So let me start out this post by stating that we had never anticipated this alternate ending. Oh and just a disclaimer that we do not have nearly as many pictures as our previous states to share, and some towards the end might be a bit disturbing. The following picture sort of sets the mood for what is about to come…
Memphis is the city we chose to explore in Tennessee. We only booked one night here to explore a bit in the evening of 10/28 and also in the morning the next day. We checked into La Quinta Inn & Suites Primacy Parkway pretty early (it was about 1:30pm in the afternoon). We noticed the area was sort of nice because there was a Hyatt Place right next door, and a few shopping centers and other hotels nearby. This was only one of two days that we encountered rain during our trip because we really had lucked out. So, I guess we were feeling a bit tired and just wanted to stay in. We just wanted to take a quick nap before heading out for a late lunch/early dinner.
Because we enjoyed getting real Texas BBQ, we wanted to experience Memphis/Tennessee BBQ, so we went onto Yelp and found “One & Only BBQ“. which was only about ten minutes away from our hotel. It was a tiny place, with a few tables and chairs for dining in, but it was pretty cool because they just had a chalkboard with all of their menu items available to order. We went with the 4 meats (pulled pork, brisket, ribs, and fried chicken), two sides (double baked potato salad and baked beans) and 2 slices of Texas toast. Boy was it all so tasty and extremely flavorful. About 4-5 customers came in and either sat down and ate or picked up food from the place when we were there around 4pm, so we knew it was a great place! The servers were really nice, and we were really satisfied and pleased with our meals that we definitely did not have any room for dessert.
After dinner we went to go look for a cache, and there was one in a nearby business parking lot. We found it with ease, and moved onto checking out some stores. We did not have anything specific we were looking for, but we just wanted to go explore the area a bit, so we parked in a shopping center that just so happened to have a Yogurt Mountain. After walking around, we decided to get some Froyo, and I was so happy they had a KidZone with green apple and orange sorbet, so I definitely had to get those along with my tart original!
We were so tired at the end of the day, so we retired around 8:45pm, and soon realized there was no fridge in our hotel room to put our BBQ leftovers, so Michael went outside to put the food in the cooler in the back of the truck.
The next morning, 10/29 (exactly one month before our wedding day), we had an early start because we had intended to check out downtown Beale Street and get a magnet. Breakfast was plain but good, and we got our stuff packed and ready to go. We had parked towards the back of the hotel and used that entrance, so I helped Michael with our bags and headed towards the front lobby to check us out. When I came back Michael still had our suitcases and bags outside. So I asked him: “Hm, why is our stuff still outside?” This next part of the story may or may not be a shocker to y’all…DUN DUN DUN
Apparently, our truck had been broken into the night prior. They smashed the glass on the driver’s side and rummaged through our belongings taking two suitcases and one duffel bag. Yes, we knew something like this was bound to happen sooner or later, but we figured, since we had only 8 states left to go in leg 4, we were thinking mostly happy thoughts.
I ran to the front lobby to tell them about what had happened, and they called the police for us. At that point, it really hit me what had really happened and I got a bit scared at first when I was telling the hotel staff members. I soon realized it had been done with, and we assessed the damage by recounting what items had been stolen, while we waited for the police to show up. To our surprise, they did not notice our passports in the glove box (even though it was wide open). I guess the bug spray, tea, and other things really deterred them from going through to the bottom to grab those really valuable items. We came to the conclusion these criminals must have been on the lower-end of the bunch because they failed to grab Michael’s $1200 fishing pole and rod along with his $400 Federal Tax textbook that were in sight.
It took about 20 minutes before the cop had showed up, and she was really trying her best to jot down all the details for the police report. We had noticed a few cameras in the back, so she was going to get one of her associates to review the footage down the road (which we later found out, Memphis police has been having a tough time keeping up with all of the bad things happening in the area, so we doubt they will get to it soon).
It took about an hour or so, and the police officer was kind enough to attempt to dust for finger prints, but since it had been raining the night before, it was tough to do. Even if the bandit was stupid enough not to wear gloves, his/her prints would have been washed away by the water. I kept a close eye because I had ever seen this process in action before (other than shows like CSI, etc.), so I was quite curious. The officer informed us that these things (car thefts) pick up and die down and run in cycles. And she even showed me video footage of someone who captured a male smashing a window of a car and literally hopping in through the window (by all means, this was not a very tiny guy either), and grabbing stuff out of the car and returned to the backseat of car with his own driver. It was crazy a hairstylist from the Hyatt Place had seen it clearly, recorded it, and called the cops.
Michael called his insurance company and we settled on a place where could get the driver’s side window fixed. We were happy that he had full glass coverage, so we did not have to front any money at the glass shop. This place took forever! We had left our room around 9:3opm for the car, and it was literally 2pm when we had left the auto glass repair shop. While we were in the waiting room we spoke to a couple there who also had their truck broken into four times in the past and were ready to leave Memphis. The lady at the counter asked us if we had read the news before we had decided to visit. We just wanted to put that out there to oir loyal readers that Memphis locals informed us about its spike in crime.
Oh and I forgot to mention that this was the only state we did not get a chance to purchase a magnet in. We made so many attempts on the way from Memphis to Mississippi, stopping at every gas station and Walgreens we could find, that it was ridiculous. I mostly went into these shops and saw these metal gates and employees behind bullet-proof counters, who did not typically speak a word of English. I enjoyed the challenge in searching for a magnet and communicating with everyone. As soon as I finished asking the store associates if they carried any magnets, most of them looked at me like I had ten heads and gave me a blank stare. I guess they had no idea what I was talking about. One even ended up asking me if I worked next door or down the road at this place called Benny…I said no, but thank you. And he said, “Are you sure? Your people, you know, your people work at Benny”. I laughed so hard when I got back into the car, and asked Michael to go into the next place to ask for a magnet.
All in all, Michael would never return to the state of Tennessee because his truck got vandalized, and he was not pleased with anything Tennessee. Even though I was upset about this incident, I did realize that worse things could have happened to us, so I would likely return in the future, just maybe to explore Nashville vs. Memphis.