Friday, May 7, 2010

Day 1 - Second stop - The Peabody Hotel in Memphis

So we made tracks for Memphis after lunch, and were right on schedule. In fact, we got there just a little ahead of schedule. One of the most famous things in Memphis, other than Elvis, is the Marching of the Ducks at the Peabody Hotel. I made the decision to stay at a different hotel (big mistake) but wanted to show my wonderful wife this cool tradition. Click here for their whole story...
http://www.peabodymemphis.com/peabody_ducks/

We got there about an hour before, so we stopped in the Corner Bar at the Peabody. We enjoyed the chance to decompress from the 400+ miles of travel so far. Needless to say, the bar snacks were spicy and salty. We got spicy crisps, wasabi peas and salty nut mix. Their "beverages" were at quite a premium price, but very well made and in generous glasses.

After relaxing for about 30 minutes, we went over to the lobby for the march. The story and pageantry are very well presented. We really got a kick out of it. They roll out the red carpet (pictured), set the stairs in line, close off the one side and call the ducks. There is actually a Duck Master handling this whole process. There are 5 ducks in total. The have a habitat on the roof, so they get their own elevator ride up to their "house". The red carpet is lined with children and adults, all smiles, watching this crazy thing they have been doing for over 7 decades.

They come down late morning and go back up in the afternoon. If you ever get to Memphis, you have GOT TO go by and see this. There is no price for admission. Parking garages are very inexpensive and there are a lot of things to see in a several block radius. You can really make an afternoon of it. Please note: I have been told (and seen) that night time in the downtown Memphis area can be a little intimidating with unsavory characters. I recommend seeing them march down, get some lunch, check out some sites and then head to your hotel to prep for a fun night on Beale Street. More on that later.

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