Monday, July 18, 2016

Two Out of Three Ain't Bad: The Pink Palace, BBQ and Snow Cones

For our second full day in Memphis (Sunday), we had plans to go to the Pink Palace Museum (I explained what this is in my Memphis planning post).

I told Christine (my SIL if you haven't been following along) that we'd pick her up at 11:00 a.m. But I forgot about the hour time difference (was working on my computer which doesn't automatically reset) and we showed up at 10:00.

Since most people don't plan to be picked up an hour early, Christine wasn't ready. We needed an activity to fill the time and she told me about a great playground nearby. So obviously we decided to stop at a CVS and buy a lot of random stuff we don't need. The kids got some back scratchers:

Which are also excellent for drug store aisle dueling.

I picked out an As Seen on TV item that seemed useful for my car: The Purse Pouch. Here is what it is supposed to look like:

Here is what it actually looks like:

I think a man developed this product since my small travel purse just barely fit in the teeny tiny pouch. Well, maybe it can be an iPod pouch or something.

After installing the Purse Pouch (and realizing it was a bust) I had a moment of panic. I didn't remember if I had applied deodorant that morning. Usually B.O. isn't an issue for me and if I forget to use it, I don't sweat it (ha!) - but in this heat? I made everyone get out of the car and march back into CVS. As we walked through the door, George announced, "hi! We're back! Mom needs to put on deodorant." So that was fun.

FINALLY, we got Christine and went to the Pink Palace. Funny thing. The Pink Palace website says it opens at 10:00 on Sunday, but it actually opens at noon. "Back to the car kids - we're going out for brunch."

One tofu barbecue sandwich (for Christine), one Eggs Benedict (for me) and one large uneaten plate of nachos (for the kids - "eeew! there are beans on it!") later, we arrived at our destination.

Here is our Pink Palace highlights reel:

First stop was Scenes of the Dinosaurs, an exhibit that just opened and closes on October 2nd.

The dinosaurs move!

Then we did a speed round tour of the nearby exhibits - Cultural History of the Mid-South, which included a replica of a Piggly Wiggly (the first self-service grocery store in the country):

...and Natural History of the Mid-South. I'm pretty sure this was all very interesting, but I didn't manage to get a good look as I chased my non-lingering children through the exhibits.

The big thing that they wanted to do at the Pink Palace was see "Jean-Michel Cousteau's Secret Ocean" - a 3-D move about sea life.

I have no pictures of this since flash photography during movies is frowned upon. Also - I don't think you can take pictures of 3-D movies by putting 3-D glasses over your camera lens.

After that, we did another sprint through exhibits on the Mansion collection side.

Then we all decided that we were done with touristy stuff for the day and lay around our hotel room like slugs. And just when everyone was feeling all cozy and settled in for the evening, I did that thing parents inevitably do on vacations...I decided that we HAD TO HAVE AN EXPERIENCE.

Everyone kept saying that while we were in Memphis, we had to get good barbecue. And it seemed very important that everyone drop what they were doing, rush to the car and go eat a meal that they may or may not want. Hurry up everyone! Mom's FOMA has just reached critical levels and the world may end if we don't experience Memphis barbecue IMMEDIATELY.

So of course it was a complete disaster.

Locals recommended Central BBQ, which was nearby, with friendly staff and plenty of seating.

The food was amazing!

And no one wanted to be in a restaurant or eating. George didn't want a BBQ sandwich. He wanted grilled cheese (what!?), and Eleanor could only eat a few bites before claiming that she wasn't hungry. Oliver, who doesn't eat meat wouldn't even try the grilled cheese sandwich I got him, saying, "it's wet." What he meant was that it was saturated with butter, which is a VERY GOOD thing when it comes to grilled cheese sandwiches (and probably the only way they make them in the South).

They bickered and pouted. I fumed and said passive aggressive things about how I was feeling "sad" about their behavior (like they were preschoolers who were "making mommy sad" by not being good little tourists and eating the fucking barbecue). Then I accidentally knocked over my iced tea, spilling it all over the table and ALMOST blamed it on them. Instead I calmly (and passive aggressively) cleaned it up in silence, then walked away to request to go boxes. By the time I returned to the table, I had gotten over myself and my unwelcome spontaneous plans, and told everyone we needed a do over. I acknowledged that it was ridiculous to drag them all out to dinner without first asking if they were hungry. Hell, I wasn't even hungry. I apologized. And they apologized. And we all felt bad about how we acted - but in that good solidarity way of feeling bad. And I took everyone out for dessert. Which everyone wanted.

Jerry's Sno Cones was on my list of local favorites, but was closed when we got there. Luckily a woman in a bikini was across the street in front of a food truck holding this sign:

Good enough. Eleanor and Oliver ended up with soft serve ice cream, but George got a snow cone. Jenny's Sno Cones got a thumbs up.

She claimed her snow cones were better than Jerry's. We ended the evening with an agreement to visit her more established competition the following day to see if we agreed.

Check my next post for the results...

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