Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Backbeat Tours

This is really embarrassing, but Warren, the kids, my mom, my niece, and I went on an awesome Backbeat Tour in November, and I never blogged about it! In my defense, there was some talk of publishing it on the CVB website which never panned out.

So without further ado, I feel that I must tell you how much fun this is. I do not like touristy things no matter what city I am in, but this is the exception. We took the 90 minute Memphis Mojo Tour led by the very (cute and) entertaining Memphis Jones. The first order of business was passing out instruments and shakers so that everyone on the bus could sing along as he frequently broke into song. The kids loved it! Actually, we all loved it.

The tour begins with all of the downtown musical hot spots. After thirty minutes, just as we all realized we needed a bathroom break, the bus pulled up to Sun Studio and let everyone out to stretch their legs. I'm ashamed to admit that this was my first ever visit to Sun Studio. Even though we were only there for a short time, we managed to get a couple of their famous milkshakes to go, and promised to return for a real tour. (You can do an extended tour which includes a tour of Sun Studios or Stax.) We were tempted to buy merchandise, which I'm sure is part of the reason for the stop, but we resisted.

The bus itself, "Miss Clawdy," is a vintage 1959 GM transit bus, climate controlled and fully restored all the way down to genuine 1950s naugahide seat covers. It's super nice. My mom was freezing the whole time, but I appreciated the air. We sat over the wheel bay which turned out to be perfect for Jiro, who desperately needed a nap after finishing his milkshake.

The second leg of the tour took us through South Memphis and overall it was incredibly informative. Ninety minutes was perfect for us, but adding on one of the museums would be a great way to spend the day. Our tour ended where it started--Beale Street. We did a quick run through A. Schwabs for a souvenir, then declared the outing a smashing success.

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