An Open Letter to Memphis, Tennessee

Dear Memphis,

I love you so much. Who cares if you’re famous for violent crime? It’s honestly fine. As our Airbnb host Patty said, she rarely hears of it (the crime, etc.) going beyond the gang members and drug dealers. Meaning: us little Virginia girls will be fine in Memphis.

Memphis, you have pretty great food. I mean, who doesn’t love barbecue? My mouth is just watering thinking about the steaming plates of pulled pork we ingested. Also, you offered us barbecue spaghetti at the Barbeque Shoppe and, you know what? It didn’t taste as strange as it sounds. And your sweet tea is oh so perfect. Almost McDonald’s on Route 1 in Ashland perfect. Honestly, the best meal we ate in Memphis was a burger and chicken tenders at a place near downtown, on Beale Street (the touristy area with all the blues clubs). I can’t even remember what the restaurant was called, but oh well. Near downtown is also the Arcade restaurant, which is bad and has an extremely long wait that absolutely no one tells you about before you’ve already put in your food order and it is much too late. It was some of the worst breakfast food I’ve ever eaten and both items we ordered were starred on the menu for being “favorite items from the Food Network and Travel Channel television programs.” They must have never eaten a good southern breakfast in their entire lives. Our breakfast cuisine took a whole 45 minutes to cook, too. Just wholly disappointing, y’all.

Memphis, you also have some pretty entertaining Uber drivers. One of them - “Johnny” - talked to us about getting leaves from Graceland for his “Caucasian ex-girlfriend’s crazed grandma.” He told us this story after politely warning us to never ask a Memphis-ian if they’ve been to Graceland before. (For those of you who don’t know, Graceland was the former home of the King of Rock n’ Roll, Elvis Presley). Johnny also described the insanity of Elvis fans after we stated how relieved we were the be escaping Memphis one week before the kick off of “Elvis week.” He mentioned drunk, middle aged men fumbling around the streets with fake microphones in the middle of the afternoon. Another Uber driver spoke to us about her divorce and gave us unwanted relationship advice based upon her failed marriage with a “manipulative, controlling scumbag.” She also shared that she lives with her super old mother and she’s generally terrified of her teenage daughter getting pregnant and marrying a loser like she did. That ride was just generally uncomfortable and sad.

This letter is very far from over, friends, so just stay tuned as I attempt to tackle the other various topics from our exciting trip to Memphis, such as our ride out to Graceland, the legendary musical experiences we had and stopping at our ancient Aunt Janet’s house on the way to Dolly Parton's theme park, Dollywood, in Pigeon Forge. See y’all next time, ya hear?