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Allen here: Beale Street and Graceland were great! Gone was the hotel I recall from the 70's, no surprise there. Also no surprise, we did not find any Disco, but that's alright with us. We walked the length of the club district, both sides, and settled into the Rum Boogie Cafe , wherewe saw the Eric Hughes Band and enjoyed Gumbo and Fried Green Tomatoes. e did get to do some dancing and had a great time. Afterwards we had a stroll down to the river and watched the light show on the bridges. Man he rive level is low. Norma tried to get a picture as we crossed into Arkansas the next morning, but the bar along the bridge blocked the shot.

Ariel stays at Graceland: Once we found a unique way to partially charge the Volt in the Graceland parking lot, we decided to leave Ariel in the car. Previously, when ordering the the Graceland tickets, I had asked if we could leave the tiny budgie in her cage in a cloak room in case of the cold. We spoke to Aline the hostess who insisted we bring Ariel inside Graceland, in fact she would not let us in without her! With her cage covered so as not to attract too many curious visitors, Aline set her up right next to the podium where she greeted guests.

Well, Graceland is so worth the $77 Elvis Experience tour entrance fee, and Aline was thrilled to have our pet at her side as she greeted Graceland guests. Allen and I were so relaxed at viewing Elvis' home and museums knowing Ariel was safe and secure thanks to Aline.

Neither Allen nor I were rabid Elvis fans, but when we left Memphis, driving through light rains of Arkansas, we played many of his songs for hours. Boy, can he sing a great rendition of "Unchained Melody" that could rival that of the Righteous Brothers. The original recording of "Guitar Man" is also fantastic. Back in the backseat of the car, Ariel cheeped along as we played Elvis, Roy Orbison, and a host of gold record stars. By the way, if you have time when you are in the area, DO NOT MISS GRACELAND! Plan to stay the whole day--so worth the time, especially if you love the King! Make sure to visit the exhibits after the mansion tour. You will want 4 or 5 hours. We felt bad for the folks arriving with the bus tour who only had tome for the residence and not the wonderful exhibits.


One thing my younger brother Arty wanted was for us was to see the home that he and Tammy built in a suburb of San Antonio. We got to Tammy's just after 12:00 noon, and the house is a showstopper--replete with a dining room with a wall and archway made of riverbed stone. The house gets even more splendid as you move to the kitchen, again with a stunning riverbed stone pillar. Seeing Tammy in such good spirits also cheered us up.

One of Tammy's goals was to show us Arty's bench just outside Diamonds Direct where he worked since 2017 when they moved to San Antonio. Seeing the engraved bench made us a bit tearful, but it was also a real treat to go inside this glamorous store and meet Art's former colleagues and boss. Everyone working at the store introduced themselves to us and told us how much they loved Art. On to dinner at the Yard, scrumptious salads on a walk around the fabulous outdoor mall with "pop-up" shops and holiday lights.


Allen had a look at the weather forecast ahead and at the routes to Salt Lake City and Boise. The forecast is not too bad but there is significant snow ahead. If the route were interstate highways we could have some confidence that the roads would be well cleared, but since they will mainly be state roads, we have decided to reroute along I-10 and stop to see our good friend Anne Jensen Warman in Tucson AZ, then on to Los Angeles to see granddaughter Emmy then finally up I-5 to Portland and Seattle. There are some passes we will need to watch in Northern California and Oregon but I-5 should be well cleared as long as we do not try to brave any storms or immediate aftermath thereof. We plan to leave San Antonio and should be getting into Tucson sometimes Tuesday morning. Fun trip so far! We are heading out in a minute to go see Wakanda Forever with Tammy.

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sounds like a fantastic way to start your retirement. Safe trip the rest of the way. Really looking foward to seeing you three. Let me know when you estimate arrival. Love Mom/Jackie

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