Royalty Tours USA

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Royalty enjoys some Southern Hospitality in August!‏

Friday August 8th‎, my day got off to a rough start. My alarm clock stopping working in the middle of the night. I set the alarm for 4:30AM. It never rang. I woke up at 5:58AM. I had to catch a 7AM flight on Delta Airlines at LaGuardia Airport. I was already to call them to tell them I can't make my flight. Instead I decided to hustle out of the house. I got dressed & I went outside. I walked around the block & I hailed a cab. Thankfully the airport is nearby. I got out of the cab at the Delta terminal at 6:20AM. I wisely checked in online at work the day before. That saved me for sure. The line was long to check in. Since I was checked in, I was able to proceed right to the security check area. Thankfully the line there was relatively short. I got through faster than I thought. I proceeded to the gate & I waited a short time before I boarded the plane to Atlanta, Georgia. 
My name in lights 625
Chevy Sonic
 Upon arrival in Atlanta, I had to take a tram ride to the car rental center where I picked up my car rental from Hertz for the weekend. Since I'm a Club Gold member I got to see my name in lights. I then proceeded to the car they had waiting for me. ‎I wound up getting a Chevy Sonic which came equipped with a XM radio. I got in & I proceeded to drive towards Memphis, Tennessee which was 400 miles away. I had all day to get there plus I gained an hour because Memphis is in the Central Time zone. 

Sweet Home Alabama
I made some stops along the way. The first stop was when I got into the state of Alabama. I pulled off to the side of the road so I could take a picture of the welcome sign. I then drove a mile or two to the welcome center‎ which had tourist information so I could take a fast break. While I was there, a gentleman who worked there ironically named Gary gave me directions for a short cut. He told me the road was under construction but that day it just reopened. He called up to make sure. The person he spoke to confirmed that. He also mapped out where the ballpark was in Birmingham. With being said, I had reason to make another pit stop.

Me inside Regions Field in Birmingham
Birmingham was 90 miles away. So that worked out well. When I got out of the car it was scorching hot. Summer had finally arrived. I decided to walk over to the ballpark which is called Regions Field & I got to take a look inside. The Barons were playing that night but I decided to keep driving to Memphis, Tennessee instead. I got back on the road & I continued on. On the way I stopped again when I crossed the border into the state of Mississippi. I went into their welcome center. After a short break I got back in the car I kept driving. Shortly thereafter, I decided to stop again to get gas since the gauge was running down. It turned out to be a a wise move because shortly after I got back on the road I wound up driving through a heavy downpour. After I weathered the storm, I was approaching the Memphis area. When I saw a sign saying there was a Tops Bar-B-Q off an exit in Olive Branch, Mississippi I decided to get off. I was starving ‎& since I always remember hearing their commercial when I listen to my pal Eric Hasseltine who has a sports talk show 2-4PM M-F Central Time on ESPN radio 92.9, I wanted to see how good it really was. 

Tops Bar-B-Q
Memphis Best Since 1952
Sampler platter
 I wound up having a sampler platter that consisted of ribs, brisket & pork shoulder. It came with cole slaw, fries & a roll. It was delicious. I'm so glad I got the opportunity to enjoy it. I've been to Beale Street in the past so there was no need for me to have dinner there this time. With that being said, Tops did the trick. 

Howdy Tennessee
After I finished eating, I got back in the car & I drove to downtown Memphis. I parked the car on the street within a short walk of Autozone Park, home of the Memphis Redbirds. They're the Triple A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. They were playing the New Orleans Zephyrs, the Miami Marlins top farm team that night. Thankfully the rain stayed away. It was a hot night in the Bluff City though. I walked around the ballpark before the game started. I heard great things about it & I wasn't disappointed either. I'm glad I got to finally get there.

Outside Autozone Park in Memphis
View from behind home plate in section 100
As for the game I saw, it started off sloppy as both teams made errors in the first inning that resulted in a few runs for each team. Things settled down as the game went on. Both teams added a run each until the seventh inning when the Cardinals scored again to take a 4-3 lead. Unfortunately for the locals in attendance that didn't hold up. In the top of the ninth inning, the Zephyrs took advantage of another costly error which enabled them to tie ‎& take the lead as they went on to beat the Redbirds, 5-4. 

After the game, I drove a short distance to East Memphis where I spent the night at Baymont Inn & Suites.

Stay tuned for another special post that will go into detail about the rest of the weekend getaway.

Thank you for reading & following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

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