So I Went To Atlanta

           So I went to Atlanta. The land of Waffle House, Chik Fil A, and trap music. Atlanta is like Memphis’ older cousin that went off to an HBCU and now dresses different. Not that Memphis is uncultured or lacking, Atlanta is just a little different. It’s got that big city vibe with the Southern charm we all love. I have a love hate relationship with the city. 

            The first day pretty much set the tone for the entire trip. I booked a room at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Downtown Atlanta on Peachtree. Looked very nice from the online pics on Hotel.com. We get there and it’s crazy booked with what appeared to several conferences. Check in took about 15 mins but there were only a few elevators and the wait times were horrible. The room was located on the 14th floor. The views from the room of downtown Atlanta were dope though. 

          Next up was a trip to Gus’ chicken. Yeah I know. I went to a spot in Atlanta that we had in Memphis. So what? Sue me! The experience was so trash I want even talk about it. Step your game up Gus in Atlanta. Y’all tripping mane. Next up was a walk to Centennial Park and an adventure to find a Walgreens. After that a trip to SunTrust Park to see the Atlanta Braves play. 

          Let me just say this. The area surrounding the stadium is amazing. There are shops, bars, eateries and even apartments all located inside this area. It was so dope. Memphis needs something similar. The stadium is amazing. I’ve been to several major league parks and this one was the best. They also had a Waffle House and a Chik Fil A inside. Naturally I had to find a bar inside. Come on you guys know me. 

           Day 2 started out great. We visited a market in the Edgewood area that was so nice. I loved that there were butchers, farmers and little shops to eat all in one. Memphis, take notice mane. We got there a bit too early so most of the shops weren’t open yet. Since I’m an avid bruncher, I decided to hit up a spot that was close by. It was called BQE Restaurant and Lounge. I think a Trap Brunch was going on when we walked in. It was packed as soon as we walked in at 10AM. We were told since we didn’t have a reservation that we could sit in a section but had to be done in an hour. An hour! A time limit on brunch? Not only that but their regular mimosa was priced at $13 each! Yes regular champagne and OJ in a glass was $13! They also offered bottomless mimosas for $28 per person and you couldn’t share. At this point I was done. The server let us split a bottomless but I was not too happy about it seeing how we still had that 1 Hour time limit. Thankfully the food was good. 

          Later that day I did a maternity shoot for a good friend of mine and tweaked my back a little. We went to a very nice steakhouse downtown called Cuts. Now this place was nice and our server Gary was amazing. He is from Montreal and gave some great life lessons. The evening ended with me laid out like an old man watching the new season of Stranger Things and still complaining about those $13 mimosas. 

           Sunday was check out day. I was so ready to get back to Memphis. Y’all do remember the mimosas were $13, right? Not sure if I mentioned that. We went to Waffle House because the Atlanta Breakfast Co was insanely packed then took a visit to the World of Coke. It was a good experience. Very crowded but it was nice. Here’s a pro tip. Don’t buy the surprise bags. You’ll be surprised by the money you wasted. We tried to go to the Trap Museum, but the line was about 3 blocks long. Maybe next time. 

           That was Atlanta! Nice place to visit but I could never live there. They will literally run you off the highway if you don’t go at least 120 mph. 3 days was more than enough. I do have to admit that the customer service at the Atlanta Waffle House is way better than anything I’ve experienced in Memphis. There staffed actually liked their jobs. While I did enjoy Atlanta, I’m still pissed the mimosas were $13. 

Life is for a Living,

Michael B. The

Staycation at The Guest House at Graceland

          Recently, I took my daughter, Maddy the Great, for an overnight stay at Memphis' newest resort, The Guest House at Graceland. I must admit this was not only my first visit to the hotel, but would also be my first trip to Graceland as well. It's funny because I've lived in Memphis most of my life, but never visited one of the most visited homes in the world. 

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          Saying I was impressed my the resort is really taking it lightly. The main entrance is simply amazing and gives the feeling that you are no longer in Memphis. The ceiling is everything and Maddy stared at it each time we saw it. The decor has hints of Elvis Presley scattered and you have to really pay attention to find them. It's basically like a mini scavenger hunt when you go. Honestly, I was never an Elvis fan, but I found that the more I learned about him the more I was intrigued. 

          The room we received was equally impressive. I loved the wallpaper and the white backlit headboards were great for Maddy. She still a bit afraid of the dark, so this helped tremendously. Yes, the mattresses passed the official Maddy kid test. She jumped in the bed for at least 15 minutes and the mattress held up to this madness! Pro Tip: the rooms come with the standard wall plug in addition to USB ports!! 

          For dinner, we decided it was the perfect time to dress up and enjoy one of the restaurants inside the hotel. Any excuse to get fancy is fine by us. Maddy decided she wanted to wear her bat princess dress. We settled on EP's Bar and Grill. Pro tip: The grilled salmon is to die for!

          After dinner, we enjoyed some live music in the lobby and headed back to the room for an action packed filled seating day. The Disney Channel is a standard with the cable package. Great news for kids, but not so great news for parents. At least the lobby bar stays open late. 


           The next morning we got breakfast at The Delta Kitchen inside the hotel. The buffet was great and Maddy made sure to test the limits of the amount of cereal she could eat. Luckily, the staff was very friendly and accommodating to Maddy's demands. 

Graceland

          The next day was our very first trip to Graceland. We learned so much about Elvis Presley, his family and his historic career not only as a musician, but as an actor. By today's standards, the home is not something you might see on MTV Cribs, but in the time Elvis was alive it was high tech and luxurious. Funny moment! In the living room sat a console TV. Maddy asked what it was...it was at that very moment I knew my child had never really experienced life. She's only seen flat screen TVs and never seen a telephone with a cord! 

           Next up was a trip across the street to do a little shopping. There were so many shops and places to eat. We decided that since we wanted the full experience of Elvis; we had to go for the fried peanut butter and banana sandwich. We also toured Elvis' car museum and Maddy fell in love with all the pink cars naturally. Being able to go inside of both of Elvis' airplanes was awesome. Hint: They both are decked out like Graceland. Prepare for an overload of shag carpet!

          Check out was bittersweet. We had a great time at The Guest House, but we sadly didn't get a chance to swim in the newly opened pool. The Memphis weather just would not cooperate. Have you ever been stuck in a hotel room with an upset child? It can be the worst time ever! All she wanted to do was swim and there was nothing I could do about it. Maddy stared at the pool each day and sighed. 

          Overall, I would love to go back and visit The Guest House at Graceland and I highly recommend it to anyone traveling to the Memphis or for an in town staycation for locals. This is a welcomed addition to Memphis and the Whitehaven area. The overall experience was amazing. From the moment you arrive until you leave, the hotel wows you at every turn. I've traveled a lot, but I've never felt as if I was home while traveling. It was truly a unique experience. All the staff was kind and helpful and we truly enjoyed ourselves. Maddy is counting down the days until we return and so am I. We have to get in that pool!!

 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.