Showing posts with label road trip. Show all posts
Showing posts with label road trip. Show all posts

Friday, August 12, 2016

Road Trip to Memphis

I had been to Memphis, Tennessee, once before for a brief trip. I didn’t get to see much. When I had the opportunity to go back and spend four days, I couldn’t wait.

It’s only about a five-hour drive to Memphis from here.  I left early with my friends Angela, Kylie, and Brittany for jam-packed girls getaway. They hadn’t spent much time in Memphis either and we were all anxious to arrive.

The one thing that became abundantly clear to me when looking at the itinerary is the vast difference between Memphis and Nashville, though the two cities are not that far apart. The difference is in the music that was started: country for Nashville; rock, soul, and blues in Memphis!.

We would be dividing our stay between two hotels and our first was the Madison Hotel.

The Madison Memphis is a beautiful modern hotel that we enjoyed exploring, but the definite highlight for us at the Madison were the elevators. We had fun during the rides checking out all the album covers of great musicians. We found new ones on each ride.

After we settled in and freshened up, we took an Uber (readily available and inexpensive in Memphis) to Celtic Crossing restaurant. It’s an Irish Pub in the Cooper-Young district.

They had live music out on the patio and lots of corned beef (my favorite meat) in various forms.

We started with some delicious cocktails. The Irish Redhead was a mixture of Absolute Vodka, raspberry liqueur and cranberry juice, with a splash of soda. It was very refreshing on a hot night.

My next cocktail was a bit sweeter, though equally good. The Jamison Jewel is made at Celtic Crossing with Jameson Whiskey, Peach Schnapps, Pineapple Juice, and Blue Curacao.

While Angela and I were sipping cocktails, we were also all nibbling on the Corned Beef Bites, a Reuben in the round, coated and fried, and the Irish Nachos.

These were probably the best Irish Nachos I’ve ever had, made with hand-cut fries and topped with melted cheese, corned beef, and tomatoes.

It was more corned beef for most of us for dinner, with Kylie and Angela getting the dinner and me with the Celtic Corned Beef sandwich. Brittany decided on the Salmon and was not disappointed.

The dessert menu at Celtic Crossing was nothing short of spectacular and we could resist ordering a little bit of everything: Slainte Pie, an icebox pie covered in caramel, pecans, and coconut; Dublin Brownstone (the favorite), a fudgy brownie topped with cream cheese ice cream and cherry sauce; and raspberry cheesecake.

After dinner, we headed back to the hotel. We finished the night with a cocktail and great view at the Twilight Sky Terrace at the Madison Hotel. Then it was off to bed. Our second day in Memphis was going to be a full one, complete with museums and Graceland.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Enjoying Big Cedar Lodge

It was the last day of the Missouri road trip for my friend Jaimee and me. We were determined to make the most of it and Big Cedar Lodge provided us with plenty of opportunities.

I woke up to sunshine and started my day with a bit of yoga as I enjoyed the scenery. The first order of the day was breakfast at Truman Coffee and Café near the main lodge.

The café was filled with people trying to decide what to get among the scrumptious offerings. I made the right choice in the Cinnamon Muffin with scrambled eggs on the side for some protein.

Jaimee went for the breakfast bagel with egg, ham, and cheese, and we both got our caffeine jolts with lattes.We ate out on the deck while we admired the views. 

After breakfast we headed up to the Top of the Rock Welcome Center. We were both excited to pick up our golf carts there to take the Lost Canyon Cave Nature Trail.

I have to say, I had no idea what to expect. It turned out to be an incredible journey that I’ll definitely repeat the next time I’m at Big Cedar.

We began with a ride through the tall trees and along the lake as we climbed the hills. We saw babbling brooks and a gentle waterfall on the way.

We drove into the entry of the cave and our first encounter was certainly an unexpected surprise. There’s a bar in the cave! Some of the people in front of us did stop to imbibe, but we decided to keep going.

I am a bit claustrophobic, but I didn’t feel that way at all in the cave. The air circulation was excellent and the scene beautiful.

We came out of the cave to even better scenery as we headed under a covered bridge and saw another waterfall.  It was an amazing trip.

After we drove the cart back to the Top of the Rock Welcome Center we headed down the road to Arnie’s Barn for lunch. The restaurant is named for golf great Arnold Palmer.

This restaurant offered the same great views Osage had thenight before, but with a more casual atmosphere.

The menu is TexMex, a favorite of both of us. We started with tortilla chips and a bowl of Arnie’s Guacamole, freshly made and delicious.

For our main courses, I had the chicken enchiladas while Jamie went for the Carnitas Tacos. Both came with something I had never had before – Mexico City Street Corn.  It was covered in a mixture of cheese, butter, and mayonnaise and was quite good.

After lunch we headed back down to lake at Big Cedar Lodge to go kayaking. It’s one of the complimentary activities at this resort and it was fun and restful on the calm lake.

We finished our day with a dip in the pool and Devil’s Pool before heading back to our private cabin at Big Cedar Lodge. It was the perfect relaxation to finish up an amazing road trip to Missouri.