Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Mud Island Soujourn

After working Saturday morning, I met up with Warren and the monkeys at the Farmer’s Market. (I had instructed Warren to buy some “fancy beef” after reading an article about Neola Farms in the latest edition of Edible Memphis.) With a little help from Jeanice (of Square Foods), I found the monkeys sitting on a bench eating Uele’s groovy granola. Warren had a huge bag filled with bok choy, mustard greens, and the fancy beef.

Once we determined that everyone was properly shopped out and fueled up, we headed to Butler Park on the river to bike/skate/skateboard around. There were a couple of ‘tween boys there riding cardboard boxes down the bluffs and I made a mental note to bring some cardboard on our next visit. (The "stout" tweens went down the hill once and huffed and puffed so much on their way back up, I wasn’t sure that they would make a second run. It also made me think twice about taking on the bluffs myself.)

Although we set out to do a short loop around Main Street, we soon found ourselves down at the Memphis Visitor’s Center and then on the bridge above the monorail that leads to Mud Island River Park.

I’ve wanted to skate on this bridge for some time, so I was particularly excited about this turn of events. It was nice and smooth and there was a great view (and breeze). Once on the Island, the monkeys quickly abandoned their bikes…and shoes…and socks and set about exploring the Mini-Mississippi. I thought about taking my skates off and joining them, but instead opted to skate around the edges and do some confidence building on the mini bridges that dotted the mini river.

The boys, especially Jiro, were transfixed by the Mini-Mississippi and had a blast following it all the way down to “New Orleans.” For some reason, I don’t think we made it to Mud Island last year, so even though Jiro had been two years ago, it had been long enough for him not to remember. Satchel said he remembered being there, but it didn’t stop him from loving every second of this visit. They fashioned mini-boats out of fallen gumballs and followed them downstream.

Warren loves the historical aspect of the Mini-Mississippi and made sure to read each and every plaque, taking note of what needed updating. He also pointed out the bazillion acorns lying around—apparently there are no squirrels on Mud Island! We also noticed a circle of tents/teepees beyond the paddle boats at the end of the island. I assume they were remnants of the previous nights’ family camp out, which I had intentions of signing up for, but never did.

I thought we might grab a snack while touring the island, but soft drinks were $3 each, as was water, and the food was only slightly less insanely priced. Looking for a deal, we skated back over the bridge and headed towards RJA’s shop. (We went down to Riverside and crossed a few sketchy intersections before realizing we could have skated/rode across a ramp from Mud Island that leads right to city hall!)

We had a brief stop at the Main Street fountains, where the monkeys (who were clearly not wet enough from Mud Island) gleefully rode their bikes through. Then we crossed through Court Square where we saw many familiar faces from the Bands, Beers, and Bums event we went to a few weeks ago. (They all seemed to love watching Jiro ride his bike and offered him many encouraging words!) Finally we made it to RJA’s shop,which doesn’t usually have a big under 5 crowd and which I don’t believe I can mention by name on the Internet, where we were treated to drinks, chips, bubble gum, and a little friendly conversation. (I wish I would have had my camera!)

From there we went down Main Street and turned the heads of the afternoon lunch crowd. Just as we were passing Circa, a man called out to me, “Are you Stacey? You look just like you did in high school!” (Just one of those fun things about growing up in Memphis!)

Our entire trek lasted about three hours, and the sight of our car at Butler Park was a most welcome one. As I was taking off my “Robocop outfit” as RJA described it, I saw the tween cardboarders with Cokes in hand heading back towards the bluffs for another ride. We all gave each other a knowing nod.


Elizabeth Alley said...

was the fancy beef just sitting in your hot car the whole time? that's all i could think of while reading about your adventures.

Kaleigh said...

I was worried about the fancy beef too. Glad I'm not alone in my obsession with food safety.

Also, you've been tagged. Play along if you like :-)

Stacey Greenberg said...

y'all are hilarious. the meat was FROZEN and then stored in a COOLER in my car which was parked in the SHADE.

we successfully ate it sunday night. :)

Melissa said...

And no hives, right?

I hope my family ends up as cool as yours.

Elizabeth Alley said...


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