Time for another oil change! We burned up 3,000 miles in under 1 month.. we’re covering a lot of ground here. So that’s how we started off this day here in Northern Alabama. The man at the walmart tire center had a southern draw so thick we could barely understand him. And he kept calling Ricky some cute pet name. I’m still not sure if he was saying “bubba” or “beau”, but it was funny. Oh- side note- Ricky has been taking on every accent we drive through. In the north it was a lot of “soh” and “ehh”, and now he’s taking on a fast-talking southern twang. The minute he notices that it’s irritating me (which doesn’t take very long), he starts doing it more, leading to a little phenomenon I like to call the escalation effect. But the worst part is, he does it in front of locals and thinks he would blend in if I didn’t “blow his cover”. As much as it annoys me though, it is kind of funny and I’m laughing a little now thinking about how I heard him talking to himself in a southern accent the other day when he was pumping gas. Anyway- with our oil tank all freshened up we set out on the 4 hour drive to Memphis. I was dealing with my first migraine of the road trip and spent even more time than usual sleeping in the back, so Ricky was more or less on his own. Luckily, by the time we got there it let up enough for me to open my eyes comfortably. Since it was already 4pm, the plan was to find some food and live music. It was a Saturday night and Beale street was BUMPIN! If and when I have a bachelorette party it’s gonna be on Beale street in Memphis Tennessee. It’s similar to the strip in Nashville in the fact that there’s live music (mostly blues) pouring out of every bar, but the party factor is definitely higher on Beale. The street is completely blocked off to cars and people are free to walk about and drink openly. The bars have “to go” windows where you can get a 32 oz cup of beer for $5 (referred to as “big ass beers”) and bar hop with it as you please. I got myself one of those. There’s either a to-go window or a beer stand like every 10 feet. There are also jello shots and HUGE 100oz mixed drinks being sold- they come with a neck strap to help carry them and are about as tall as my leg. After about 8pm, as the crowd grows, security gets a little tighter. There’s a heavy police presence and people are frisked and metal detectors are used at the street entrance. It’s definitely necessary considering the amount of people and drinking that’s going on… things can get out of hand quickly. There’s also a group called “the flippers” that perform on Beale street. It’s a group of super lean shirt-less black dudes that do back handsprings and flips in the middle of the street. The young kids start performing early, like 11am, and the all-star young men come out around 10pm. We saw this one guy do at least 25 – 30 flips in a row. The height he was getting was absolutely insane. It looked like he was on a trampoline instead of pavement. Beyond impressive. Everyone on Beale street is working for tips, including the bands. The blues are so seductive! We were listening to one band in a little park area for a while. I was into it! Trombone, base, guitar, harmonica— doesn’t even matter the shape, size or age, everyone playing in that band had serious swagger. But wait- I can’t really talk about swagger without mentioning Miss Nicki from Mississippi, our favorite blues singer of the night. This chick was a big, sexy, bluesy-ass mama with a set of lungs and sense of humor. She was entertaining as hell. Another awesome thing we saw that is definitely worth mentioning was an artist that was creating incredibly intriguing galactic city scenes, depicting cityscapes with planets and suns in the background, using cans of spray paint. It was awesome to watch, really talented. I had an awesome time tonight, good atmosphere and A LOT of fun!! We only stayed out until 11 or so, and my guess is it gets pretty drunk and rowdy after midnight, but from what I saw Beale street is where it’s at. I’m pumped for more Memphis tomorrow. Gnight, bubbas.