Yes folks. We made our pilgrimage to Graceland today. Well, it started last night. Sunday was great. We slept in at Barbara's; were couch potatoes most of the day; went to Barbara Panuska's (oops, Bender's) house for dinner and chatted with Claire Bear there too. There could not have been a better way to end our visit to Gwinnett County. Mrs. Bender made great chili; the conversation was lively and fun; and the photo album, ugh, let's just hope Claire looses it somewhere soon.

We left Summit Chase around 9:30pm after deciding to drive part way to Memphis. It mostly worked out great. TomTom and Heidi (the car navigation system) had a disagreement about how to get to I-20. After a time out, they made up and we were on our way. The drive was about 4 hours to Jasper, AL. We stayed in a Hampton Inn.

The trip (mostly on I-20) was uneventful. After getting off the interstate onto US-78, we decided to stop for bathroom and beverage break (smoke break for PJ too). Imagine my surprise when I came out of the truck stop to find he had made friends with someone. Only after a moment did I realize it was a crazy street person pan handling for money. Well, we got away quietly. By the way, bingo and fireworks are all the rage in Alabama although most of the places we drove by seemed empty. Perhaps, people take Sunday nights off.

So after a good night's sleep, we enjoyed our "breakfast" at Hampton Inn. Let's just say I am not worried about losing business to this chain. Not sure what the eggs are, but the sausage and biscuits passed the edible test. By 9:30am, we were on our way.

The pilgrimage would not have been complete driving through Tupelo, MS without stopping at the birthplace of the King. I was there about 30 years ago with Jay Cook and his family on a trip to see his grandparents. Let's just say it has changed some since that time.

Onto Memphis where we emerged at Graceland to start our tour after an energizing fried lunch at Captain D's Seafood. Yummy hush puppies and sweet tea. Gosh, am I easy to please or what?

Well, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. Graceland was great! The King would be proud to see how well his surroundings are being taken care of. After departing the King's compound, it was still only 3:30pm, so we decided to put some more miles behind us. Rather than staying in Memphis, we thought we'd go all the way to St Louis (so we thought). Can you say, "30 degree temperature change in one day coupled with freezing rain, sleet and snow."? Let's just say we got most of the way to St Louis, but opted out at Cape Girardeau, MO about 100 miles south along the Mississippi River.

You may have heard of it since most of it was underwater the last time the river flooded. The Drury Motel has turned out not to be dreary. We have a nice room; we checked in around 5:30pm; and enjoyed a complementary cocktail in the bar before deciding to go to a movie. We saw "Four Christmases" with Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughan. It is short, but had some quite funny spots to it. All in all, it's been an awesome day.

So now we are back in our room; out of the cold and bad road conditions; and it appears that the storm will be over by morning as to not dampen our trip to the Arch in St Louis followed by a visit with Tom and Terry in Springfield, IL. The home and birthplace of Abe Lincoln (the first republican president I might add). Good night everyone..........
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