I’m not sure what we were thinking. Packing two exchange students in a car of a road trip to and from Washington D.C. seemed like a good idea at the time, and to be honest – it turned out to be exactly that. Tong and Tommy were troopers, and I’d thought I’d document – in part – the journey.
Leaving was easy. Pick up the car (a lovely silver Tahoe with LOTS of features), pack it with luggage and people, and then move the lever to “drive” and go.
First stop was dinner at Bodacious BBQ in Sulphur Springs. We got there within an hour of them closing, and they were out of ribs! While a little disappointing, the food we did get lived up to the standards long set from many visits to East Texas.
Back in the car and we introduced the guys to the Road Trip Alphabet Game. It took us to Hot Springs Arkansas to get through the alphabet, which we were playing at night (which added to the challenge). Thank you for the zoo advertisement on the windy roads to Hot Springs for helping finish that game. Finally our beds at the Courtyard Marriott called our names, wi-fi was available to keep some happier than others, and sleep ensued.
The next morning, we moved back to the car and checked out some of the local sites that we had driven past the night before. Then came the introduction to Waffle House to the guys. Sadly, this venue while very friendly, did not live up to the high standards of Waffle Houses that we have visited in the past. We lived.
Off to drive through Hot Springs and check out a local site at Gulpha Gorge where we did a short hike, took some cool pictures, saw some horses working the trail and then refreshed our feet in the cool stream.
The trip was off to a good start, and our next stop was Memphis before stopping in Nashville.
Memphis is a great place. There is the amazing welcome center with tributes to Elvis and B.B. King, Beale Street (world famous I’m told) and Graceland – all of which we stopped at and took the obligatory pictures. The hit for the day was a Yelp find called “Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken” (which is now all over the place it seems). We went trough-style, and order a platter of chicken with some sides. The chicken was pretty amazing, with just the right amount of spice. It was a busy place (always a good sign), and their sweet tea was the just the right amount of everything for a wanna-be diabetic.
With our sweet-tea high, and post a flip-flop blow out at Graceland, we dipped into Mississippi (one more state for both Tong and Tommy), and then continued our journey to Nashville.