My boyfriend's parents came to visit this weekend, and between the huge meals we consumed, we were, at times, at a loss as to what to do with them. We hadn't thought past, "Oh, let's eat here for breakfast, and then we'll take them here for lunch, and for dinner we'll take them to that great steakhouse...". We ended up driving them around and pointing out various Memphis attractions. The first place we thought of was the Elmwood Cemetery, which is the oldest and most historic cemetery in Memphis. Lyndon had me snap a picture of his favorite grave marker - a mysterious and haunting shrouded woman made of bronze. Isn't the patina just lovely? I had to agree with him that it was one of the most beautiful headstones on the grounds. After strolling the cemetery grounds, we decided to take them to the National Ornamental Metal Museum. It's the only museum in the United States that is dedicated to the preservation and education of fine metal work. The exhibits are always stunning, and the view from the garden of the museum is wonderful.
The whole day made me realize that there is a lot more to Memphis than people think. What do you think of when you visualize Memphis? Elvis, no doubt, then rock and roll, followed by barbeque, right? I don't want to downplay the importance of these things, because they are part of the reason that this city is so great. (A side note: his parents were dying to get barbeque when they came, but Central Barbeque was out of ribs and the Barbeque Shop were closed...I suppose we were just not meant to eat barbeque on Sunday).
So, if you ever find yourself in Memphis, it's ok to go to Beale Street and have a drink or five, and it's fine if you decide to check out Graceland. You couldn't visit Memphis and not do these things or else you wouldn't be a true tourist of Memphis. But, if you have a free moment, consider checking out a museum, or a park (and of course try the barbeque!). Memphis really is a beautiful city, with so much to see.