Welcome to Tennessee

We'll be in Tennessee for five nights, staying in two different cities. First stop: Memphis.


Our home for the next three nights is The Ambassador Hotel, built in 1915 with 140 rooms.  It was Near Central and Union Stations. Early in the 1900s, the trains brought hundreds of visitors to Memphis and many of them needed affordable places to stay, thus the Ambassador became one of the largest of these medium-budget hotels - a sprawling place that originally occupied three separate buildings and is now a hip condominium that is incredible.

Located in the South Main Historic Arts District, this neighborhood is an area that is returning from the dead - from old, dark, deserted, and boarded up buildings.  The 1910-1920s were the boom era for this neighborhood.  The grand Union Station and Central Station were in the vicinity and the area catered to the busy railroad passengers and employees.  There were numerous hotels, bars, restaurants, and small businesses.  That all ended with the decline of the railroads in the 60's and it marked the end of South Main.  All these buildings soon became warehouses, or stood empty.   It  remained a dead zone until after 1982 when South Main was designated an Historic District.  In the early 1990s, the comeback began.  Today there are restaurants, upscale apartments, galleries, artist's lofts and more buildings being renovated. It is located in the perfect spot to be in the heart of Memphis.

As most tourists do, we headed to the Peabody Hotel for the twice a day Duck Parade, a staple in kitsch since 1933.
We ended our day with a stroll and a meal on Beale. It has welcomed everything from bars and nightclubs to gamblers and musicians. Beale Street was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1966 and was officially declared the Home of the Blues by an act of Congress in 1977.
Beale Street is in the heart of Downtown Memphis and dates back to 1841.
Crowds gathered to watch the local favorites, the Beale Street Flippers, as they did acrobatic stunts one has to see to believe.

W.C. Handy, the father of Blues, lived here and the Street inspired him to write "Beale Street Blues."
This was just a brief introduction to Memphis. We can't wait for what tomorrow holds.

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3 comments:

Nick and Deb's Excellent Adventure said...

Wow so much is a short bit of time, you two are amazing! I love the hotel, looks super cool. Oh yes and the blue poodle! Love it all. I can feel you getting closer. What excitement this is!

Jennifer Sweatt said...

Duck parade? How odd!

Cyndy Brown said...

You two are having the vacation I always dreamed of. How wonderful for you to be spending this time together. Be safe!

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