I spent a week away in Memphis first staying at the Madison Hotel which has some beautiful architecture and a great view of the Mississippi river. If you go to Memphis stay at this hotel, it is by far the best. Of course there was a reason why I went to Memphis, which was to satisfy my wife's life long desire to see Graceland - "yes", I am man enought to admit this. Actually it was very enjoyable and I filled my head with so much Elvis triva that I am now prepared for the pub quiz night, down at the local over a pint. For example did you know that Elvis made 31 films, that his favorite color is blue and that he had shag pile carpet on the living room ceiling? We stayed at the Heartbreak Hotel for a couple of nights and all I can say is that Motel 6 is much better. Although the room was bareable, the breakfast was the worst experience of *any* hotel I have stayed at consisting of old fruit and stale bagels. It was just amazing how bad they made it. Equally the building surely was a converted WWII concrete bunker. The most striking aspect of the Graceland Corp was how miserable all the staff were. Everyone had been "Elvised" to death, probably by the endless songs playing all day. Inside Graceland is was a 70s time capsule and well worth seeing especially given that it has an historical relevance to music culture. As I strolled passed Elvis's grave, the woman next to me burst into tears and started wailing openly and pulling her hair. Guess it is just too much for some people.

The other hightlights of the trip was Sun Studios which is a "must see" full of historical perspective, where many of the Blues and Rock and Roll greats first started such as BB King, Jonny Cash and Elvis. The other was going to see BB King play live in his Blue's club on Beale Street which was awe inspiring. He is 78 and still doing live shows which is incredible and if you are into soulful blues music you must try go to one of his sessions. It was also refreshing to see that families are welcomed into the bars in Memphis. Across the table from us were a family with three sons around 15, 12 and 10 all having fun listening to live music. In Seattle that is virtually non-existent. The blend of southern food, beer and time spent with my wife summed up a very enjoyable trip.