***For this post, text in black is narrated by Louis while text in purple represents comments by Char.***
When Char and I celebrate a birthday, we like to make it last. It only comes around once a year so we take more than just a couple hours on one evening to celebrate…. we get festive for nearly a week!
To make matters even more exciting, Char’s birthday falls near Elvis Week. So the mood around our home and our hometown can be summed up in one word: fun. But then again, when are Char and I not having fun?
‘Tis true… ’tis true. I don’t think anyone who knows us can imagine us not having a blast together. We could be watching weeds grow and find fun and adventure in it!
For Char’s 39th birthday, we started the celebration with lunch followed by a trip to the Lichterman Nature Center, a certified arboretum in Memphis. Lichterman houses educational exhibits of plants and wildlife, an underwater natural viewing area, nature trails, a forest boardwalk three stories high, indoor and outdoor classrooms, microscopic exploration centers, and more. We hadn’t been before so it was a new treat for us.
While some other visitors might be most impressed with the hands on exhibits and educational facilities, Char and I fell in love with the marshland. As mentioned in earlier posts, we both share an odd passion for swamps. The lake at Lichterman, while not exactly a swamp, was similar enough to satisfy us!
We had eaten a romantic lunch and enjoyed a relaxed walk through the nature center… now it was play time.
As evening approached, we started with a best of 3 billiards competition. The first game was a lighthearted, pleasant round of pool. It was a close match throughout and I don’t think either of us were being too competitive for Round 1. Char sank an easy corner pocket shot to take the first win and that was nice since it was, after all, her birthday weekend. But letting her take the first one meant I couldn’t go easy on her for the next two…
Ummm, folks. Don’t let his adorable self fool you! He “thinks” he “let” me take the first win. But, Sweetheart, shall I remind everyone that you and I go neck to neck in everything we challenge one another to? No free wins here. I kicked his catookas fair and square! *sticks tongue out*
The second game was as close as the first but with some added competition. The best moment this time was when Char took a straight shot at corner pocket but somehow the cue ball jumped everything and landed near my feet off the table. Um, nice shot there, Char. It was a close contest but I took Round 2 and forced the tie breaker game with an 8-ball in the corner pocket.
OK, I must admit, we had some great laughs over that one. LOL *hides head in shame….NOT! *grin* Hey, at least I make him laugh!!
Round 3 was the closest game of the night and ended with both of us taking difficult shots at the 8 ball. With a stroke of pure luck, the cue ball rolled just behind the 8 ball in front of a corner pocket after my last shot and Char was set up for an easy victory. I was about to ask her to change the event to a best of 5 instead of a best of 3 but since it was her birthday celebration, I figured I’d let her enjoy the title of pool champ… until next time we play.
Yet again, I whooped his catookas!! And yet he seems to have a hard time publicly admitting defeat. Just admit it, Sweetheart. You got beat by a girl!!! LOL Ahhhhh, sweet victory!
You can be assured that we’ll be having a rematch soon and we’ll make it an official Traveling Twosome Junket so the results will be know for all to see…
…And they’ll see that I’ll continue to whoop your catookas! *grin*
*** Note: The rematch was held one week later: click here to read that post. ***
*** For the photo gallery of the pool competition, click here ***
We left with an appetite and headed for the best Vietnamese restaurant in Memphis, Pho Saigon. As is always the case, Pho Saigon was pure culinary delight.
Mmmmmm, thinking about the spring rolls makes this girl drool! Amazing food, great price, and when you get to know the family… friendly service! It’s a place that also thinks of those less fortunate and shows that in their actions!
With full stomachs, we went to Putt Putt Golf and Games for some go cart and batting cage action. To my surprise, Char can swing a bat!
Did you ever doubt? Ummm, competitive play was my game growing up and now that I have YOU, my BEST FRIEND, the LOVE OF MY LIFE to be my fun competitive loving self with, I am going to be even more so! Be afraid! Be VERY afraid! I shall have VICTORY!!! *insert Char jiggy dance*
It was the first time either of us hit baseballs in years and I almost forgot how relaxing it is to strike a small flying orb with an aluminum stick.
It really did feel good…. I felt 15 again!! I LOVE YOU!!!!!
After the batting cage, we raced go carts. My cart sputtered and nearly ran out of gas. In the moment, it occurred to me… why do adult, licensed drivers pay money to drive a small go cart at relatively slow speeds. Couldn’t we just roll down the windows and drive 25 miles an hour around an empty parking lot and save the money? Just a thought.
We could but then we would not be blessed with nasty fumes sputtering all around us, the beautiful scenery of concrete only inches from our faces and punks ramming into us every chance they got. *grin* Ahhhh, like I said, I felt 15 again.
Nevertheless, it was great to be out with Char just being silly and enjoying our play.
It’s always great to be out with you! Silly just doesn’t quite fit the description of us when we are out enjoying ourselves!!
We capped the evening off by doing something we’ve wanted to do for a long time. In 1950, there were approximately 3,775 drive in movie cinemas in America. Today, the vast majority of these are either abandoned roadside curiosities or simply no longer there. Only about 400 drive in cinemas remain in America today. Fortunately, Memphis is home to one of them. With decor that has barely changed since the 1960s, the Summer Drive In was a perfect ending to a great day.
When on roadtrips, I love spotting abandoned drive in cinema lots. That’s always cause to pull over and take pictures. But having a working drive in cinema in our hometown is even better.
