Friday, May 11, 2012

Hostess with the Most-est

I honestly believe that teaching is my calling, not just what I decided to-be-when-I-grew-up. (And for that reason, I don't feel too guilty complaining about it. For the record, I don't trust people who say they can't wait to get out of bed in the morning to go to work. Yeah, right.) That being said, I have realized--even more accutely in the past several weeks--how much I enjoy playing the hostess. I'm only half kidding when I say that our "retirement job" is going to be running a bed & breakfast over a brewery.

I actually get a thrill out of preparing the guest room and doing the necessary last-minute de-cluttering. I like fluffing the pillows and setting out extra toothpaste in the hall bathroom, and it's fun to plan special weekend breakfasts and lists of things-to-do.

Lately, I've had several opportunities to indulge in such activities as we are smack in the middle of "visiting season." A few weeks ago, we hosted one of Jon's college roommates and her friend, who were in town for an archaeology conference. While they were busy with various conference and networking activities, we still had the pleasure of showing them around our adopted home. And last weekend, my college roommate and her boyfriend came to Memphis for the Beale Street Music Festival. The fun doesn't end there, as my little brother will be driving from Kansas City over Memorial Day, and Jon's dad and wife will be making the trek from Seattle in early June.

I can't contain my excitement!

Not only do we get to welcome visitors into our home, but we also get to play tour guide in a pretty cool place. While we had zero expectations upon moving to Memphis, we've been pleasantly surprised by all the city has to offer, and we're so glad we chose to live right in the middle of it (well, technically not the middle of the city, but the middle of the action). We hardly leave town--which is rare for us--because it's almost like we're constantly on vacation here. I suppose that means we're on a "stay-cation" (one of the very few portmanteaus we're comfortable with).

For instance, on a recent Saturday, we went to the Farmer's Market and after dropping off our loot, strolled by the Hot Wing Festival en route to a Corvette Show on Beale Street, which led us to the Africa in April bazaar where we took in the sights, sounds, and smells before spending the rest of the afternoon at a beer fest where Jon served his delicious homemade beer for enthusiastic strangers. Whew.

Our favorite car at the Corvette Show
Jon working the tap...and the crowd

And yet, that was not an unusual weekend. We had a real "first-world" dilemma the week before when we had to leave a crawdad (crawfish in these parts) festival early to make it to the ballet, which was being performed just down the street.

We are doing our darnedest to keep up with what's going on around town--from Wine Races (a relay featuring servers from local restaurants running down the street balancing trays of red wine) to the christening ceremony of the American Queen Steamboat to "grinding" with the Grizzlies NBA team. We have season tickets to see Broadway shows at the Orpheum and Shakespeare in the Park. We've been to every local museum at least once, and a few--such as the National Civil Rights Museum and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music--twice. We participate in a running group that meets weekly at a bar, and I'm getting ready to kick off my roller derby season with the Angels of Death. And to top it off, I think we've impressed our guests with our knowledge of Memphis and its history (which is of course due to the fact that neither of us is actually from here).

Guests boarding the American Queen in the middle of a quintessential Memphis shot

The Lorraine Motel (where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated), home of the National Civil Rights Museum

The Stax Museum was commemorating Andrew Love of the Memphis Horns
Lest you accuse me of bragging, I'll fill you in on my ulterior motive with this post: COME TO MEMPHIS!!! You already have a place to stay with some folks who are more than happy to show you around. We'd love to share any of the above activities with you and fill you up with the world's 2nd best BBQ (I will forever be loyal to Kansas City). Just say the word, and I'll have some fresh sheets and towels waiting for you.


cristie said...

I'm finally back from my trip and had a chance to read this! Your love of hosting was absolutely clear, speaking as someone who was hosted. :) For anyone else out there - do go! Spoon didn't even mention the evening we drank wine on the roof of their building! I have so many great memories of our visit. :)

Catherine West said...

I had a lovely, lovely stay in Memphis - thanks to Jon and Kristen's hospitality! You guys were so generous to host a stranger, and it was much more fun to see Memphis with good tour guides. I have never had better BBQ in my life!

Spoon said...

Thank you! Both of you are too kind. We had a great time during your visit and are so glad that you did, too.