Tag Archives: tennessee

Day 19: Back to Lonoke

It was time to check out by the time we woke up. Had wanted to grab a bite at the hotel, but they were not serving lunch yet. So we packed up, checked out, and went down to Beale St again. Figured someone’s got to be serving food.

Stopped by at the Police Museum, which was actually a functioning police station. Lots of weapons and gadgets used by both police and crooks. Also stopped by at A Schwarb, supposedly the oldest shop in Memphis or something. Got some candy, but otherwise, most of the stuff was pretty boring.

Had a ghastly lunch at Kings Cafe or something like that – I had seafood pasta, which falsely advertised “crabmeat” when it was only crabstick. I could not taste anything, although the inside of my mouth was completely buttered by the time I stopped eating (with almost half of the pasta remaining). Randall had a Bloody Mary that had too much mix and not enough of anything else, and a vegetarian pasta that was also baked in butter, and still stewing in it when it was served.

We later popped over at BB King’s for a drink (just to say we have done it), and boy was it a pleasant surprise. The drinks were excellent – we had the Hootchie Coochie, Root Doctor, June Surprise, and Voodoo Child. We also got to keep the glasses as souvenirs (the drinks were 9.99 and 6.99 depending on whether they were cocktails or shooters). Excellent deal I thought. And the fried catfish bits we ordered was pretty good too.

Lost the map for Memphis, so decided to head back to Lonoke instead of going to Graceland. Great to be back.

Day 18: Memphis

Heading towards Memphis today. Got a room at the Marriot through Priceline for 75 bucks, not bad considering its a downtown area. The room was pleasant, although there was no free high-speed internet – available for $10 a day. Decided to pass since we’ll be back in Lonoke tomorrow anyway. There were some nice Neutrogena bath products provided – not as fantastic as the Aveda ones in the George rooms, but good enough.

We had stopped by at the Coors brewery before checking in. Coors is apparently the #3 beer in the US (although I have not heard about it before), behind Budweiser and Miller. The guided tour was ok — didn’t really get to tour the facilities. A lot of time was actually spent in front of diagrams and pictures, and Chuck the guide just explained what they all meant. Made some nice points, I thought, such as Budweiser is the only beer to use colors that resembled a soft drink (namely, Coke), as well as use animals and cartoons in its commercials.

We were given a couple of free drinks at the end of the tour. Coors Original, which I tried, was pretty good for an American beer. [Ever heard the joke about why drinking American beer is the same as making love on a canoe? They’re fucking close to water! Ha ha.] Also tried the Blue Moon, a Belgian-style wheat ale, and the cherry Zima –> an alcoholic soda like Hooch. Too bad we didn’t get any free souvenirs.

Had dinner on Beale Street – including some pretty decent ribs [apparently, you have to have ribs when you’re in Tennessee]. The stuff mushrooms were pretty disappointing though — think they’ve been soaked in butter for way too long. The night (after watching the finale of The Apprentice) was spent at a few clubs, two of which were Irish – Pat O’Briens and Silky Sullivan’s. The bartender at the latter joint didn’t know how to make a Black and Tan, or a Snakebite. Hmm.

Day 17: Jack Daniels

Decided enroute to Bristol, VA/TN that it would be fun to visit the Jack Daniels distillery in Tennessee . A quick reference to the AAA guide to Kentucky and TN showed that it was located in Lynchburg, TN. That was about 4 hours away, so we should be able to make it in time before the guided tours closed at 430pm.

Managed to find the JD distillery without too much difficulty, although I did miss the exit at Crossville and had to instead make the turn at Cookeville instead — probably took us about 15-30 mins longer. The population of Lynchburg is 361, which pretty much revolves around the distillery and the gift shops that sell JD souvenirs, although no JD is actually sold here because it is a dry county. Ironic huh.

The tour was actually really interesting. The guide pretty much brought us through all the stages of distilling JD. We got to see the stills, bottling, and ageing areas, and lots of free smells in the process (although there was no free whiskey to be had). There was this particular building where the whiskey was filtered through maple charcoal to remove the taste/smell of yeast and barley –> the guide lifted a little of the lid and let us smell the whiskey. Man, free air is overrated compared to the smell of raw whiskey.

Tonight would be spent at another Super 8 Motel, this time in Pulaski. The manager at the motel suggested that we not venture into any bar or club unless we were armed with a gun and 2 knives. I assumed this meant each, and even though Randall’s from Arkansas, he doesn’t have a rifle in the boot of his Le Sabre. 🙂

There was a nice cozy [sorry if these adjectives are repeated too often, but well, this is the South] restaurant next to the motel, which served typical southern food. We had the sampler platter – deep fried cheese sticks, jalapeno, stuffed jalapeno, mushrooms, pickles – and the seafood platter –> deep fried fish, oysters, shrimp, scallops, and hushpuppies (deep fried cornbread in balls). The baked potato was great… totally fluffy with whipped butter and sour cream.