Char and I both love roadside diners, drive in movie cinemas, black and white movies, and almost anything else reminiscent of the 1950s. Sometimes we feel out of place in 2000’s America. We almost feel like we belong cruising around together in 1957 with Heartbreak Hotel blasting from the radio as we head for a sock hop. Oh, the fun we would have had growing up together…
We watched The Proposal on screen #2 of the four screen theater, munching on a bag full of goodies we brought in an ice chest.
The movie was quite good! But the company was the BEST!!! I honestly can not remember the last time I went to a drive in cinema! I loved it!!! You are amazing!!! SOOOOO ROMANTIC!!!! You are an amazing father and a fantabulous husband!!! I am the luckiest woman in the world!! Those yummilicious tender lovin’ kisses in the dark at the cinema made me feel 15 once again!! Ahhhhhh, being married to You, sweetheart, my BEST FRIEND, is better than words can ever express! I LOVE YOU!! Everything about you!
After a busy yet relaxing day, it was time to go home. The next morning would come early and would begin with a tour around downtown with Backbeat Tours and Memphis Jones.
I’ve known Memphis Jones for many years and he is a great friend of mine – so I didn’t understand why I hadn’t been on one of his tours with Backbeat Tours of Memphis. I figured with Char’s birthday weekend falling within Elvis Week, what better time to check it out. WOOOHOOOOOOOO!!!! Elvis week AND my birthday!!! We boarded the bus at Second and Beale Street in Downtown Memphis at 10:00am with no expectations one way or the other pertaining to the tour itself.
The tour was a blast – entertaining, educational, inspirational, and fun. Whenever I have friends come in from out of town, there are a few tourist destinations I highly recommend they check out while visiting. Without hesitation, I will add this tour to my most recommended list. It is the perfect accompaniment to anyone checking out Beale Street, Graceland, Gibson Guitars, Sun Studios, Stax Museum, or the Rock and Soul Museum.
On the tour, Memphis showcases sites other tours leave out. Places like the location of Johnny Cash’s first concert, the project development where Elvis Presley lived just adjacent from B.B. King, and even an interesting painting of Wonder Bread. The tour is performed, not lectured. Memphis Jones sings and plays guitar throughout the tour as you journey back in time to the earliest days of Rock n Roll.
OK, I must admit I REALLY enjoyed the tour!! Thanks guys!!! 🙂 It was indeed VERY entertaining! Memphis Jones can rock out and is VERY informative about the history of rock and roll, the blues, jazz, and Memphis! I REALLY enjoyed this tour….
The tour also included a stop at our choice of Sun Studio or The Stax Museum of Soul. We chose Sun Studio. For a complete review of Backbeat Tours, Memphis Jones, Sun Studio, and more, check out our Junket post on the Birthplace of Rock n Roll. It was a very cool visit!!!
Char and I had a blast and we look forward to taking out of town guests on the tour. We got off the bus a little after 12:30 and were ready for lunch. Rather than hitting one of our usual downtown favorites, we decided to try somewhere new. We found a rather plain looking building (from the outside) housing a restaurant called Beignet Cafe. Located next to the Lorraine Motel near the South Main Arts District, this place is our new favorite downtown eatery.
Char and I LOVE cajun food and New Orleans cuisine. Mmmmmm, why am I suddenly hungry?!? We’ve seen many supposed New Orleans style restaurants come and go. This place is the real deal. I had the Muffaletta, Char had a Salmon BLT, and we shared Bread Pudding a la Mode for dessert. The Muffaletta was of such high quality that we actually ordered another! Everything we ate was YUMMILICIOUS!!!!! I am sooooo excited we found this place!!!
Not only was the food perfectly prepared but the presentation of the restaurant itself was notably New Orleans. A two story dining room adorned with wrought iron and Mardi Gras beads, a sitting area for enjoying a coffee, a festive bar, and room for live jazz music make this place unique. We were so impressed that we decided on the spot to review this establishment as an official Traveling Twosome Junket. Be sure to read the Junket post for Beignet Cafe! Honey? When are we going back??? I want some more yummiliciousness!!!
After lunch, we paid a return visit to Putt Putt Golf and Games for some miniature golf and air hockey. We went for the air hockey first and I was able to get my revenge for the previous day’s billiards loss.
It was great playing air hockey again. It had been too long! Watching our competitive nature in action, I could only imagine what it would have been like had I known Char when we were teens!
In fact, the action got so intense at one moment when Char was taking a shot that the puck flew into my goal so fast that it knocked the whole metal goal and puck trap completely off the end of the table! As we’ve said before, we get pretty competitive… ROFLOL It’s true folks. He really gets my competitive nature roaring!!
After I won the air hockey challenge 2 games to 1 (you know, I just had to throw that in),*yeah, whatever…. you just got BARELY lucky!!! LOL* we stepped outside for miniature golf. It was a hot and muggy August day but we had a great time playing. We both wound up with the same score on the golfing so you won’t get to read about any gloating for that event. Just a great time! LOL Like I said earlier….. always neck to neck competitive fun adventures for us!!!
We made one last stop on our birthday weekend celebration: The Shelby Farms Sunflower Patch. Char and I took pictures of the sunflowers and of each other before calling it a day. We had a fabulous time for the whole two days and we’re already looking forward to planning our outing next year when Char turns 40. Ummmm, don’t you mean when I re-turn 25 again??? *grin*