we kicked off the summer with a road trip to Tennessee for a week! our first stop was spent in Memphis, Tennessee. I have never been to that city so I was unsure what to expect, but it was the best time! Memphis has SO much history and SO much to do as a family! many of you gave amazing suggestions on things to do and places to eat while we were here and it turned into one delicious and fun filled trip! lots of pictures in this post (I loaded over a hundred to my hard drive from our time in Memphis!) and a list of must see family things at the end! we arrived! first stop on our kick off to summer road trip was a few nights at the Big Cypress Lodge hotel. as we were driving into the city we could see the HUGE glass pyramid from the bridge crossing into downtown- huge doesn’t even begin to describe it! the hotel is located inside the Bass Pro Shop, so while we waited for our room to be ready (we arrived a little before check in time) we explored the shop. full size aquarium tanks, alligators, ducks, and the most unique fish were just a few of the fun things we could see while we were there. after we got checked in and settled into our room we made reservations at The Fish Bowl for a couple hours of bowling before heading to dinner with the babes. Big Cypress has the coolest bowling alley right inside the hotel! my camera roll was filled with so many burry pictures in my attempt to capture their excitement while bowling 🙂dinner time! we had a few happy kids drinking out of a glass without a lid during our dinner at The Lookout. The Lookout is a restaurant at the very tip top of Big Cypress hotel offering dinner with a gorgeous view of the Memphis bridge for dinner. Jordan ate steak.. and I had salmon! every night at dusk the Mighty Lights on the “M” bridge go off in a show of color. a local shared a story about these Mighty Lights being the Wish of a child supported by the Make a Wish Foundation- he wished to be a magician and to help make his wish come true they handed him a magician’s wand and he tapped the bridge and it lit up for the very first time! can you imagine the joy on that sweet boy’s face?! the next morning we headed down to Uncle Buck’s for breakfast. egg white omelette and coffee for the adults and chocolate milk, pancakes, bacon, and fruit for the kids! we came back too the room for nap time and while Baylor napped the big kids sat on our balcony to read, color, and play. that green structure is the Sky High Ride– a 28 story glass elevator right in the middle of Bass Pro that you take from the bottom of The Pyramid up 300 feet to the Lookout. its the tallest free standing elevator in the country! ..and were off to explore the city! we had plans to go to the Memphis Red Birds baseball game but had some time to kill before the game so we took a short drive to Downtown to walk around and have lunch! first stop :: LUNCH at Huey’s. fun fact, my maiden name is Huey 🙂 I ate the shrimp po’boy, but I immediately had regret in my food selection when Jordan’s Philly Cheesesteak came out. holy delicious! we have very close family friends that grew up int he Memphis area and told us that a MUST SEE is to see the Peabody Ducks walk through the hotel. Huey’s was directly across the street from the hotel, so we headed over there right after lunch. the ducks walk at the same time every afternoon from the fountain inside the hotel to the elevator up to the rooftop where they live.
after we watched the ducks walk we came outside to horse drawn city tours..so, we figured, what the heck- lets get into the carriage! we took the longer ride through downtown and got the view and hear about the amazing history of Memphis! the carriage dropped us off right in front of the baseball stadium 🙂 we lasted to the 6th inning before everyone was DONE. we ended the night with ice cream! Margies 901 was a couple blocks from the stadium and it was delish! after ice cream we went straight back to the hotel for showers and a movie before bed. the next morning Baylor and I woke to a quiet and empty hotel room- we walked out the door into a very large lobby area where they offered a full coffee bar in the morning. Jordan and the four big kids were plating checkers in their pajamas! we had a big day ahead! we were going to the highly recommend Memphis Zoo! the most beautiful zoo we have ever been to! we spent the entire day at the zoo and saw every animal there was to see- I was completely giddy over how well kept the zoo was and how amazing their animals were! hands down the best part of the zoo- feeding these giraffes! it really was the best day. we left the zoo with BBQ on our minds! a lot of suggestions for Rendezvous for the best BBQ in Memphis, but the outdoor patio area at Central BBQ seemed more fitting for our kids and it was so good- highly recommend!! the pulled pork was amazing and their homemade kettle chips and macaroni and cheese are a must have!we came back to the hotel to house made cookies on our pillow- these Mud Cookies were the highlight of the evenings during our stay at Big Cypress! one last trip to the top of the Pyramid before we left! we had the most fun during our stay in Memphis! I had a long list of things to do while we were there and hardly scratched the surface by the time it was time to leave! here are a few things to see/do from that list if your making a trip to Memphis:
Jerry’s Sno Cones
Children’s Museum of Memphis
P!nk Palace Family of Museums
Fire Museum of Memphis
Gus’ Fried Chicken
Shelby Farms Park
shopping + eating on Beale Street (during the daytime)
Mississippi riverboat cruise
Memphis RedBirds at AutoZone Park
Mud Island Park
AND of course you must make a trip to see the Big Cypress Lodge at the Pyramid! I have a 10% discount to you guys for a Sunday-Thursday (excludes holidays) stay through August 29th. give the hotel a call (800-223-3333 for reservations) to book and use the code: AM0619
a big THANK YOU to Big Cypress for hosting our family for the best way to kick off our summer!