Now in Del Rio Texas

Now in Del Rio Texas

We are now in Del Rio Texas

We are now in Del Rio Texas

Memphis TN: BBQ, Nightlife, and Heading to Illinois

May 13 - 17 

On Tuesday the 13th Patty found one of the best BBQ joints in Memphis at least that is what the reviews said.  The place is called Central BBQ and is located on Central Avenue in Memphis.  Jumping ahead a little, we have had BBQ ribs 3 times while in Memphis and these were absolutely the best. Also, it was very inexpensive at just $36 for the 2 of us including 2 IPA beers to wash it all down.  We would definitely return here in the future.


We ate outside under the canopy in the center of the picture.

Nice menu!

Stylistic pictures of Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, and Bob Dylan.
Wednesday the 14th it rained all day and never got above 60.  We slept in and never left the RV all day.  I wrote the last blog post and checked out RV parks for our future travels. Patty made 7 new cut shirts.  We also managed to watch some recorded TV from the DVR.  Our DVR is near full from staying in one place during the winter that we have enough stuff to watch for the entire year, we think.


This bright little blue bird hung around our RV all week.
This just has to be here in Memphis!
2 women were traveling in this!  Just enough room to lay down.

Thursday the 15th we went to Beale Street late for the after dark experience.  Surprisingly there were quite a few people there with it being a Thursday and off season.  It was also cool at just around 60 degrees.   We watched a couple of street performers and listened to several blues bands and had several beers/wine.  


Not sure I look good in hats but I liked this one.  I should have smiled though, I look like a gangster!

Patty enjoying a beer.  We don't usually drink beer (we drink wine mostly) so this is sort of unique for us.  But if having BBQ ribs and listening to the blues one needs to have beer.

These guys were great!  Wish I had purchased their CD.
At around 8 pm we had dinner at the Blues Café.  I had the catfish because I like it and since Patty doesn’t we don’t have it at home.  Patty had a sampler platter with pulled pork and ribs.  My cat fish was good.  Patty’s BBQ was not bad but just didn’t compare to what we had at the Central. All of it cost a lot more money too!  Our suggestion for folks coming here and want to eat Memphis BBQ is to not get it on Beale Street.  Beale Street is the tourist area and people come here for the activity and music.  There are many great places to get BBQ away from Beale Street.


I had the Big Ass Beer!

Interesting spices!

A lot of police here!  We counted about 30 officers within 3 blocks!

Cool signs!

Just a look at the night sites on Beale Street.

I just liked the statue. 

A larger woman singing the blues.

Patty on the left dancing in the street!
After dinner we walked the street a while longer and listened to a few more bands before calling it a night at about 10 pm. By that time it was feeling cold and Patty was dancing in the streets!  I had been the designated driver so hadn't had a beer now for a couple of hours so I was feeling the cold.

Friday the 16th was the second day of the International BBQ contest being held downtown on the banks of the Mississippi River.  It was a beautiful day with temps in the mid-60s and full sun.  Admission was free if you went in between 11 am and 1 pm.  

Interesting street name in Memphis, November 6th Street.  Saw this on our way to the BBQ contest.
I fooled around doing my exercise weights so we left about 11:45 am.  That would have been enough time but we needed to make a run to the post office to pick up mail from General Delivery.  When I use General Delivery I pick the post office from the USPS website that lists General Delivery as a service for that location.  When I asked for my General Delivery mail I was told that this location doesn’t offer that.  I have used General Delivery many times now and this is the second time I have had this happen where the website is wrong.  For the future I will call the location first before using it.  Like the last time this happened I was told to go to the main post office to get my mail.  It was now 1:30 pm by the time we got to this main post office to be told that the mail was not there either.  Not good!

I was only waiting on one piece of mail from my sister in Indiana.  She sent me the Hooley chain letters that go from family to family.  We worked it out that she gets the letters before me and then texts me for an address when they are ready to be sent to me.  The letters get around about 3 times a year.  

We are leaving tomorrow, Saturday for Illinois so we can’t sit here and wait for the letters any longer.  The letters had 9 days to get to Memphis from Indiana.  Our experience with mail is that it takes 2-4 days to arrive anywhere in the USA. Most usually it is 3 days to receive mail.  I feel real bad that because of me the letters are missing and probably won’t be found for at least 30 days.  The letter will be sent back to my sister after it has been at the post office for 30 days.  I am going to try to retrieve the letters by calling that post office for the next few days and see if it arrived.

After all of the post office drama we arrived at the BBQ contest about 2:30 pm and now need to pay to get in.  It cost $9 a piece to get in.  That didn’t seem too bad to us as we didn’t know what we going see in side except BBQ.  First of all the contest area is pretty big, much bigger than I would have thought.  The area closest to the river is where the contestants are set up in 3 rows for about ¾ of a mile long.  

We walked along the river watching people drink, play games, hit golf balls into the river, etc.  We found out that all of these places are just for contestants and their friends/family and such.  We needed to purchase food or drinks at the entrance from other vendors.  
Entrance to the BBQ contest.


One of the contestant sites at the BBQ contest.

Playing a large version of jenga. 

This was moving and should be easy to understand what is happening here.
Another BBQ contestant site.
  
Hitting golf balls into the Mississippi River.
We circled around and saw all of what can be seen from not going into any of the "contestants only" places and some were very elaborate.  We got back to the vendor area and got a full rack of ribs and a couple of beers.  The full rack cost $21 which was a few dollars higher than anywhere we had paid before.  

We were very disappointed with the ribs.  The meat was dry, like they had been frozen, and were tasteless.  We gave away several of the ribs to people who were considering purchasing them a the same place.  We definately slowed the sales for this place.  

Our take on BBQ contests now is to not go unless you are part of the contest.   We paid $18 dollars to watch other people have fun and for the opportunity to purchase food that was not in the contest and for obvious reasons not in the contest! 

Saturday the 17th we packed it in and headed out around 11:15 am.  We hit the dump station first which took about 25 minutes.  We were headed to a bump and run one night place in Goreville IL about 210 miles north east.  The route took us on I-55 back into Arkansas and then northeast into Missouri.  In Missouri we turned on to I-57 northeast back across the Mississippi into Illinois.  We arrived at our overnight site around 3:15 pm.  



Our site at the Hilltop Campground in Goreville IL.  Due to low tree limbs we had to back out of this site.


The campground is called the Hilltop and is right off of I-57. It’s really not a bad place for an overnight with full hook-ups at just $22.

We got set up and made our usual wine cocktails before dinner.  I set up the grille and we had 2 beef steaks for dinner.  For obvious reasons, we think we will lay off the pork for a few days.  After dinner we walked the park, watched some TV and called it a night around 10 pm.

Tomorrow we travel to Rantoul IL which is another 200 miles north.  We are staying there our usual minimum of 2 nights. 

On Monday we are meeting Curt and Glenda from Normal IL for lunch.  We have never met them but have corresponded for the past couple of years about full-time RVing.  At one time they were interested in our rig, the Sanibel, but have since gone with a Big Country I think.  Anyway they are planning to go full-time very soon so it will be nice to meet and hear their plans.

After Rantoul IL we are going to Wakarusa IN for RV warranty work next Wednesday.  We only have tentative plans for camping because we do not know how long the work will take.  Also, this is a holiday weekend and we do not have any reservations for a site.  The good thing is that we have family here and there are many places to camp, maybe not good ones but there are places.

Stay Tuned!

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