Graceland, Memphis

Paul’s USA Road Trip

Stottie and I have just returned from a brilliant holiday in America, where we met some lovely people (none of whom were called Donald), ate some fantastic food including “grits”! They are much tastier than they sound! Listened to some great music, visited the home of the King and finally Florida where we did lots of research in how to relax on a beach.

First stop was a direct flight Heathrow to Nashville (if you are ever departing from Heathrow and there are more than two people travelling take the train to Euston then book an Addison Lee car direct from the station to your terminal – it’s around £45 off peak and much better value than getting across to Paddington and using the Heathrow Express and you don’t have to man (or woman) handle your bags.

We stayed at the Indigo hotel which was in a fantastic location just out of earshot of the amazing live music on Broadway but close enough to be able to walk to most of the major sights and museums. Nashville is home to many great tourist sights and venues including the famous Grand Ole Opry House, The Country Music Hall of Fame, the Johnny Cash Museum and the Broadway district which live music everywhere you look – we did a hop on off city tour which was a great way to see the major sights before a great night listening to some fantastic bands.

Next stop Memphis – we drove the 3 hours southwest to the home of the King himself Elvis Presley.  I blame Mrs Fox (My mother for first time readers of this column for insomniacs) for a childhood with background music of Elvis & other Rock and roll greats causing a longstanding desire to visit Memphis and in particular Graceland Elvis’s home and Sun Studios where many iconic Rock and roll tracks were recorded.

It was well worth the drive; Graceland is beautiful and preserved exactly the way it was when Elvis passed away in 1977 and for any fan a very emotive experience. That night we did what any tourist who wants a restaurant recommendation in America – we asked a policeman & our PC sent us to a great bar/restaurant/music venue called the Blues City Café where they serve the best Southern cooking in town.

And finally, Florida – we hired a Mustang convertible and had a fantastic week exploring the southern Gulf coast of Florida; our base was Fort Myers beach, not as posh as Naples but a very chilled, friendly town with a great choice of restaurants and a beautiful white sand beach. We had some great days out on Sanibel & Captiva islands both of which I would highly recommend.

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