Memphis, Tennessee was the first place I stopped to visit. I arrived around six at night after enduring the most horrific polar-vortex induced traffic jams on my way through Arkansas. (Side note: Arkansas was effing nuts! I was stopped at a dead stop on the highway for at least three hours, and the roads were coated with snow and ice inches thick making for terrible driving everywhere I went. When I finally pulled off at a random exit to escape the traffic jam and fuel up, it turned out that the whole town was entirely out of gas and in some kind of apocalyptic state! Seriously, people were running in the streets and there seemed to be a huge congregation of stranded people holing up in the local McDonald's. Super bizzarre stuff, I kid you not it was like I was in the Twilight Zone.) I parked my van on Beale Street and got out to explore. The street, though historically significant, seemed to be kind of a tourist trap of blues, rock n' roll, and jazz themed shops and seafood restaurants. It still was pretty neat to walk up and down the sidewalk to the sound of some local blues bands. I slept in the van right where it was parked on the street. Besides being pretty chilly that night it was AWESOME to be able to just pop down the back bench and make up the bed.
The next morning I headed to Graceland. I am a huge Elvis fan so, needless to say, I was totally stoked. (Another side note: one time I waited on an Elvis impersonator at the bar I worked at and it was pretty much the best thing ever. Before he left he serenaded me with Love Me Tender.) I bought a ticket that included a tour of the mansion, Elvis' car collection, and a tour of his private planes. It was an amazing experience that I would definitely recommend, even if you're not really an Elvis fan. It did make me kind of sad that the tour was conducted through an audio guide with personal headphones for everyone instead of a real tour guide. None of the people working in the mansion talked to us and didn't seem to be offering any extra information. It was like they didn't even appreciate that they were working in Graceland, for goodness sake! It would have been nice to be able to listen to a real person talk about the different rooms and features and be able to ask questions without feeling like I was bothering someone. But, that aside, everything was so freaking awesome. I definitely want to go back sometime, probably during the spring or summer when it's green out. My favorite room was the game room - the one with the pool table.