Sunday was our last full day in Memphis before moving on yet again. Having been thwarted in my aim of seeing a baseball game in Baltimore by tornado warnings, I had a notion to see a minor league game here. So far this week, the terrible weather had prevented me from even considering it but Sunday was more promising. If the weather held fair, the Memphis Redbirds (AAA Farm team for the St Louis Cardinals) were scheduled to play the Nashville Sounds (Texas Rangers farm team) at 2:05pm. We pencilled this in for the afternoon.
For the morning, we had our by now traditional visit to the local Botanic Gardens to undertake. A $10 entry fee seemed a little steep, but it was Mothers’ Day in the US (it occurs in March in the UK) and mothers were admitted free today. Excellent! We took a leisurely stroll around the gardens and, as we walked, something strange happened. The sun emerged from behind a looming bank of cloud and stayed out. The day warmed up, and it looked like baseball was definitely on the agenda.
We exited the gardens and made our way into the city. The Redbirds play at a beautiful little stadium called AutoZone Park, right in the centre of Memphis. We parked just opposite the stadium and had time to make a stop at a place we’d been meaning to visit since we got here, but hadn’t quite yet got around to: The Peabody Hotel. This is where the great and the good (and the wealthy) were accommodated when visiting the city.
But that’s not why the Peabody is really famous. It’s the ducks. They have ducks that live on the roof of the hotel and every day, at 11:00am and 5:00pm the Duckmaster (real job at the Peabody) leads the duck parade down the stairs and into the fountain in the lobby.
We missed the parade but were able to see the ducks happily swimming in the water feature. The Peabody even has its own duck-themed walk of fame on the pavement outside.
We walked across the road from the hotel to the ballpark and settled into our $20 seats for an excellent afternoon of baseball. We did, in fact, root, root, root for the home team and saw the Redbirds win 7 – 2.
We had declined the option of ballpark food and, instead, walked over to Beale St once the game was over. It was our last evening here, so we wanted to hear some blues on Beale one last time before we left. We decided BB King’s place was a good option and we ate some great Southern barbecue and heard some great blues music in there.
After dinner, we headed back home and started the packing process again. We’re becoming quite expert in this. Tomorrow, we’re headed away from the big cities for a few days for a stop in rural Arkansas.