travelwithkay

Solo Female Travel & Lifestyle Blog

Category: North America (Page 1 of 4)

The city of Reno

So I spent just 24 hours in Reno and loved it. Reno is a city within the state of Nevada. It used to be the gambling capital of the States (before the late 50’s) but then got ‘outshined’ by Las Vegas.

The city still has that old-fashioned/vintage look about it (similar to Fremont Street in Vegas) with bright neon signs etc. I was staying quite far out from the casinos etc. (because it was cheaper!) so it was about a 45 minute walk to where everything was.

I first went to a large hotel and casino – fascinating to look around! The décor etc. was stunning.

I then walked to the main ‘Strip’…filled with lots of bars, casinos, souvenir shops, and restaurants! Of course, there were lots of neon lights too!

The Big Easy

As predicted, I completely fell in love with New Orleans. Just as most would say, I particularly loved the French Quarter.

So I first walked to Crescent City Farmers Market, then to Lafayette Square (it’s the second-oldest public park in New Orleans, and hosts concerts etc.), Café Du Monde (is a famous open-air coffee house located on Decatur Street in the French Quarter. It is a landmark and tourist destination, known for its café au lait and fresh beignets!), Jackson Square Cathedral, Louis Armstrong Park (a 32-acre park located in the ‘Tremé neighbourhood’ of New Orleans), Bourbon St, Ogden Museum of Southern Art and the Southern Food & Beverage Museum!

The following day I explored the Garden District. This included Lafayette Cemetery, The Rink, Magazine Street, Coliseum Street, and a few other great sites! Not to mention a delicious lunch at a well known café on Magazine Street. I always love to try new foods/food specialities from certain cities etc. so as suggested by ‘Lonely Planet’, I tried the ‘Shrimp and Grits’. I’ve also always loved the Southern cuisine! Sautéed Louisiana Gulf shrimp in New Orleans-style BBQ sauce over a bowl of grits…delicious!

Peaceful Graceland

So I apologise in advance if you’re not particularly a big Elvis fan as this post is mostly about him!

The Graceland Estate is in Memphis (in the deep southern state of Tennessee) and it was the home of Elvis Presley since the day he died in 1977.

I arrived at my hotel in Memphis on the Monday evening and straight away made use of the swimming pool! I decided to have a relaxed, early night so I would feel energised for the following day.

After enjoying a delicious hotel breakfast, I made my way to Graceland – a 30 minute walk that felt more like 90 minutes in the 35oc heat!

I purchased my tour ticket and we first of all watched a small tribute movie. We then boarded the mini bus to start the tour (the mansion and grounds were just a 2 minute drive away).

We admired the outside of the house for a short while and then stepped inside to view the interior. The rooms we had access to included Elvis’ lounge, dining room, kitchen and the basement rooms.

We then went to look around a trophy museum on the grounds, Elvis’ Racquetball Building (including a wonderful entertainment lounge) and a storage/office room that was detached from the house, I can’t remember the exact details but it think it was formally the garage that was then converted. We also saw the swimming pool and ‘meditation’ garden (including Elvis’ grave’.

We then took the bus back to the main entrance to go and view two of Elvis’ private planes. We started with the large plane, named ‘Lisa Marie’ after his daughter. The interior has barely been touched since Elvis’ passing (just over 40 years ago) so it was incredible to see, it looks so dated now! But truly incredible! The second plane was much smaller but just as impressive.

Before heading back to my hotel, I stopped by the diner within the Graceland grounds – a classic American diner! Known for their thick milkshakes and one of Elvis’ favourite foods, ‘grilled banana and peanut butter sandwich’! I had just had lunch so I decided to just go for a milkshake. I went for the banana peanut butter milkshake and loved it. A proper, old-fashioned fresh thick milkshake!

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