
We continued on to an Indian reservation, but just missed the last tour of the day. Perhaps saving ourselves some money, as when we ignored the ‘Do not pass this point’ sign and drove up to the top of the hill, there wasn’t a teepee in sight!
My birthday ended the only way it should end on a road trip. AtSizzler. Enjoying all you can eat and unlimited soft serve ice cream. Living the dream!