Walking (freezing) in Memphis…

Sunday, 12/8 – Tuesday 12/10:

From New Orleans, we are off to Memphis to spend a few days with Cate’s family – Uncle Dave, Aunt Amy and her cousins Leah and Maddie. Sadly, because of distance it has been a few years since Cate has seen them.

We pulled into Memphis right around dinner time on Sunday night. We knew it was the house immediately, as it was the only house on the street uberly decorated for Christmas. You can’t be in this family if you don’t decorate your house for Christmas, simple as that. Lights. Lots of lights.

We had the most spectacular two days withe the Memphis Cluck’s. Sunday night dinner all together around the dinner table with fabulous pasta and so many laughs.

Monday was a down day for us. A day to sleep, catch up on emails, blogs, photos and to relax our minds. We have been on the go nonstop the last two weeks and just needed this day to catch up. I cannot think of a better house to do this in. Cozy inside (a blistering 28 degrees outside), so much good food and not getting out of our jammies all day.

Oh, and to get in the Griswold Christmas spirit, there seems to have been a cousin Eddie sighting….

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Video (A MUST WATCH!):

Monday night is taco night at the Cluck’s. From reading our blog, you now know we couldn’t have been more excited. Mexican again? Yes, please.

The last time I was in Memphis was right after Leah was born (16 years ago!). I had just gotten my license (I was 16 at the time) and I was allowed to drive my older cousin Miles to the grocery store. It was a cousin “rite of passage” in a way. Lucky for me, Leah got to bestow that on me when I was there and took me for a ride in her car. She is such an awesome and cautious driver. Congrats Leah! Next up is when Maddie turns 16…luckily that is not for a little while.

Mexican night started in the kitchen with the Feliz Navidad Pandora station, all 6 of us dancing around. What a dance party that was! I brought my specialty guac to the table (literally) and thankfully it was as much a hit in Memphis as it is on the East Coast.

Video:

Maddie, my 6 year old cousin, one of the most bravest boldest sweetest little ladies I have ever known had some serious dance moves that were the hit of the night. Maddie was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes just last year, although, you would never know. Her outlook and understanding of her illness, her bravery and positivity testing herself 6-8 times a day, it is awe inspiring and really struck a chord with us. This little bright light only sees the good, only sees the positive in life. Her laughter and smile will brighten any room. You are my brave little warrior princess sweet girl. I am inspired by you and the joy and happiness you bring to your friend and family.

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One of the hardest parts about growing up, or, I think life in general, is being far away (distance wise) from your family and friends. You get little snippets, little moments, just a few days here and there. But, they leave you wanting, craving, needing more. More moments, more laughs, more days.

That is exactly how I felt saying goodbye to the Cluck clan. I would be lying to say I didn’t cry the moment they walked out the door to head to school and work. I would be lying if we didn’t think about staying another night and another and another.

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Thank you for rejuvinating our energy and filling us with love and laughter. And, a lot of good food.

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We spent Tuesday out and about in Memphis exploring the sights. Our first stop was to Graceland. Unfortunately for us, it was closed. Apparently one Tuesday a month, they shut it down to do a power cleaning. Just our luck it was that Tuesday. We still got to walk around the grounds and take some photos despite not being able to go inside.

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It was very surreal visiting the Lorraine Motel, such a pivotal and monunmental place in our history, in civil rights, in equality, the day that Nelson Mandela was laid to rest halfway across the world. It was so beautiful to be there, to have a moment of silence for Nelson Mandela, for Martin Luther King Jr. and the thousands of individuals that fight tirelessly for equality and human rights.

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Our Memphis tour ended with a trip down Beale Street – which for the time of day was pretty quiet. But, just like Bourbon Street in New Orleans, you can see how it gets rowdy and packed at night.

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Ravenous and not wanting to leave Memphis without having some good ‘ole Memphis BBQ, we stopped into Central BBQ for lunch. Holy delicious meat. Amazing pulled pork complete with sides of mac and cheese, coleslaw, beans.

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Full bellies, full hearts, these happy girls are off to Nashville to see our friend Becca!

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