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  • Writer's pictureMarquita Bianca

Travel Diaries: Come to work with me in Memphis

Hello there! Thanks for stopping by for another blog! After my recent trip to Memphis I received a ton of messages asking me my thoughts about the hotel? How did it feel to fly? Did I feel safe? How was it working on set? So I figured I’d share all of the details with you as we are all continuing to navigate through this pandemic and some of you haven’t visited Memphis and may want to!

How do I feel about flying? This is the question of the day! I honestly have to say the airline did a great job. Don’t get me wrong my flights were not perfect But I wouldn’t expect anything during a worldwide pandemic to be. I flew United Airlines. I had 4 total flights, departing from Norfolk, VA with a layover in Chicago during both flights in traveling to and from Memphis. Out of 4 flights I had someone sitting next to me for 2 flights. My flight home from Chicago to Norfolk was the most full, which makes perfect sense. I was able to pick my seat and I always opted for the window seat so this flight I did the same. All passengers were instructed to wear their mask for the entire flight unless eating or drinking. Liquid refreshments were served on all flights which were no more than 1.5 hours each. And yes, I experienced crying babies on a few flights. If you are planning to fly to Memphis the average cost is around $300-350 round trip to Norfolk.

Inner city travel I took an Uber from the airport to the hotel, a Lyft from the hotel to my commercial shoot location and Uber from my commercial shoot to meet my agent. Both of my Ubers were on time and impeccably clean, I wish I could say the same for Lyft. Also for a few of the rides Uber was more expensive(less than $5) than Lyft but for the cleanliness it’s worth it. Both uber drivers wore masks my lyft driver did not. I wore my mask for all. I have experience with Lyft, so I’m going to chock it up to having a not so stellar driver for this trip as all my others have been great!

The Hotel PeabodyRooms: The rooms are beautiful, clean and worth it in my opinion. The Peabody Hotel has a lot to offer especially during a time like this when traveling during a pandemic. I stayed in the Traditional Queen room. Wifi, Branded bottled water, news paper, and even a shoe shine are included.

Why I chose it:The Peabody was suggested to me by a student who is very familiar with Memphis. Traveling during a pandemic is already sketchy but I knew my options for being my normal “tourist self” were few to zero. I also didn’t want to travel in the dark at night by myself (my trip was solo until getting on set for Day 2). So I took advantage of touring the hotel property and their Mezzanine Memorabilia Room.

March of the Ducks: If you checked out my youtube video “Come with me to Memphis” you’ll have seen the adorable presentation they have daily of ducks that live on site. It is a very popular crowd draw and I consider myself lucky to have stayed midweek to witness it to not be subject to the crowds that show up for it. The ducks come down the elevator everyday at 11am and stay in the main lobby until they march out at 5pm. Click here for more information for the tradition behind it.

Food: I arrived at the hotel around 11:30am the hotel was gracious enough to have my room ready and I made it down to have lunch in the lobby with the ducks. For lunch I had the Pastrami sandwich which features scrambled eggs on rosemary focaccia with fries(Very affordable at $14). It was SO good!! Dinner was a house salad which was just ok and lobster bisque(priced at $11 & $18) I don’t recommend either. The lobster bisque is sweet and I mean very sweet. It threw me off and I was not able to eat it all. I also wanted to save room to eat dessert. The desserts on the website and youtube videos I watched will have you salivating. I had the Bourbon Pecan pie(around $9) and was very good. Hindsight, I would have loved to have had it warm. Yum!

 Shooting at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music & Commercial shoot This was a definite treat! When I saw my call sheet that listed my time and location I of course wasn’t familiar with the Stax museum but upon arrival I was so excited. This was my tourist moment. My call time was Noon and I arrived on set at 11:40-45. Industry standard you should be 15 minutes early and not 15 minutes early and parking but 15 minutes early waiting for instructions. Since I arrived early the producers, knowing that I wasn’t from Memphis, urged me to tour the museum before the shoot. I had the most amazing production crew and “for the day” co-workers lol. The museum is super cool with highlights and rooms featuring Motown, Soul Train and even Isaac Hayes original Cadillac in all its glory on full display. Tickets for the museum run $13 and there are films and multiple rooms to tour. Very much so worth it!

Other Eats: I did not have my Memphis BBQ moment BUT I did have an amazing Seafood boil and learn how to eat crawfish at Crab and Go Seafood Palace. It is Family owned and all cooked to perfection. While Memphis may not be 1st on your list of places to travel I do think one could carve out a really cool trip if planned correctly! I’ll be returning for work soon and of course I’ll take you with me! Have you been to Memphis? Comment below with any suggestions of what I should try when I go back! -MB


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