nashville, memphis and nawlins
Hey!!!!! This one is coming to you from the hotel lobby of Best Western at the Grand Canyon but before I get to that we really need to update you on the events that have occured since my birthday in detail:o)
My birthday celebrations were kicked off in style when we were in West Virginia. Jeremiah (our tour leader) decided that we all needed (yes needed) to go to a restaurant called the Cracker Barrel, as he was convinced that we had never seen nor will we ever see another restaurant like it. He defined it as an experience and not just a meal, we were not disappointed the restaurant was unbelievable. West Virginia is situated in the South of USA and everything about this restaurant lived up to that sterotype- from the rocking chairs outside on the verandah to the deers heads that were so carefully placed above the roaring fireplace. If your having problems picturing this, think of the big scene in Sleeping Beauty where Gaston begins to sing and everyone clinks beer glasses- that is pretty much what this place looked like and was a true Southern experience. The food was unbelievably good and when we left we nominated our waitress Mindy for employee of the month because we all thought she deserved her name on a plaque by the fire too. Alas we will never know if she gets it or not but we tipped well and gave our thoughts to the people who counted haha.
After dinner it was back to the hotel- The Sleep Inn for some partying. I managed to have the longest birthday ever as the celebrations began when it would have been 12 midnight at home. At this point I got the worst but most entertaining rendition of 'Happy Birthday' that I've ever heard in my life but when theres been as much alcohol consumed as there was, I'm surprised that everybody remembered the words never mind the tune haha.
Our tour leader introduced us to the game that is Beer Pong and some of you lucky lucky folk will be subjected to it at various house parties. It basically goes that there is lots of beer involved and all you really need to know is that it was Heather and I who ended up drinking most of the shots this night. There are some rules but I dont really want to spoil the blog with trivial matters of rules haha. It did however result in one of the other guests threatening to call the police on us- they'd have had a job because the only thing for miles were trees haha.
My actual birthday (after about 3 hours sleep-not good) was spent with us being extremely hungover and spending 8 hours on the bus travelling to Nashville. During this time we gained another hour which meant another hour of partying for my birthday...can you see where this is heading yet haha. Well my birthday was a multi celebration as it was also the Superbowl and Korean New Year (we think, let me know if you know otherwise) There was also the non too shabby defeat of Chelski at home. Although we didn't get to see the match, knowing that we'd won was a great birthday present for me and another excuse to keep drinking:o)
At the lodge we stayed at, were a couple of guys who had formed a band. We all sat out singing songs, drinking and generally having a good time ( we were like somethin from lil house on a prairie but with decent songs haha). The guys all got me a birthday cake and got the band to sing happy birthday to me- albeit a much better rendition that the 1st one. I had a little cry and its all on film but Id like to say thanks for all the texts/emails/ facebooks msgs to wish me a good day. It was hard being away from everybody but if I had to be away from everyone for my birthday, Im glad I can say I was in Nashville for it:o). We hit some of the bars and saw a live Country and Western band. The band were great and even took requests. I requested Jackson by Johnny Cash (it would have been rude not to) and tried to film them singing it when they began. Security had a different idea however and decided to shout at me for trying to film it. I dont know who they thought they were haha. Heather repaid them by pinching a cow mask from the band for me- that'll teach em eh haha. All in all it was a great day and have captured most of it on film. We fully recommend going to Nashville, there are some very interesting characters there although some of the cowboys were a lil bit more friendly than we'd have liked. We didnt collect any phone numbers in Nashville although H was quite taken with one of the cowboys....but we'll leave that because he broke her heart by not giving her his cowboy hat.
Memphis- Soooo another day another hangover and this time we were headed for the home of Elvis. We decided to go to Graceland at the last minute because we figured its probs a once in a lifetime experience. Graceland itself wasn't as big as we've expected but there are a few museums is the area as well which are dedicated to the king. What Graceland lacked in size, was certainly accounted for with its crazy decor. He has something called a jungle room which is full of waterfalls and carved seating and another room decorated in bright blue and yellow. For those of you who visited me when I lived in Webster Road, it was more garish than that red colour- which I found unbelievable but hey he was Elvis I guess he had free reign to do whatever he liked haha. His planes and cars were pretty cool and they had a museum dedicated to his time when he was in the military. The general concensus amongst the girls is that Elvis was a hottie in his day and what a great loss his death actually is.
As we'd partied so hard in Nashville, Memphis partying consisted of a meal and a few drinks. I say a meal but what was put in front of me would have fed a small army so it was no surprise when I couldnt finish it. We went and watched a band next door and were treated like celebs because some of the locals wanted piccies with us (well we are friends with Obama dont you know haha)
New Orleans- If you ever have the opportunity to visit somewhere in the USA, you should definitely make it Nawlins (thats the proper way it's pronounced) We stayed in a room which we (the girls) have fondly christened 'The Orphanage' as it resembled the room used in the film Annie. We didn't elect anybody to be Miss Hannigan however as that could have caused offence. We partied like rockstars in Nawlins (well 4 of us did at least, the others caved at about 1) and tasted the magical drinks that are the Jester and Hand Grenade- they are as lethal as they sound and H was in a slobbering mess (ok I may have exaggerated a wee bit but I'm using writers liscence haha) The reason it is so great is because you are able to go from bar to bar with your drink and see what going on. We saw a live band who were playing music from all genres, the bar we were in was supposedly a hip hop bar but we saw them play 'Killing in the Name of' (I think somebody needs to explain genres of bars to America because they clearly dont seem to be understanding it haha) All in all it was a good night and also had the misfortune of seeing some ladies doing some dirty dirty dancing on the stage. I don't want to be too cruel about the ladies in question but all I will say is that you wouldn't see it in England.
Sightseeing in New Orleans is pretty cool (and not just because the weather is absolutely freezing) but there are lots of live bands to see and we had the pleasure of seeing a live jazz band and later a blues band. Both were unbelievably good and I have definitely found myself some musical culture (as if techno isnt cultured haha) I think both genres will be making their way onto the old ipod as soon as it decides it doesn't hate me any more.
The trip is still going really well and H and I are both still in one piece (just about) We both have flu but are troopers and are just getting on with it :o)
lots of love to you all
x x x