Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Memphis Bound

A few weeks ago, Roxi received word that she was being offered a post-doctoral research position at the University of Memphis. At the time, we really weren't sure what we were going to do with ourselves as we were essentially homeless after our return from the Netherlands. We had been staying with Roxi's parents for a couple of weeks and we were thinking that we might try to find a place to live in Lafayette and sort of return to our pre-Holland lives.

Since receiving the invitation, life has moved very quickly. We originally thought that if Roxi was offered the position, she would not be starting until sometime in late October/early November. We soon learned that she would actually be starting in mid-September. Our transition time was suddenly shortened by months and we began to move quickly. So quickly, that I don't have time to keep up with my blog! It's been a couple weekends now, so I feel like I should write about our trip to Memphis before we actually move there tomorrow!

Roxi's employer invited us to travel to Memphis a couple weekends ago so that she could meet her new colleagues and so that we could scout out the city for a place to live. We started our journey early on a Saturday morning making the seven hour drive from Lafayette to Memphis. After making a few stops, we arrived at around five o'clock in the afternoon and headed to historic Beale Street. Although Roxi had never visited before, I had a fuzzy memory of the city from a trip I made about fifteen years ago. It was mostly as I remembered it, but much better now that I am of age to partake in the nightlife.

After seven hours in the car, Tennessee welcomed us.

You know you're in Memphis when...

After surveying the length of Beale street, we chose to have some beers and a burger at Alfred's. We couldn't have chosen a better place to experience Elvis nostalgia! We saw a great Elvis impersonator, complete with sequined jumpsuit, put on a wonderful show of the King's hits. After that we walked the street for a little while and witnessed what might be the best one-man band that I've ever seen. We ended the night with a few drinks at the Flying Saucer, one of my favorite bars from my time in Nashville that I was glad to see in Memphis.

Beale Street: A shorter, wider and cleaner version of Bourbon Street.

The King.

Richard Johnston: The best one man band I've ever heard.

Richard Johnston operates the bass drum with his right foot and a snare, tom and hi-hat with his left foot.

Richard Johnston's homemade guitar/bass with a low E bass string and B and high E guitar strings so that he can play them simultaneously.

We started Sunday with a visit to a local church before spending the afternoon with a realtor teaching us about the different neighborhoods of Memphis. We didn't get to see inside many properties on Sunday, but we certainly learned the layout of the city. Roxi went to some work meetings on Monday before we picked up where we had left off with the realtor on Sunday. We got to see inside a number of rental properties and settled on two: one was a little far from campus but in the midst of downtown life while the other was a great house not too far from campus but very far from any downtown activity.

After Roxi had another work meeting on Tuesday, we continued our housing search on our own with a tour of a very nice apartment complex and then a drive around neighborhoods close to campus looking for rental properties. While we were waiting to hear back from the realtor handling our two favorite properties from Monday, we stumbled upon a decent place very near campus. When we met with the realtor handling that property, she took us to another that turned out to be the place we chose. It is centrally located to both campus and downtown plus it's in a cool neighborhood!

Roxi's really excited about her new job and we're both looking forward to life in Memphis. Now we just need to make the drive back up there tomorrow and unload our POD when it arrives late next week. After we do that and I find myself a job, we'll be all set!

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