As the Tour Season Ends…

educationa tours grant doyle photoFrom the Road
by Grant Doyle

The travel season for schools is officially ended.  I feel like I’ve been running at a sprint for months and now the pace has slowed to a casual stroll.  That’s ok because like the song goes, “I can’t run at that pace very long”.  But even though the student travel season has ended that doesn’t mean we do.  Au contraire, mes amis.  I’ve been on the road personally.  When the tours stop I like to take some time for myself and slow down.

 I like going to places that aren’t as traveled.  Mary and I took a little trip through the south land.  I like to go to places that could become a new tour destination.  We left from Inverness on July 8 headed to Birmingham, AL.  We did a little Civil Rights touring there before heading across Mississippi to a little town called Clarksdale.  To all you blues aficionados, you’ll understand.  We stopped at “The Crossroads” where “I fell down on my knees and prayed”.   Had lunch at a little BBQ place called Abe’s (est. 1924, if you go, plan on eating there) and motored into Memphis, TN.

In Memphis the focus was on music.  We visited Graceland (homage to the King), Sun Studio (most excellent tour), Stax Museum, The Rock & Soul Museum, The Gibson Guitar Factory, the Loraine Motel, and an underground railroad house museum called Slave Haven.  Memphis is a worthy town to visit.  We spent some time on Beale Street taking in the blues and asking myself “Do I really feel the way I feel”. 

Then we headed to Nashville, Country Music USA.  Again focusing on music.  What a city to spend time in.  The Country Music Hall Of Fame is over the top for music fans.  The newest exhibit “Blown Away” shows off the tour of Carrie Underwood.  It’s absolutely fantastic.  When we got to Studio B the recording studio was empty so we actually got inside the studio where the equipment is.  We took in the Ryman Auditorium and the new Johnny Cash Museum.   If you get to Nashville, don’t miss that museum.  It’s not real big but it’s real quality. 

We went to Atlanta from Nashville.  I wanted to check out some new hotel properties.  While in Atlanta we watched the Braves beat the Reds.  That was fun.  We also took a tour called “The Walking Dead Tour”.   Fans of the AMC series knows that the show is filmed in Atlanta.  Atlanta Movie Tours is the company that conducts the tour.  Our guide was one of the “zombies” on the series.  He did a great job.  The tour was 3 hours long.  They make stops around Atlanta showing the places that different scenes took place.  The only caveat about the tour is that you need to be familiar with the series or read the comic books to understand the tour.  There were some children with parents on the tour.  I was watching four children on the tour to see how the guide handled children.  They were probably between the ages of 7-13.  They were all familiar with the characters and the series.  The guide really performed well and kept them involved during the tour.  He even showed them how to walk like one of the “zombies”.  I was impressed with the entire tour.  Atlanta also has a new attraction.  It’s a 200 foot Ferris wheel called “SkyView Atlanta”.  It is a permanent fixture in Centennial Olympic Park.  I think it’s going to be a hit kid.  

We got home on July 14.  It was a great week and the weather was perfect.  That’s all for now.   Enjoy your summer and fly under the radar.

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