02 December 2007

Thanksgiving Part I: Memphis, Jackson, Birmingham, Baton Rouge

Last year, we started a tradition of traveling during Thanksgiving break. Our Second Annual Ordinary Family Thanksgiving Extravaganza took us to Nashville, TN. The 13.5 hours there (and 13.5 hours back) were well worth it. On our way there, we stopped in Little Rock and Memphis. On our way home, we passed through Birmingham, Jackson, and Baton Rouge. We would like to eventually visit all 50 states together, so we added another 5 to our list. Here are some of the smaller stops we made. The Nashville pictures will hopefully be up this week.

When we arrived in Memphis, it was already dark, so we didn't get to see much. We saw the temple there, which is beautiful. We drove past Graceland, but it was already closed so we did not get to experience the King in all his posthumous glory.
However, Memphis left us with a delicious taste in our mouths--Sheridan's Frozen Custard. Mmmm. Since we didn't get a chance to see Elvis' home, we ordered the Elvis Special in his honor--vanilla custard with peanut butter and bananas. Thankfully it wasn't fried.
The Capitol Building in Jackson, MS

As we were driving through Birmingham, we noticed the streets were completely deserted--downtown, around campus, everywhere! Turns out there was a football game (Alabama vs. Auburn) that occupied the entire city. It's pretty fun to see an entire city rally around their football team.

In Birmingham, we were able to see another temple, this one complete with a nativity scene in front of the temple sign. We also stopped by Vulcan Park. The city was founded upon heavy industry, which is always fascinating to me. I don't know what is so intriguing about the industrial aspect of our nation's history, but it always captures my attention. Perhaps it can be attributed to all those years learning about Hoover Dam. Anyway, there is a 50 foot iron-cast sculpture at the top of a tower named Vulcan. So Utah has Moroni dotting the skyline. Birmingham has Vulcan, the Roman god of metalwork and forgery.

Our final stop on our way home was Baton Rouge. We visited the temple, LSU, the Capitol, and tried to walk out by the Mississippi River, but it was raining too hard. We enjoyed breakfast at this hole in the wall cafe called Louie's right off of LSU campus. It was packed and had such a fun atmosphere. It sort of reminded me of those diners on TV. We were sitting at the "bar" area watching two boisterous chefs tell jokes and cook up skillet potatoes and waffles. If you are ever in Baton Rouge, we recommend stopping in at Louie's for heart-stopping good eats.


Keith and Nicci said...

Sweet. That's a great tradition - good luck on your quest of all 50 states:).

The Richardsons said...

Wow you guys are quite the travelers! Looks like fun!

natalie said...

What a fun tradition! Come to Virginia to cross that off your list. We know a family who would love to see you and little Porter that would love to meet you!

Janae Walker said...

Jen and Pat!!!

Wow...you guys certainly have many adventures....the temples are gorgeous, good food is always nice, and hitting all 50 states....one of my dreams as well :) Jen, you are a much better blogger than me, but I hope you have enjoyed my few updates....I will update it today...so, stay tuned :) I miss you tons and cannot wait to see you in February :)

P & J said...

Ooh Nat, we will definitely take you up on that--not just to cross it off our list, but especially for the good company :)

tyler and ali said...

It looks like you guys had a fantastic time! My favorite part? Sheridan's ice creamy place (mmm, only because I love frozen sugary goodness. Not because that's my daughter's name!). Glad you guys are living it up.