Friday night I was looking at the weather and almost cancelled the trip. Then Saturday morning we decided we would go and just come back afterward instead of staying at the lake house so my friends wouldn't be bothered by crying babies (we are the only ones with children). We packed up the boys' stuff including pjs for the return trip and left town after lunch. When we got about 30 minutes from home Brad's parents called and said they weren't going on their trip to Memphis (for a separate event) but had already booked a hotel and couldn't get a refund. They offered us their downtown hotel room since it would be wasted. We decided to stay which would allow us to see Brad's grandparents the next day.
We went to the party and had a great time visiting with friends. The nice thing about having the only kids out of the group means they help hold and tend to them when we are together. Alyssa (the hostess) gave Will tons of sugar. He really seemed to like her! (she really didn't give him that much, but did let him have a big ball of fondant from the cake). Sadly, I didn't get any pictures from the party, though I wish I had attempted to. More on that in a minute.
We left the party and stopped at Walmart in Horn Lake. Since we didn't know we would be staying overnight, neither Brad nor I had packed a bag. So we had to buy some essentials. We didn't have our GPS, either, so we had to rely on directions from his mom. Neither of us have driven in downtown Memphis much, so it was quite interesting! He missed the I-55 turnoff, so I called Alyssa to see which exit to take from 240. As she was telling me to take the Poplar exit and how to get to downtown from there, we saw a sign for the Fed-Ex forum and decide to take that because we knew it was downtown near Beale St. and that the hotel was near Beale. We never saw another sign for the Fed-Ex forum, but we did see one for Riverside Dr. which was part of his mom's directions. But we passed it because we saw it as we passed a school bus that I told Brad to go around so we could see better. Then before we knew it, we were on a bridge to Arkansas, something both Alyssa and Brad's mom had warned us about. I think probably half of the times I have been to Memphis and been near downtown, I have ended up on a bridge to Arkansas. Add that to the list of states my boys have been to, I guess.
So we turned around at the first exit and got back to Tennessee, then finally made it to Beale Street where we got caught in the pedestrian traffic from the Orpheum crowd. By this point, Brad was really regretting our decision to stay the night because we could have been halfway home already. We pressed on and found the hotel a few minutes later. But where to park? If you have never been to downtown Memphis, be warned there are lots of one way streets and little on the street parking. And part of Beale Street is routinely blocked off for pedestrian traffic only. And there are trolley cars that traverse some streets. Anyway, we make a loop and finally figure out where to park. But the parking garage is flooded with cars trying to exit and there is barely room for us to come in. Enter more frustration from my spouse.
We finally park and get unloaded. By this time it is 10:30. Reed is crying. I put him in the sling and Will in the stroller and we get both of their diaper bags and condense our Walmart items to two sacks and we go to the hotel lobby. A very nice lobby. With two babies, two diaper bags and two Walmart sacks. Talk about country coming to town. Or at least to the Westin downtown Memphis. The staff was very nice. I was secretly betting that after all of that, they would tell us they couldn't find our reservation and my husband would lose it. I was wrong. They had it, they just didn't have any king sized rooms. Or queens. I was thinking oh no. They are going to give us a full. We are too big for a full sized bed. But then she said it.
We are going to upgrade you to the executive suite.
We got to the room. Oh my word. This place was nice. We had no business staying in a hotel that nice, but we sure did enjoy it. I sent Brad back to the car to get my camera so I could take pictures to show you how nice it was. And he did go get it. But in my hurry to leave our house, I forgot to put them memory card back in the camera. I wanted to cry. No memory card. Boo. If I had tried to take pictures at the party, I would have realized I had no card and would have bought one at Walmart. So my cell phone camera will have to do. I can't show you in detail the plush towels and robes or the starbucks coffee or the luxurious pillows and comforter or the buttons to work the motorized blinds and drapes or let you smell the yummy soaps, but I do have a few snapshots.
This was the living area you first walk into after passing through a big entry way with a large half bath and closet. It had a nice flat panel TV and the sofa made into a bed. We had them bring us a portacrib for Will.
This is the bedroom. It was huge! The whole wall on the right was windows. The far wall of windows overlooked the Fed-Ex Forum, which was spitting distance. There was another large flat panel TV in here. See our Walmart sacks on the dresser? Can you find Reed on the bed? Kudos if you can.
I didn't want to leave this bathroom. Double sinks. Walk in closet. HUGE soaker tub (which I did partake of). Fluffly towels and robes. Across from the tub was an enormous walk in glass shower with a seat and 2 shower heads. You could fit 4 people in it easily. Not sure why you would want to put that many people in a shower at one time, but it would be possible. The door in the picture takes you into the 'water closet'. There was a phone in there! I think that would make 4 phones in the whole suite. And that is a stroller in the picture. Thank you, Will.
The is the view from the living area window. To the left would be Beale St. I wish I had taken a picture at night because it was really pretty.
I have to admit the experience would have been much more relaxing without the kids. Will didn't want to go to sleep. Luckily we did have the 2 rooms to keep Reed from waking him up once he did go to sleep. Reed was up until 1:30ish. We all slept until 9:15! But we still enjoyed our stay and hate his parents didn't get to!
After we checked out we took Will to see the ducks at the Peabody Hotel. I had never been. I wish we had gotten there earlier so we could see them parade out of the elevator, but he still liked it.