Jul
12
2009

We’re goin’ to Graceland…

BBQAfter a 7 a.m. departure from Aunt Cheryl’s house in Asheville, NC, we began our journey out of the Appalachian Mountains and westward.

The in-flight movie was Elvis’ “Jailhouse Rock” which we all pretty much agree probably deserved to be passed over for that year’s Academy Award. It was, however, a good warm-up for our scheduled tour of Graceland, and fortunately–or unfortunately–it has added to our road trip lexicon.

Our brains are now uncomfortably stamped with the King’s loving words to the movie’s leading lady, “You are so sexy to me. You are like a hammer on my soul.” And my offspring, who are never content to let well enough alone, occasionally practice the line in their best Elvis voice in the back seat before bursting into uncontrollable laughter. Another groovy 50’s slang expression, we have picked up from the movie is “gonesville,” which for those of us in modern times, can be translated to mean, “cool” or great.

Picnic with Derek, GiGi and Thomas On the way to Memphis, we stopped for a lunch picnic with Derek and his two sweet kiddos, GiGi and Thomas, who showed us around Centennial Park in Nashville. That’s where we saw the impressive replica of the Parthenon, which was built during Tennessee’s 1897 Centennial Exposition. According to Derek, Nashville had the Parthenon built because it fancies itself the Athens of the south, which leads one to wonder how Athens, GA; Athens, TN; Athens, FL, and Athens, MI might feel about that.

Nonetheless, the park was lovely, in spite of the heat and humidity that descended on us at our arrival. The temperature (according to the car thermometer) climbed from 70 degrees to 94 degrees in our four hour drive. That’s where the Snowcone Man became the hero. Anna, Derek, Thomas and I had blue raspberry ones that stained our lips and teeth for the remainder of the day.

We bid the Petrella’s good-by after a nice visit and hopped back on I-40 on the way to Meeman-Shelby State Park, which is just 10 miles north of Memphis according to google maps, but situated in such a way among illogically twisted rural roads and dense forest that it took us much longer to find than we expected at the end of a long day.

Plus, we did not pass any stores for dinner provisions on our way, except of course, the famous Shelby General Store, just outside the park, which offers bluegrass and steak dinners on Friday nights until 9 p.m., but closes at promptly 6 p.m. on Sunday. We arrived at 6:06 p.m. and in spite of my attempts to press my face pitifully against the store window, begging for just a loaf a bread and some cheese, we were not granted entry. Not to worry, we found provisions at Kroger just nine miles away and managed to celebrate with a cheeseburger dinner well before midnight.


Written by in: Journal |

10 Comments »

  • The Crays

    HEY GUYS,
    FOLLOWING ALONG WITH YOUR STORIES IS ALMOST LIKE BEING THERE WITH YOU, BUT NOT NEARLY AS COOL. THE JOURNALS AND PICTURES ARE MAKING US SO JEALOUS AND HAPPY FOR YOU AT THE SAME TIME. iT LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE HAVING THE TIME OF YOUR LIVES SO KEEP ENJOYING!! AND KEEP US UPDATED!! WE REALLY MISS YOU GUYS. wELL WEDNESDAY WAS GREAT THIS WEEKEND AND SHE IS IN GREAT HANDS AS WELL DURING THE WEEK. IF YOU GO TO THE CADILLAC RANCH MY NAME (JOE CRAY) IS IN THE THIRD CAR FROM THE LEFT, BUT THAT’S IN ADDITION TO THE MILLIONS OF OTHER NAMES IN THERE SO GOOD LUCK FINDING IT. WE CANT WAIT TO READ YOUR NEXT UPDATE, AND WE WILL KEEP SENDING YOU MESSAGES. TALK TO YOU SOON.
    LOVE,
    TEAM CRAY.

    Comment | July 15, 2009
  • John Carlson

    Sounds like you should have left a day earlier or a day later since you are everywhere when it is closed. During pilot training, I had lunch at a BBQ place near the Fort Smith airport. As I taxied my twin engine jet on the runway there, I did the honk your horn signal to some truckers in training sharing the tarmac with us. I have no idea if they honked. Keep on truckin and God Bless the air conditioner.

    Comment | July 16, 2009
  • Pam Gentek

    Not only is it cool to follow you guys around the country…but to see one of my great old friends Cheryl!!! Cheryl, so cool to see you. You all look like you’re having a great time! Pam

    Comment | July 16, 2009
  • The Fitzpatrick's

    Hey, Guys!! Sounds and looks like you are having a great adventure! We are so happy for you and appreciate the chance to live vicariously through all of you. Can’t wait to hear and see more. We miss you! Happy Belated Birthday to Emmett! Love, Colleen, Johnny, Jack and Molly

    Comment | July 18, 2009
  • Eileen Popovick

    Hey everyone,
    We miss you…Emmett, Sean wanted me to wish you a Happy Birthday!!!!
    I am loving looking at the pics and reading about your adventures…very “gonesville”…its been nice here in the ‘woods’ and the weather has been great!!! NOT quite as hot as you have been experiencing…..keep on rolling Cawley Family as we all travel vicariously through you on your cross countery trek…i’ll be in touch…
    love ya’s all
    Eileen and the family

    Comment | July 20, 2009
  • Love the pictures, what a great idea…
    The Texas ambience seemed borderline scary/creepy but Cadillac Ranch was wild.
    More writing, please?

    Comment | July 20, 2009
  • The Mericles

    Sounds like you are having a great time!

    Comment | July 21, 2009
  • The Fitzpatricks

    Hey, Cawleys,
    Where are our updates? I know you are kind of busy exploring the United States but we are very anxious to hear more!!

    I just had an awesome idea! Will you guys come to my class and talk about your trip? You could show your website and pictures on my new SmartBoard. Maureen could talk about being a writer and Troy could talk about the web business. I think my students would LOVE to hear about the trip from Emmett, Anna and Katie!! PLease think about it…

    We miss you and love you,
    Colleen, Johnny, Jack and Molly

    Comment | August 1, 2009
  • More entries are coming soon. There are new photos almost every day.

    We’d love to share our trip with your class! Sounds fun!

    We miss and love you all too!

    Comment | August 2, 2009
  • Emma

    Dear Cawleys’
    You sound like your having sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo(I would continue but I have other things to write) much fun. Most people would think that Monday is a bad day with it being the first day of school after a weekend. But you guys just had some plain old bad luck.
    I think youare very brave for surviving in all that heat!
    And I give a shout-out to Kate for eating all that steak!
    Emma

    Comment | August 11, 2009

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