Memphis on Day 2 !
Don and I like historic hotels. We like grand staircases and creaky elevators and we put up with peeling paint and drippy faucets because we like the history. So many of the iconic hotels we visit are past their prime. That's okay, because we are too and we like the prices that go along with that. But The Peabody is still hopping. And we paid $350. for this hotel experience. That is ten times more than what we paid for a night at Hotel Blessing in Blessing, TX!
A Grand Lobby
I had to take this photo at 7 in the morning to get a photo without all the duck fans. It's easier to imagine this hotel back when it first opened in 1925, without people reading iPads and gabbing on cell phones.
The Peabody Ducks. That's why I pushed for this stay. You can stay at nice hotels in any city, but the Peabody is the only hotel as far as I know that does "fancy" as well as "ducks". You see that combination when you step inside the ritzy elevators and look down to see a lovely image of mallard duck on the floor.
Before really enjoying the ducks, we dropped off our bags in the room. The door to Room 1106 had a door knocker. That's kind of fun. And in the morning we got a special little black Peabody bag holding our newspaper. Our room was purple and spacious and there were quite a few ducks to be found!
Relaxing a Moment
Before dashing to the lobby to get a good spot for watching the evening Duck March, we relaxed for a few minutes. Don did some reading and I headed for the bathroom.
Going on a Duck Hunt
I moved to the bathroom in search of more ducks. In the room I had already found duck images on pillow cases and rugs and I found a framed print of duck feathers. In the bathroom (which had a most unusual round sink) I found a tiny duck shaped soap as well as ducks printed bath mats and shampoo bottles and toilet paper covers!
Don and I gave up finding a spot in the crowded lobby and headed up to a terrace to await the Duck Procession! It soon became clear, the people watching was actually more entertaining than the ducks. Then again, there was an amusing moment when 2 ducks (who should have gotten a room) amused the viewers with a little Duck Love. My people watching didn't include anything close to that.
Finally, the Duck Master gave a little speech and invited a little tyke wearing a tie and vest to join him on the carpet for the big moment. Suddenly there was a little quacking and the ducks waddled down the stairs and out of sight and the whole thing was over.
Nearly 80 Years of Duck Marches!
That's it? I'm not exactly sure what I was expecting, when I told Don months ago while planning this trip, "We really need to stay at The Peabody. I have just got to see the Duck March!"
So Much More...
As one might guess, there is much more to do at The Peabody than clap for ducks. We had the best time watching Laura play Chopin and Honky Tonk on the lobby piano. She was perched, pretty as a picture on her animal print pillow. It was a pleasure putting a tip in her golden tip satchel, before heading to the hotel's Corner Bar for martinis. Check out the tiny duck on the plastic toothpick!
Enjoying the Area
Part of our room package included a carriage ride. Our driver, Bubba took our photo. You can't see his tiny puppy that was curled up under a blanket on the opposite seat. Dogs are a common addition to the carriages of Memphis.
Dinner and Blues
The Peabody would be a fun place anywhere, but the location is actually pretty amazing. We were in walking distance to Beale Street where we could wander in and have BBQ ribs at Blues City Café and then stroll on down to the Blues Hall Juke Joint to hear this guy play harmonica! We took full advantage of our location.
And in the morning, since I hadn't stayed up till 3 am, like some might on Beale Street, I was able to head up to the rooftop for sunrise.
I had the roof to myself with a nice view of the Mississippi River below. I wandered over to peek in on the ducks who were swimming in their own little fountain outside their Duck Palace. They have a pretty good life I must say.
Even though the whole duck thing was a little silly, I have to admit I will remember the ducks. I'm a big fan of themes and I appreciated every hint of a duck I saw. I also like ducks, as an animal, not a theme. So I was pleased to note, the fancy restaurant does not serve duck.
My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!