Adventures: Memphis and Nashville




There honestly is nothing better than taking a few days off, packing a small bag and flying out to a different city, not knowing what to expect except that it is all going to be an adventure. The two and a half days I spent in Memphis deserve a short story in themselves, one that I need to spend more time writing based on all of the random notes and photos that I took, and all of the impressions that I came away with. In the meantime the photos are all up (see full set HERE) and continue to crack me up every time I look at them because they pretty much all have a story behind them. I absolutely adored Nashville and definitely need to go back and spend a lot more time there. There is no way that you can go to all of the honky tonks and listen to all of the music in a night and half a day. Outside of NYC it is definitely a place I could consider living (although the lack of an ocean nearby could be a problem).


Anyway, I feel like we did so much in so little time... Found an Irish pub two steps away from the hostel in midtown Memphis, befriended the bartender Alan, whose phrase "you guys don't exist outside of here, but in here you exist" pretty much said it all. Powers and Guinness and Magners and a photography tour along the empty Sunday night streets of Memphis... Assigned hostel chores and milk that we were not allowed to touch because it "belonged to Brad", a cab driver who not only offered to find us any drug or alcohol we wanted but also invited us to eat telapia at his house... An amazing tour of Graceland followed by a spontaneous decision to rent a car and drive the 200+ miles to Nashville... Country music radio stations and truck rest stops and finally Nashville, where music reigns everywhere. A room in the wonderful Downtown Hostel, drinks in different bars, bands playing everywhere you go... A 90's grunge cover band who totally looked and sounded the part, country singers, one brilliant guy on a street corner, making up songs as he played, a shot glass snuck out of the bar in the hostel and left undrunk... Empty bars with musicians playing at noon (do they ever really stop?), more street musicians, cowboy boots for sale, blossoming trees, lunch in a New Orleans bar where a man named Fritz played a beautiful rendition of Fire and Rain... Back to Memphis on stand by after missing my flight, making it back to New York at 11pm, wishing I could hop straight back on a plane back to Memphis. There is so much more to it than all of the above though...

Oh... And you can still smoke in bars in Tennessee. Brilliant.

Another link to all of the photos I took below.

In the GhettoNo idea what was for saleMemphis Drum ShopSoul Fish CafeMidtown Memphis cross streetsThe place where murder may happen
Tadhg in MemphisBig BirdThe CountSchool wall paintingsChoicesClimbing up the bridge
Photographing the fake buildingsFake bridge buildingsTadhgI love MemphisDeserted Memphis streetToad Hall Antiques
Skid marks on the roadXanadu guitar stuffCar tableI ate lunch in this carGraceland shopRandom Graceland visitors
Memphis & Nashville, a set on Flickr.

Ramblings: Ah Jamaica!




 
I’m glad the holidays are over this year, as I really wasn’t feeling into them. I ended up regretting not going out to California or to England to be with my family, but at the same time I knew it wasn’t really going to be possible to take a whole week off, with work shifts needing to be covered, and the idea of planning a trip seemed too tiring. I felt very lethargic and uninspired for most of the month of December, in dire need of a holiday somewhere different and exciting, a new kind of adventure.

I mentioned to my mum that I wanted to go to Jamaica in January and that she should come with me. Next thing I knew we had plane tickets and a hotel room booked for a week at the end of January. All of a sudden life seems brighter again, and I have something to look forward to. A holiday in the sun in the middle of the cold New York winter, a trip to a country that I have always wanted to go to. It always seemed like some type of dream, Jamaica, but now it will finally be coming true. A real holiday, not one visiting family, but a holiday in a place I have never been to. It’s been a while since I have done something like this, as most of my time off over the past few years has been used going to California or England. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and miss them a lot, and am always happy to visit them, but I miss travelling and creating my own little adventures, discovering places and people, taking photos and being inspired to write new stories and essays and poems.

We will be flying into Montego Bay and staying there for 6 glorious days. It looks like the temperature will be around 84 degrees every day and the ocean is warm enough to swim and snorkel in. I can’t wait to wear shorts again and walk barefoot in the sand with the sun warming my face, feeling free to do whatever I want, whenever I want. I’ve never been to the Caribbean before, and I haven’t been on holiday with my mum for years so it’s going to be a wonderful holiday that we both need so much. The main point of this holiday is going to be relaxation but also adventure; neither of us wanted to stay in an all-inclusive resort for the week – I want to be able to feel safe, but also really see life in Jamaica. I know that safety is important and I doubt I will be as reckless as I was when I backpacked around Egypt in my 20’s; but I want to explore and eat and drink and dance and meet people and collect as many different impressions and stories and photos so that I can use it all at a later date in my writing and photography.

To my delight I also discovered that there is a Jazz and Blues Festival taking place in Montego Bay while we are there. I really really want to go, not only for the artists, but also just for the atmosphere. I love music and I love shows and I love being surrounded by people who love music as much as I do. That coupled with being on holiday in a new and unknown place just makes it all the more exciting! So expect many posts when I come back, full of impressions and feelings and photos and anything else I can conjure up about my trip. I doubt I will write much while I am there as I will be too busy exploring, but hopefully I will be back with a renewed creativity and motivation!