The next part of my Trek America was probably my favourite; Nashville and Memphis. The main focus of these places were the music and we got to learn a lot about the country and rock and roll eras and about a certain someone… ELVIS!
We set off from Gatlinburg and headed to Nashville first. We checked into our hostel first, which was ridiculously nice; it was brand new and we had a huge apartment to ourselves. Then we headed out for some food before meeting the Trek America girls at the Country Music Hall Of Fame and Museum. We spent the afternoon strolling around the museum, learning about the Country music era; I’m never a big fan of museums as I find it hard to focus but I fell in love with the costumes and instruments that were on display. Some of them were unreal! Fully embellished suits and dresses and jewelled guitars! Like, if I was ever in a band, I’d definitely have everything sparkly.
After the museum the Trek America girls had a surprise planned for us. It was chucking it down with rain and we were all so worried they’d booked us a session on those group drinking bicycles; there were LOADS in Nashville, I don’t think I quite realised that it was a party town. Anyway, we hopped in a few Ubers and the destination was a music studio… Our brains were coming up with all kinds of things about what we might be doing but when we arrived we found out. We were meeting with a professional song writer and he was meant to be talking to us about the song writing industry in Nashville. However we had other plans! We asked if we could write our own song and he was so up for it! This was one of the best parts of the trip, as it brought the whole group together. We ended up writing a silly song about how we kept losing Kristabel but actually it sounded amazing when the guy sang it. If you want to hear what we created you can in my weekly vlog.
After our song writing session we were taken on a tour of Studio B. The famous studio where Elvis recorded over 200 of his songs. The studio had been kept in exactly the same condition so it was truly amazing to be able to see it how it was all those years ago. We even sat and listened to a few of Elvis’s songs and a few live recordings of him and his band during his recording sessions. It was such a cool experience and to end the day we recorded ourselves singing an Elvis song in the studio. What a day! But it didn’t end there. We dined at a delicious fried chicken restaurant and finished the evening off with a boogie in a few bars on the strip. The live bands are AMAZING by the way!
We only got to spend 1 day in Nashville, which was such a shame because I would have loved to have explored more. However it was a new day and a new location, so we set off early for Memphis. On our way we made our first stop of the day at Graceland, to see Elvis’s house. I can’t tell you how much I loved this. I’m not even a huge Elvis fan but I found it so moving and interesting learning about his life. The new part of Graceland opened just a few months ago, so we got to see all of his cars, a huge archive of his possessions and much much more. The main part of Graceland though is his house, which you’re given an iPad for to take part in an audio tour. I never do audio tours, they’ve never appealed to me. But this one… WOW! I loved it! It was weirdly emotional walking around his house, learning about how Elvis lived in each room, his family, his career. I learnt things I never knew. If you’re ever in the area, then I would honestly recommend to go to Graceland. It’s even worth a detour!
After our tour at Graceland, we headed to learn more about him and the rock and roll music era at Sun Studio. Elvis also recorded a few of his songs at this studio too. I have to say the best thing about this tour was the tour guide. She was honestly so refreshing, funny and it just made the whole tour memorable. I also love how they kept the studio in the same condition and bands even still go in to record now.
We spent 2 days in Memphis overall. The first day was Graceland and Sun Studios finished off with dinner at the famous Rendevous bbq restaurant. There was even a music festival going on whilst we were there and the Trek America team got us all press tickets; so after dinner on our first night we got to see Kings of Leon play live in Memphis! It was very cool. We had tickets to go back the next day, but instead we thought we’d spend the day exploring Memphis. We scouted google maps for a flea market and ended up getting an Uber to El Bazar; it was more of a charity shop style market and was very odd with different people manning specific areas. Worth a visit but I did think things were slightly overpriced.
After the flea market we headed to Cooper St, again by Uber. Memphis is a bit like LA, you either need to cab it everywhere or hire a car. Also be weary of walking around, we got told to be careful by lots of people whom lived there. Anyways Cooper St had lots of lovely lunch spots so we grabbed some food before strolling up the road towards the pink Playhouse theatre. I still can’t get over how many amazing instagrammable spots we stumbled upon; cute coloured houses and random graffiti.
I ended up opting for a chilled night in Memphis for our second night. Me and a few of the girls went for some pizza and cheesecake and called it a night. I had quite a few bits of content to edit and schedule in and because we were up early the next day to head to a new location, I thought I’d take it easy. It can get quite tiresome travelling around constantly.
Our final stop in Memphis before driving to the next location was Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King was shot. We didn’t have any time to look around the museum, or the motel room, but it really puts things in perspective when you visit such renowned location.
So that was what I got up to on the second part of my Trek America trip! I still have SO much more to share with you all, so keep your eyes posted for the next few posts! If you would like to see a more detailed version of events, then do check out my Youtube channel as I filmed a Weekly Vlog of the trip and my Instagram for more photos.