We got up early this morning (thanks to switching back into the Central time zone), and attempted to get on the road quickly. It still took us awhile, but at least we made it out of there before 9 am.
We headed right out of Birmingham and toward Memphis. It was a nice long drive, but thankfully (and surprisingly!), the kids were in a good mood. They started getting a little grumpy, so I got out the markers and googly eyes and we drew puppets on our hands and had a fun with that. Then I taught Max & Ava how to play thumb wars. It’s always fun to come up with games to play in the car. The silliest things get them to laugh, and laughter puts everyone in a good mood!
About that time, we finally made it into Memphis and headed to Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken. We must have had bad timing, because we had to wait about 45 minutes to get seated and another hour to get our food. Man, oh man, was it good chicken though! I’m sad we didn’t order a bigger meal, because we finished every bite.
Our next stop was Trolley Stop Market (farmer owned, farmer operated), where we intended to get some down home Southern dessert (read: homemade fruit cobbler). Bummer for us, all the fruit is out of season. So we ended up with a pizza and chocolate chip cookies. They make everything from scratch using all local and homegrown ingredients. The food was awesome!
After our second lunch, we proceeded straight to Graceland, where we intended to buy some cheesy Elvis props to use for some fun pictures. Because we were clueless, we thought we had to park in the Graceland parking lot. So, we ended up paying $10 for parking just to go to the gift shops. It turns out that the gift shops at Graceland do not have ANY good cheesy props. We were pretty bummed, but then we saw another gift shop across the street. It was totally a tacky souvenir shop… Just what we were looking for! We picked up some Elvis sunglasses and had fun taking goofy pictures with them. We were looking for a wig, too, but the ones we found were horrendous, not even worth the wasted money we would have spent on them.
After Graceland, we hopped on I-40 West toward Little Rock, AR, where some of our good friends now live. When we got to Little Rock, we met up with them at a TCBY’s and all the kids went crazy. It was super late (it was about 8:15 pm when we got there) and they were all SO tired, but they ran around like wild little kids for about an hour before we headed to our hotel for the night.
Tomorrow, we’re meeting our friends in the morning before making the long trek back to Kansas City. I can’t wait to sleep in my own bed tomorrow night!
Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken – 5 stars – Even though the wait really sucked (we waited about 2 hours total), the chicken was fabulous. It’s definitely the best fried chicken I’ve EVER had. It was so good, we literally ate every single bite. I was sad that we only ordered a small meal. I figured the kids wouldn’t eat it, since I had read that it was a bit spicy. It was spicy, but the girls loved it. We got a 3 piece meal with beans and fries and split it. The baked beans were great, but the girls ate most of them. And the fries. But, man, that chicken was good! We waited about 45 minutes to get seated and then another hour after that for our food to come. I don’t know if they messed up our order or what, but it didn’t seem like it should have taken that long. Slow service or not, we’ll definitely come back next time we’re in Memphis (but we’ll call in our order ahead of time!).
Trolley Stop Market – 4 stars – We originally planned to stop in here for dessert, but it was out of season. We ended up with a pizza and chocolate chip cookies, both of which were awesome. The place itself was pretty cool and very hippie/eco-friendly/organic, which I liked. Note: Josh is really a hippie.
Graceland gift shops – 2 stars – We didn’t tour Graceland or anything, but we did visit the gift shops looking for some cheesy souvenirs. We found none. And, they have like 10 gift shops, and they all have practically the same thing. No fun!
Rodeway Inn, Little Rock, AR – 4 stars – No complaints here. We got a room with two beds, a microwave, a mini fridge, free wifi, and free breakfast in the morning.
Things I learned today:
1. It takes a long time to pack up stuff for 5 people every morning, even when I’m hurrying.
2. It’s inevitable that we will leave something behind on every trip. This time, Max left his water cup (the nice Thermos one) at the hotel. We didn’t figure it out until we got to our hotel tonight.
3. If a local restaurant has ‘world famous’ in it’s name, plus it has almost 200 reviews on Trip Advisor with an average rating of 4.5 stars, you should probably save yourself some time and just call in your order.
4. You should NEVER split a meal with someone when that meal is world famous fried chicken.
5. You don’t have to pay for parking at Graceland if you are just going to the gift shops. You can park for free by the satellite gift shops and walk to the others.
Favorite quotes/conversations:
Max “if we got how many cookies for how old we all are, we would need 70 cookies.”
Me “well, daddy’s 30 and I’m 28. That’s 58. Lia’s 2, Ava’s 4, and you’re 6. So, yeah, that’s 70. How did you do that?!”
Max “I just did.”
Max “mom the tv doesn’t work.”
Lia “we need to put some batteries in it.”
Max “Lia, the tv doesn’t take batteries!”
Lia “Put some money in it.”
Ava “Mom! 3 and 3 make 6 AND 4 and 4 make 6.”
Me “4 and 4 don’t make 6. Try again.”
Ava “8!”
Ava “if we kept going straight and then turned we would fall off the road.”
Max “Mom, I think I know why all the Holiday Inn’s are Holiday Inn Selects.”
Me “Why?”
Max “It’s because they have breakfast.”
If you’ve read this far, you obviously LOVE road trips as much as we do. You should check out our awesome road trip guide, complete with surprise adventures!
Mom tickling her daughter in the car.Kids making angry eyes at each other.Siblings playing thumb wars.Kids laughing in the back seat.Kids making silly faces in the car.Mom playing thumb wars with her son.Mom playing thumb wars with her daughter.Hand monster entertaining a littler girl.Hand monster entertaining toddler.Toddler with mustache on her finger.Girl making a silly mustache face with her finger.Toddler with a fun hand monster.Gus World Famous Fried Chicken restaurant in Memphis, Tennessee.Dad with lightsabers.Mom snuggling toddler.Gus World Famous fried chicken menu.Girl giving her little sister a kiss.Son tickling his dad.Toddler resting in a restaurant.Gus World Famous Fried chicken.Trolley Stop Market in Memphis, TN.Toddler being silly.Kids posing with Elvis cardboard cutout.Girl with Elvis glasses on in front of a vintage car at Graceland.Boy with Elvis glasses on in front of a vintage car at Graceland.Toddler with Elvis glasses on in front of a vintage car at Graceland.Toddler with Elvis glasses on in front of a vintage car at Graceland.Woman with Elvis glasses on in front of a vintage car at Graceland.Dad with Elvis glasses on in front of a vintage car at Graceland.


  • In the photo of Max and Ava with the Elvis cutoff, Ava has the BEST face ever. Max looks adorable too, but her face makes that photo!
    I didn’t get what Lia was doing with her finger on her forehead, and then I figured it out from Ava’s photo. LOL!
    I love the one with Lia’a head on the table at the chicken place. I guess with your long wait she gave up that you guys were ever going to get to eat!

  • I like your pcteuris. Was it mainly the overcast day on some of them or was it the dry bag that made some of them a bit darker than you might expect. Unless that’s the effect of the endless water spray. I LOVE pcteuris 2 and 18 especially. That fireworks make the falls look like they’re floating. Good job. Can’t wait to see more as you get more and more used to the camera! Can you take it to Antarctica?

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