Sunday, January 22, 2017, 5:45 pm
For the first time in 6 months, we got out of town this weekend. We drove to Memphis and it was fabulous! Memphis, for me, is a place of my youth and my early 20s. I have been to Memphis so many times that I cannot count them all, since I grew up living so much closer to Memphis than to Little Rock. We went to Little Rock to see family. We went to Memphis to shop, eat, and hang out. Ice skating at the Mall of Memphis as a child, seeing Graceland probably five times or so, once just after Elvis died, and going to the Memphis Zoo are all highlights of my youth. Seeing the Cultural Series, with Katherine the Great’s jewels and finery, Napoleon’s battle gear, Ramses’ sarcophagus, and items from the Titantic’s fatal voyage were all part of that much-loved series. Oh, how I wish they had one every year!
This time, we stayed at one of my bucket list item hotels – The Peabody. Built in 1925, in the high times of Art Deco and before the Crash, the hotel is in a word, fabulous. With Marie Antoinette blue rooms, with white woodwork details, we stayed in Room 700, which is at the very end of a hall, directly in front of you. It was a nice and cozy room, with a nice bathroom and a comfy bed. The lobby includes the march of the famed ducks at 11 am and 5pm, and we got to see them enter the lobby for their daily swim this morning at 11. We had drinks at the lobby bar, which were very good and well-made. We ate breakfast at Capricio’s which was also very good. It was buffet-style, and had all the typical American breakfast fare, with French press coffee served at each table, and the best grits I’ve ever eaten.
Last night, we ate dinner at the Rendezvous, which has the very best barbecue that I’ve ever had, and trust me that I have had a LOT of barbecue being a Southern girl. We went to the new IKEA store yesterday after we got to town, then headed over to the Wolfchase Galleria mall to walk around a bit. Today, we ended our day by going through the Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid, a place I had last seen when the Napoleon exhibit, mentioned above, was in place. Amazing doesn’t really begin to describe the store, and the $10 ride to the top was well worth it. Not only do you get to go outside to see the amazing views of the Mississippi River, Arkansas, and Memphis, you also get to eat at the restaurant or have a drink at the full bar if you are so inclined. We ate, with Sweetie having the Turkey Club and me having the Scallops. Both were perfect and just the right portions. Scallops are so rich that more than a few is just overwhelming, so three huge scallops were just right, and the sauce was fabulous. The turkey club came with homemade chips, which were good. Sweetie said that sandwich was very good, as well.
Stepping out onto the glass overlook was a bit scary at first, but the glass isn’t completely clear, so it’s not as scary as it looks from the parking lot. You can’t really see down under the glass that well, so you don’t feel like you are going to fall or anything. I went out on it, and I am petrified of heights like that. It was a cool, windy, and rainy-ish day, and I was still able to get many great photos both straight up and panoramic. It’s definitely worth the money.
More than anything, I personally needed a reset. Taking on this solo practice thing about 5 months ago, I have not had a lot of free time, and I feel like every waking moment I’ve spent worrying about my clients, their cases, my business, and whether I’ve made the right decision going out on my own in this field or just going back to work in the corporate world, lawyer or otherwise. I have also found myself spending WAY too much time on social media. Hours at a time. When we travel, neither of us stays on our phones, we don’t watch the news unless something huge is happening (think Kuwait getting bombed in 1990 or so), and we just hang out together. It’s my very very favorite part of being somewhere other than home or work. It’s like I get to be the person I want to be, without any interferences. It’s wonderful.
Every time we travel I vow to be different when I get home. I make this vow to myself, typically not outloud, just something I tell myself that will be good for me, good for my marriage, and good for my life. It’s like it takes that “break” from the real world in order to get my mind back on track. I find myself calming down. I find myself not worrying so much. I find myself. Just myself.
I also find that I appreciate Sweetie so very much. I do every day, but when we are traveling, I truly remember how insanely much I love and adore him. It’s like everything else goes away except him and me and that’s it – it’s like it’s us against the world and nothing else matters. When we are just us, without anyone else in between, I love it. I wish it could be like that every single day. I think that there are some people who dread retiring because it means that they will lose their friends, they will be at home trapped with the spouse, and that it will be boring. I find this to be a ridiculous notion. I would rather be somewhere alone with my Sweetie than I would to be anywhere with anyone else. I truly do not know what I would do without him being with me.
We talked a lot this trip. It was a 2.5 hour trip in the car each way, and we barely listened to the radio at all – maybe 5 minutes total. I stayed off my phone, he was driving so stayed off of his as well. Neither of us got a phone call the entire time we were gone. I put my phone on do not disturb yesterday, allowing only calls from those in my favorites list, because I really wanted it to be us and no one else. I got a good night’s sleep, I ate great food, I chilled out, and I survived without social media.
I believe that social media serves a purpose. I have found clients on my Facebook and other pages, and I will continue to have a presence there. I also believe that it keeps me connected with people I like to know things about. I have been able to reconnect with friends that I would never have been about to know about without social media. People I haven’t seen in years, I know their kids, their spouses, and their jobs. It’s very nice in that regard. Sometimes, though, I find myself getting envious of what someone else is doing. Someone going on their fifth vacation this year, while I have no vacation time. Someone buying a new car, when my car is 11.5 years old. Someone getting a new puppy, which is something I’ve thought about doing for a while. People mad about Trump, Hillary, Bernie, or whoever. People marching. People defending their rights to own guns, have an abortion, or marry the person they love. People who like the Patriots, the Steelers, the Falcons, or the Hogs. So many opinions. So little actual news that’s true. So much blood pressure enhancing stuff. So many issues. So much fakery. Yes, it’s a real word.
I found myself riding through the Delta, the area where I grew up. I’m always amazed that I thought nothing of its flatness when I lived there, but now it feels so confining somehow. So open – you can see your neighbors a mile away. So claustrophobic – you can see your neighbors a mile away. It’s good and bad. The snow geese, the wood ducks, the rivers, lakes, and ponds, the crops, and the other sights and sounds. All good. The lack of jobs, slow economy, not good. But, the slower pace of life – definitely good.
I noticed when we were in Memphis, the folks we hung around had an air to them. Not a better than you, but a Southern hospitality air. I miss that tremendously.
I do feel, overall, like I have had a reset. A renewal of my faith in myself. Only two days away from home, and not even two full days. I really, really needed this. We have decided to call this a TOG trip – tank of gas – and we plan to take more of them in the near future. Some will be more than a tank of gas, of course, but some won’t. It is something we are choosing to do for ourselves, for our lives, and for our sanity, frankly. Both of us are busy, very busy, and don’t have a lot of time to do anything fun. We are going to take the time to do it. We must.