Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Homecoming - Days 6 and 7

Susan took off work Monday and we spent the day sightseeing.  We had breakfast at this quaint restaurant in Collierville.  And then lunch was at a popular Memphis "dive":

Complete with Elvis-covered walls...

... and Elvis menu...

After bumming around, we went back to her house and had a big Mexican fiesta dinner with her girls.
The next day was my last day of vacation.   We took the girls to school and then had our last meal together before Susan headed to work and I headed to the zoo.

My friend, Amber, is a zookeeper at the Memphis Zoo. 

She works in the Animals of the Night pavilion.
She introduced me to some of her friends, including an aardvark... to get into his enclosure, I had to climb up a three foot wall.  Amber was not surprised that I did it - even in a dress - after all, we used to climb trees together.
He liked my stinky feet.  (I left with aardvark slobber in my shoes.)

A wombat....
A very sweet rat...

An armadillo....
A hedgehog....

And for a parting gift, some porcupine quills...

After I left the zoo, I swung by Graceland.   When Elvis was alive, every time we had guests from out of town, we would take them to Graceland and stand outside those gates (closed, of course, at the time)  for hours.  We never saw Elvis though :-(  At one point, there was a rock garden outside the gates.  Over twenty years later when my parents were cleaning my grandmother's house, they found a bag of "Elvis rocks" in her freezer.

When I got home, I discovered that the neighbor girls had missed me. (The dogs did not.  I think the pet sitter spoiled them!)

A Homecoming - Days 4 and 5

Day 4 started out with an early lunch with Leslie and then a grammar school reunion at Fuel in Midtown. Yes, GRAMMAR school.  Some of these people I went to Kindergarten with:

Afterward we went to a pub downtown, The Brass Door, to hear my friend Gene's band, Walrus:


Classy dames that we are, we bought some lacy thongs from the dollar store to throw on stage... if you look at the microphone in the second photo, you can see the purple and blue pairs...

We were supposed to do a 5K walk for St. Jude's on Sunday, but as we didn't get home until almost 3a.m., we skipped it and had a late breakfast (it was 1pm... some might call that lunch), hit a few shops, watched a movie and then went to Firebirds for dinner.  (While we acted like teenagers, our over 40 bodies couldn't handle the string of late nights!)

Corner View - Countdown

 Corner View is a weekly appointment - each Wednesday - created by Jane and currently curated by Francesca, where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme. If you'd like to join in, please leave a link to your Corner View post in the comments at, and be sure to visit other participants, too.

In my job,  I live by my calendar.  How many days until our expert disclosures?  What's the first day we can serve a proposal for settlement?  When does the notice period run out for our subpoenas?  However, my favorite countdowns/calendar entries are for my vacations... 266 days until I leave for:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Homecoming - Days 2 and 3

The second day of my vacation was a little more relaxed.  I slept in and when I wandered downstairs, there was a fresh pot of coffee waiting. (That never happens here as I live alone.)  It was the first day of school for Susan's girls, so, classy dame that I am, I wrapped a blanket around my jammies and rode to school with them and then went back to Susan's with her for some more coffee and a lazy morning. 
Later, I met my niece, Devon, for lunch.  She just moved to Memphis last December and we had a nice little visit.  She's my youngest niece and she just turned 21... makes me feel old!

We ate at Buckley's, which is owned by a girl I went to high school with and her husband.  There are several locations and if you're ever in Memphis, I highly recommend their black bean burger

That night, we met up with some high school friends for drinks and dinner at Elfo's.  (Sherry, me, Kathy, Leslie and Susan)

My parents were alseo in town visiting and I met them for breakfast at their hotel and then we went exploring.  My parents owned six acres just outsides of Memphis.  They bought it with the intention of building on it.  Ten years later, we moved and they sold the still vacant property, which is still vacant today.  Here's my Dad trespassing (my idea) on the property.  He's pointing at the area we (okay me) named "Heather's Point," which is just a small bit of land that jets out into the lake.

