Thursday, August 12, 2010

We're goin' to Graceland, Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee

WARNING: These are our family vacation posts and may be lengthy and boring to anyone else but those of us who experienced it. I suppose this may be the equivalent to inviting you over for dinner and pulling out the screen, projector, and slides except, in this case, you can click away. Don't worry, we will be back early next week.

Do you have a GPS? No? Go out and buy one or, like me, borrow your mother's. What a life saver this way. We hopped in the car this morning and headed to Memphis. Well, we headed to Memphis after a stop at Starbucks for coffee and at a local stuff mart to buy sunglasses I thought I had lost, but ten minutes in to the trip discovered I had carefully placed them in center divide compartment. So like me.

I brought along two books to read. I am pre-reading New Moon for LibbyLu. This series is not my favorite and I am not sure my twelve year old is the target audience, or the right audience, but they are clamoring to read it. So, I am reading these books as well. I have never been much for teen romance novels, but I will endure for motherhood.

The second book is one I have just acquired, Hamlet's Blackberry. Ironically, as this book was sitting on my lap and I had read, aloud to John, at least a half a dozen passages that thrilled me, I realized the author's insight into how we are saturated, driven and overwhelmed with technology. All this, while riding in the car, digital camera at hand, programming the GPS and checking my e-mail on my iPhone. Didn't I say this was vacation?

Oh, this is more like vacation.

LibbyLu was settled into the back seat and the vacation of "don't take my picture" was under way. Don't you love twelve year old girls? I do and I am taking pictures anyway. So, there.

We stopped in Mammoth Springs, Arkansas to visit the spring. The springs in our region are beautiful and we have visited a few including Reeds Spring and Bennett Springs.

Mammoth Spring flows an average rate of 9.78 million gallons per our. It was nearly 100 degrees outside, heat index up to 111 degrees, but the water is a constant 58 degrees and the prettiest shade of turquoise.

There is dam site and mill preserved for visitors as well as a working fish hatchery and paddle boat rentals to get out on the water. We walked and talked and took lots of pictures. It was hot, but it was enjoyable. The water over the dam is mesmerizing.

This amazing moth was fluttering about the leaves in the grass. When I approached, doubtful that I would get a picture, he posed. Thank you kind moth.

LibbyLu grumped about the heat and humidity a bit, but handing her the camera lightened her mood. Here is one of those rare caught on film moments when she did not know I was watching.

The water house.

The sky was beautiful and the water reflective.

Smile. Please?

This is the site of a large military reunion. This cannon was made, as a reproduction, for these events. It can shoot a cannonball 1.8 miles. Wow.

John near the spring.

Okay, so the highway is right next to the spring. At least the truck is turquoise.

We hopped back in the car, the GPS recalculated, and we were on our way.

We stopped in Hardy for lunch and a little shopping.


Butters, jellies, and relishes of all kinds.

LibbyLu's favorite.

As Ralphie would say, "Oh, fudge."

I purchased a jar of Cherry Butter and a bag of Creek Pebbles candy. I don't know if the candy tastes good. It does not matter. I like how the pebbles look.

There were candle shops, antique stores and restaurants. This is a sign in the window of a hemp and everything hippie shop.

We heard a warning on a shop radio and walked outside to a stormy sky to our North. Time for lunch.

We found this great little Italian restaurant in a turn of the century Western building. The walls were bright mustard, the trim black and table cloths snow white.

I ordered the Manicotti - homemade from scratch no less and amazingly delicious.

So mysterious and European she is.

Cool water on a hot day is always so good.

Great bread.

John enjoyed lasagna.

LibbyLu loves, loves, loves toasted ravioli.

But, she does not like having her picture taken. Look closely. John is taking a picture in the left lense and I the right. Gotcha, twice.

After lunch, we ducked into an antique store or two.

Learned a little about Hardy.

Back on the road, we drove on to Memphis stopping only to stretch our legs in Trumann, Arkansas where we think we saw Elvis working as a stock boy at the the local stuff mart. The sky began to dim, the sun behind us.

LibbyLu reading and looking beautiful. No time to cover her face for this one.

Memphis ahead.

An amazing storm chase.

A good day.


  1. Love the waterhouse photos with all that gorgeous turquoise color!


  2. OHMYGOSH she's so grown up. I doubt I could get her giggling now! She's so pretty. And so grown!

  3. Wonderful!!! Can't wait to read more --- and SEE more!! :)

  4. Miss you already. Beautiful pictures and I know you are having a good time already. Don't forget it would not be cool for a twelve year old to have a good time with her parents unless the whole vacation is structured around her interests.And even then have to maintain a certain dignity!

  5. This looks like one awesome trip! Thanks for sharing. And don't worry, eventually Libby Li will stop making you take hand pictures!

  6. Wow, you were in my neck of the woods. Wish I had known. The trip to Memphis sure gets long. That pebble candy you bought is good except for the black ones unless you like licorice. Otherwise it tastes like tar. The rest taste fine. Libby is a beautiful girl. Looking forward to more on your trip, especially Graceland itself. I want to go. Enjoy your trip.

  7. Kelly, You see a vacation the way that I see a vacation. A chance to find the smallest of interesting details. This will be such fun to follow. I previewed the same book series for my neighbor's daughter. All books but the last okay. Last book, too mature for 14. Blackberry Hamlet looks interesting! Have a fun vacation! Elizabeth

  8. Kelly-
    Lovely brilliant photos! I love your blog! On a Memphis wavelength too - Listening to Norah Jones latest tunes then I saw your doppelganger, your celebrity look alike at the cinema today (Nanny McPhee Returns) - somehow when I saw Maggie Gyllenhaal it made me think of you!

  9. Hi! I'm new to your blog. I'm enjoying reading through your posts and looking at your vacation pics. Looks like you had a great time!

  10. I live in West Plains so I knew all those sites looked familiar! Great shots!

  11. This was my first trip to your blog. I love your photos!