Saturday, December 11, 2010

Travels, Part II

So we arrived in Memphis, and we pulled up at the place where we were to stay for the next three months.

The lobby smelled of stale cigarette smoke. I was worried but didn't say anything. We accepted our keys and walked down the musty hallway to our assigned room.

It didn't smell of stale cigarettes, but it did smell like slightly rancid fried potatoes. The furniture was dated and chipped. The carpet was stained. There were wires where the smoke detector used to be.

I plugged in one of my Febreeze scented-plug-ins, but had difficulty because all of the outlets were either upside-down or sideways. (Note: it wasn't until yesterday that I discovered that the Febreeze pluggy-thingy is actually rotatable. So keep that under your hat). Danny pulled out one of our power-strips and tied it around the chair in a slip-knot we could try to replace our room's greasy fryer scent. the time we found hairs of a concerning nature in various places in the was time to decamp.

Calls were made. Opinions asked. It was a tricky situation to be in, considering that Memphis, Tennessee is not anything like anywhere in Oregon, or anything like anywhere bordering Oregon. I don't wish to insult any from the south, but here's the thing - the Pacific Northwest and the Mid South are not like apples and oranges. They're like apples and dental floss.

Eventually, one of Danny's co-workers from Portland who was familiar(ish) with the area advised Danny to go to one of the Marriotts in Southaven, Mississippi, about 15 minutes away.

We did. We packed up, checked out, and fled.

The room at the Marriott was magical. By magical, I mean clean.

We spent the weekend looking at other extended-stay hotels. We made preliminary efforts to move to one on Monday that appeared to be safe and clean (better smell, no garbage or syringes to be seen), but were dissuaded from that when we learned that the company had sent employees to that one before, who had reported that there were prostitutes roaming the hallways. In what capacity, we didn't know, but just the same we elected to move to another hotel farther east, bordering Germantown.

It's been better. The hallways are still stale and the toilet burps sometimes when others flush, which apparently means something's wrong with the plumbing somewhere in a very bad way...but nothing bad's happened yet, so here's hoping. Visited Target and TJ Maxx and picked up things to make it a bit homier.

So far? Memphis is very different from Oregon. Everyone sounds like Paula Dean. I've yet to be able to get a spring greens salad at a restaurant (though the Macaroni Grill had a romaine salad with a bit of frisee on top), but we've been able to find things we were expecting to do without, such as Oregon Chai tea concentrate and Odwalla juices. We had wonderful Thai Iced Teas at dinner the other night (though the Pad Thai was not the best. Danny's dish was good, though). There's a Whole Foods close by with lots of options - I'm hoping (hoping!!) that I might be able to find Tillamook cheese...

Recycling? Not so much.

Oh, and another thing? In Oregon, if the speed limit is 55 - especially if it's in-town driving - at most people are traveling at 62 or so. Memphis? It averages around 70 to 75, with some people in the end lanes traveling around 85-90.

On our drive from the Marriott to our extended stay hotel, my hands were so tight on the steering wheel I had wrist pain afterwards.

Our plans? Find good barbeque. Our first venture out sent us to a well-recommended and much-loved restaurant that no longer existed, and in its place was okay barbeque and depressing sides (green beans from a can. An old can). But everyone's telling Danny to go to Central Barbeque, so that's our destination after we see Dawn Treader. Looking forward to a night out together!


  1. Hilary, that's some adventure. I'm like you, give me the clean stuff! Hope you find your Bar-b-que and salad! Love that everyone sounds like Paula Deen. Well, ya'll have a good time, ya hear! (I'm orginally from LA)

  2. Well, I wish I could've forewarned you on the less than beautiful side of Memphis. I've lived in the suburbs of Memphis all my life, and after awhile, you just know where not to go. Sorry that we all sound like Paula Deen....y'all. :o)

    If you want great bbq, you cannot beat Corky's. They've got 2 locations--one in east Memphis (on Poplar Ave down the street from Whole Foods) and the one in Cordova. Both are excellent, but the one on Poplar has a VERY small parking lot.

    I hope your stay gets better for the time you're here. I promise, we're not all hicks...or druggies...or some other less-than-desirable individual. :o)


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