Heather's Point.
After a late Greek lunch at the wonderful Jim's Place on the corner of Poplar and Perkins, I headed back to Susan's for our evening "date" - Duran Duran!  (And John Taylor is still yummy!)



Monday, August 27, 2012

A Homecoming - Day 1

I grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, but moved away in 1986.  I am ashamed to say that in the twenty-six years since I left, I have only been back a handful of times – the last being almost twelve years ago when I went up for my friends’, Gene and Kathy, wedding.  (I stood up for both of them and was deemed “best chick,” which tickled the priest to no end and he threw in the words “best chick” as often as possible.) 
I recently went back and would like to share my childhood hometown with you.
I flew up the morning of Wednesday, August 15, 2012.
The Memphis airport was built in the 1960s and designed to look like champagne glasses.  (A theme that would not work in today’s prudish culture… and, I admit, perhaps is not the most appropriate message for a hub of transportation… but I digress.) 
By 10:30am, I was in my rental car and heading downtown.  I was supposed to meet Gene and Kathy for an early lunch (they both work downtown), but one of Kathy’s patients was late and we had to move it to a late lunch.  So, I parked at the convention center and went for a walk along the Mississippi River.
This is Mud Island.  The amphitheater faces the city and when you are there for a concert, you can see the city skyline beyond the stage and the city lights twinkling in the river.   I met my high school sweetheart at the Men at Work concert at Mud Island in 1983.  A couple of years later, I got kicked out of the INXS/Go-Gos concert on the island.  (My then boyfriend had just returned from Mexico and brought back some tequila, which we drank on the way downtown.  I did not realize how much I’d had to drink until it was time to get out of the car and I fell flat on my face as my legs did not work.  Later, I left my breakfast, lunch AND dinner all over the walkway over the monorail.  Not my finest hour… but I was young and stupid.  Not that I don’t do stupid things now – I just don’t need tequila to do them!  Hmmm - maybe that was an "over share"...)
 I walked to cobblestones that lead to the river boats.  I used to love school field trips on the boats.  I even went to formal dance on one once.  It was a lot of fun, but I remember the kids who didn’t make it on time and stood on the pier in their long dresses and tuxedos waving for the boat to come back.  (It didn’t.) We stood by the rails and cruelly waved and laughed at those left behind.  (Another bad confession!)
I walked further and arrived at the Front Street Deli.  (For those of you who saw the movie The Firm, this is the restaurant where Tom Cruise’s character first meets the FBI (or CIA ??) agent.)  I remember eating there with my father when he worked downtown.  As I hadn’t had breakfast (I had to get up at 4am to make my flight and I wasn't going to get up earlier for oatmeal), I got a small salad and sat at the window and people watched.  As it was Elvis week, there were plenty of interesting people to watch.
On my way back to the car, I came across this historical placard about Casey Jones and learned something new.  I didn’t know that fateful trip started in Memphis.

On my way to lunch, I went past Sun Studio of Elvis fame.

After lunch with Gene and Kathy at Molly’s Mexican Restaurant in Midtown, I took a nostalgic drive down memory lane and went past my high school.

And my old grammar school...

The strip mall where I had my first job at 16... I worked at a nurse's uniform store where the Cash Quick is now.  There was a frozen yogurt shop on one side of it and a middle eastern deli on the other.  The owner of the deli, Ray, used to bring me fresh pita bread - hot out of the oven - when I  worked alone on Saturdays. 
The owners of the uniform shop, the Millers, have retired to Knoxville, Tennessee.  Last time I went to see my parents, they met us for lunch.  You couldn't ask for a better first job or better bosses.
Then I went to my friend Susan's house where I stayed for the week.
While we were reminiscing, she pulled out some old photos I had never seen.  Including the one below.  We were in New Orleans bringing in 1990.  The big hair and big glasses make me laugh!  (And I now have dark hair and Susan is now blonde!)


A great start to what ended up being a great trip!  I felt like a teenager all over again.