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Weekend in Memphis

Weekend in Memphis
via American Airlines First Class
October 2011

At a charity event earlier in the year, we were the high bidder of a "Memphis Weekend", including two nights at the Peabody, museum passes and gift certificates for three Memphis restaurants. With a Monday morning meeting in Memphis and milder fall temps, Mrs. SFO was game for her first visit to this historic southern city.

Saturday morning should not have been a tough EXP upgrade, but when our upgrades did not clear and the inventory dropped to F3 A2 the day before departure, I burned 2 SWUs to avoid the battlefield angst.

AA 436
SFO-DFW
737-800
Refurbished but no Wi-fi
9:45a-3:15p
October 8, 2011
Lunch

Another exceptional LAX-based crew today by led by Kodie, one of AA's best. Mid-boarding PDB including OJ, water or fresh brewed coffee as one FA stopped boarding while another offered beverages.

Choice of beef quesadilla with a side southwestern salad, oil & vinegar dressing, or chicken salad with walnuts, currants, etc. Stacy's chips and hummus, and chocolate chip cookies. Mrs. SFO warily asked "this is the quesadilla that you've been talking about?" then proceeded to clean her plate.

On time arrival in DFW and in MEM and we were at the Peabody by 7PM. Between wedding receptions and family reunions, the place was a zoo. Even though our room was "free", we opted to buy-up to a one bedroom club level suite. OK, the place is historical and all that, staff pleasant, but it is showing its age. I didn't even bother to take pics as the place was pretty disappointing. There is only so much you can do with a 70 year old building that was renovated maybe 20 years ago. After the ducks make their entrance, the place is not worth seeing.

We checked in, stop for a drink (not complimentary) and pupus in the forgettable club lounge and headed out to explore Memphis before our 9PM dinner reservation at Felicia Suzanne's (gift cert #1), on an absolutely gorgeous 75 degree fall evening.

Great southern cuisine and a terrific wine list at Felicia Suzanne's.
On a beautiful evening, the terrace is the place to eat.
A most enjoyable and delicious meal with friendly, albeit somewhat less than polished service.

House Smoked Wild King Salmon Deviled Eggs with a dollop of domestic caviar...

Shrimp and Grits:
Wild gulf shrimp and andouille sausage sauteed in a creole sauce over a crispy stone ground grit cake...

And to finish, the decadent Old Fashioned Baked Fudge, warm Chocolate Sauce, and Ice Cream...

After dinner, we did the horse-drawn carriage tour of downtown.

And some of our new friends...

Next day, perfect 80 degrees and low humidity, we started with a 90 minute Backbeat tours, a fabulous musical bus tour of Memphis, including Sun Studios where Elvis cut his first record.

Followed by a decadent BBQ lunch at Corky's (gift cert #2)...

After lunch, we were off to Graceland. OK, the guy has been dead for 30+ years, but Lisa Marie is raking in the millions. Yeah, it was corny, but very interesting and the memorabilia incredible.

For an airplane junkie, the Lisa Marie, a Convair 880 purchased used from DL...

...and the smaller Lockheed Jetstart were very cool.

We headed back downtown and strolled Beale Street, which is nothing more than a couple of blocks of bars, restaurants and clubs.
For dinner, we discovered that our gift cert #3 restaurant was not open on Sundays, so we walked back up to Main Street and had another outdoor terrace dinner at the most enjoyable Flight Restaurant and Wine Bar, which we had seen on our walk to Felicia Suzanne's. The restaurant boasts the Open Table 2011 Diner's Choice Winner and a 2010 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.

With no AC in MEM, we headed for and spent an hour or so in the pleasant DL SC, which is actually closer to the AA gates than to most DL gates

AA 1161
MEM-DFW
MD-80
Wi-Fi
3:10p-4:50p
October 10, 2011
Refreshments

Reluctant PDB (water only) just before door was closed. First was only 11/16 but premium snack mix and drink service was served from the cart... don't ever recall seeing that one before.

On time arrival into DFW but unfortunately, ATC weather delays at SFO prolonged our DFW lay-over by some 90 minutes.

AA 1367
DFW-SFO
757-200
7:45p-9:15p (sked)
9:15p-11:15p (actual) SFO ATC weather hold
October 10, 2011
Snack

Another annoyingly lazy "senior" crew tonight. 1L boarding didn't help but no PDB. Unfortunately, we hit the daily double today, our second consecutive drink service from the cart. Out of sheer curiosity I asked one of the two F FAs about it. The battle axe seemed pretty defensive that someone would call her on it and decided to try blow smoke up my tush, claiming that company policy is to use a cart on all 757s. Yeah, and that's just before you serve the caviar and Dom.

Choice of chicken parmesan or shrimp salad. After surprisingly good California rolls at the C-19 AC, I wasn't really hungry but took one for the team for the photo op. The extra 90 minutes on board left the chicken a little dry.

And to finish, my least favorite, the oatmeal cranberry cookies. Does anyone seriously like this one?