Roadtrippin': Killeen, Texas to Baltimore, Maryland
I just took my first (adult) road trip ever and it was awesome. The BF and I drove 22 hours from Texas to Maryland. A while back, I said that I'd never travel by car for more than 8 hours again, but I'm so glad I did. As a kid, my mom, sister and I would take the 4 hour drive from Baltimore to Brooklyn and it was always full of laughs, watching movies and chicken wings that my mom would prepare the night before. Those were good times, but this was different. This was freedom.
We didn't plan much, except our next meals ( I ate a lot). We drank booze during our overnight city stops, had deep talks, cried and laughed. I guess this is what being an adult feels like.
The trip began in Killeen, Texas (about 1 hour 30 mins outside of Austin). First stop was Razoo's Cajun Cafe, a black-owned authentic cajun restaurant near Fort Hood. The food was insanely good. I ordered blackened salmon with crawfish Étouffée, dirty rice and green beans. It's safe to say that I'll never go hungry in the south. Not even possible.
After making it through the craziest looking backroads of Texas - I mean seriously, I was getting Texas chainsaw massacre vibes and I wasn't feeling it- We were off to Tennessee. Actually, we drove through Arkansas, but didn't see a damn thing that looked appealing so we kept on trucking to Memphis.
Memphis was a lit ting. I'm so glad that we stopped in Memphis because it ended up being the highlight of our entire trip.
After lots of driving, way too much Zaxby's and a much-needed cat nap, we'd arrived. With only an hour's time to get ready, we rushed to the hotel, changed clothes and headed downtown to Memphis Park. Awaiting us was the most fun that I've had in a long time. It was simple, relaxing and I didn't have to do too much.
There were food trucks, corn hole, river views, life size pong and tons of beer. Hence the beer cup in my hand in every photo.
When we were busting at the seams with beer, it was time to hop in an Uber and head to Central BBQ, a Memphis BBQ joint recommended by locals. Literally, as we were walking in someone yelled to get the ribs. So we got the ribs, brisket, mac and cheese, beans (so flavorful) and collard greens. I've had awesome BBQ in Texas, but something about this Memphis flavor was different. It just felt good and homey. It tasted as if someone's granny was in the kitchen whipping everything up for Sunday dinner - a true southern feel.
As I liked the rib sauce from my finger tips, we spotted the Lorrianne Hotel just across the street. It's the death place of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and somewhere I'd been talking about going for a while. The hotel lost a lot of business following the assassination and was set to be demolished.
Instead, a group of community leaders turned it into the National Civil Rights Museum. I approached the balcony slowly and with deepest gratitude read about the history of the very spot I was standing in while recalling how just how much MLK means to my life. To say that this was right on time would be an understatement.
The night capped with a visit to the ultra ritzy, Peabody Hotel. It's a historic hotel located in Downtown and we felt so fancy just being there. Our pockets, however, weren't feeling as fancy after dropping $42 on two drinks. Say what?! After downing our overpriced liquid courage, we snuck on to the rooftop even after being told it was closed for a private event. That's living, right?
Memphis is rich in history, BBQ and good vibes- also humidity. I can't wait to visit the city again and explore deeper. I never knew road trippin' could be so fun!