Friday, June 02, 2006

By Request - The Tennessee Tale of Woe

So J and I were doing this driving from Texas to DC. The most direct way is to take the 30 to the 40 to the 81 and that means going through the state of Tennessee. We leave the Dallas area the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend and plan to drive to Memphis. We sensibly go on Expedia and sensibly get a room at a Best Western. Because this is Memorial Day weekend, every hotel in Downtown Memphis is booked, so we end up staying at the Best Western is about a half an hour away from downtown. When we get to Memphis we drive towards the hotel but it just seems SOOOOO far from downtown.

We decide to go downtown and have dinner and try our hand at finding a hotel in the downtown area. While there are exits going south on the freeway for downton, there are none going north so we completely miss downtown and end up going through some of the sketchiest parts of Memphis to get there. We finally get to downtown where the entire South has converged. Seriously folks, it's like DC on Fourth of July. We forgo the hour and a half wait at Corky's and somehow end up running into Beale Street where we end up eating barbecue and listening to some blues.

It's 11:00 pm by the time we get to the Best Western. The Best Western is pretty damn sketchy itself and I am simultaneously relieved and pissed that they gave away our room. We try another motel that has a vacancy sign. J gets the last room available and...no. Just no. Both the air conditioning and the phone don't work. The wallpaper is peeling off and there is a plexiglass divider at the front desk to keep the staff separated from the guests. It is at that moment where we decide we are done with Memphis.

We haul ass out of the cursed city. On the way out of town we pass by several elegant looking Hiltons and Radissons and we decide to drive on because we are just done. We end up in Jackson, TN at 1:00 am in a clean and air conditioned Microtel. After some much needed sleep we head out. Halfway between Jackson and Nashville, a state trooper pulls me over. Let's note that I am driving 68 mph in a 70 mph zone. I am completely befuddled about what I did wrong. Apparently, there a TN law that says when you see an emergency vehicle with flashing lights you need to be in hte left hand lane. Even though we tell him we're from out of town, he mercilessly gives us a ticket and acts like we should have known. For the rest of the trip we keep our eyes peeled for any kind of sign that would tell us about this law. We finally spot one, five miles away from the Virginia border.

5 comments:

ScottE. said...

the left lane...you're kidding me!?! What the eff kind of backwards law is that? ugh, sorry!

Barbara (Biscuit Girl) said...

I am so sorry you had such a bad time in TN. I'm almost ashamed to admit that's my home state. However, to redeem myself, let me say that I am from East Tennessee. And folks there are much nicer.

And I'm still boggled by the asshat of a cop in Nashville that pulled you over! I've never heard of such a thing......left hand lane....sheesh.....like everyone in the country's gonna know that! Hey here's a novel idea for the law makers in TN.....put up a big friggin sign at the state borders to warn people, will ya!

And again, on behalf of the sensible and nice Tennesseans out there, I'm sorry you had a less than happy time.

playfulinnc said...

Dear Lord JESUS!

You could have stayed at the stately palace de Playfulindc and my mother could have niced you to death. Or your heart could have exploded due to the thick sweet tea she pawns on the unsuspecting visitor.

Will you ever forgive us?

(Wonder why I left the second I could when I graduated HS?)

Anonymous said...

Memphis is not a Cursed city. Perhaps if you had done some research you would have discovered that Memorial Day in Memphis is the Sunset Symphony, a wonderful event where the Memphis Symphony plays on the banks of the Mississippi.

Corkys sucks. Had you done research you would have known that there are better BBQ places to eat in Memphis. It doesn't take much research to find better BBQ places in Memphis. Not only are there good BBQ places, there are actually a few good restaurants of other persuasions downtown.

Memphis is an amazing town. Sorry your trip wasn't well planned or well thought out. Next time do some research.

DC Food Blog said...

Oh Anonymous- People like you make blogginf fun.

A bit touchy about the whole cursed thing, huh? It was a bad experience and "cursed" was meant to be funny. As for research, if you only knew how much research was done. Yeah, we could have planned to have our hotel cancel our reservation or for the second one to bit a fleabag, but that would have taken the fun out of our poorly researched pursuit of BBQ.

I'm not sure if it is a sport to go around crapping on people's blog entries, but it's a bit silly. Funny how most responses have been really funny or encouraging-- wishing a fellow traveler well on the next run, offering a place to stay, etc.

The Corky's thing was a mistake. We actually had an extensive list and Corky's was on it (do your research and you'll fine many people like a few specific dishes at Corky's (AAA. Roadfoood, Chowhound, reccs from friends with family in Memphis, etc.), but the place we actually went to was Rendezvous.

Onto more cursed entries . . .