The alarm clock went off at 3am. The kids had gone to sleep excited to wake up for “van”-cation. It was not the best night of sleep Alaina and I had ever gotten. And the kids were only able to muster 15 minutes of eager excitement before resorting to tired bickering. The night scene of I35 and emptying cabarets had no effect on them.
Moana and an exceptionally cold Chick-fil-a greeted the sleeping van as we exited Dallas. Despite constant articulation, the facts that 1) we were going to be driving all day and 2) were not visiting the Memphis Zoo on that particular day were not communicable.
We arrived in Memphis at 4:20 (no snickering) and unloaded the van as the kids discarded toys in every corner of the home rental. The early arrival meant we’d be making-a-go at eating out so I sat down and looked up the recommendations. Central BBQ (only five minutes from us) was highly touted and so we loaded up once more to get some Memphis BBQ.
Liv and Kenz devoured the pulled pork. Judah looked like a wild dog savagely ripping meat off the full slab of ribs intended for Alaina and myself. Cora sat with sad eyes eating a cardboard “mum-mum” while I sat cursing at myself for packing an expired driver’s license.
Despite a day of naps, everyone crashed into cozy beds (except Cora who seems unable to understand the word “sleep”) eager to visit the Memphis Zoo. And so when we arrived at the zoo 15 minutes before opening, the kids impatiently asked why the gates were closed (I guess I shouldn’t have made so many “the Zoo is closed” jokes during breakfast). In time, we got in and the animals were quite magnificent. Pandas, penguins, and (two types of) porcupines were some of the highlights. A full seven hours after entering the zoo we departed. All of us substantially tired. Sandwiches, beer, football, and cookie sandwiches from Insomniac Cookies greeted us.
Day two in Memphis was decidedly less exciting. Still tired from the zoo, the Peabody ducks at the Peabody Hotel were the main attraction along with pictures of the Elvis Statue. Though for my part, the barista of a local coffee shop explaining how the coffee of the day was just acidic enough to curdle soy creamer was quite entertaining. Aldo’s Pizza and more beer bookended a day of hide-n-seek and Yahtzee (I lost dramatically). Instead of pre-packing everyone ate more cookies.
As I type this (from Nashville), we’ve realized we left a bag of dirty pajamas and about six beers. That’s life.