How to Relax on Vacation

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I think I like this kind of vacation. I lived here, so I don’t feel pressured to go to all the tourist things. It’s a city, so I can sleep in a bed. It’s October, so it’s not horribly hot, although yesterday was pretty awful. This morning’s 50-ish temps were a welcome relief after yesterday’s hot, humid, messy, rainy weather. I’m in a little place with a kitchen, so I can eat out when I want, eat in when I’m tired and don’t have to spend money unless I feel like it. I can take naps in the afternoon, schedule coffee any time of the day with friends and overall just do whatever the hell I want.

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Memphis has tons of new coffee shops. Right now I’m at a trendy one on Broad Street called City & State. “Yay Coffee” is painted on the outside wall, and there is a dog water bowl and a dog treat bucket built in to the patio right beside a dog tie-out. Ashok wasn’t much interested in the water, but she was sure interested in the home-made-looking treats. This place has clean lines, is open and airy and has plenty of outdoor seating. Yesterday I would have passed, but sitting outside today is really nice.

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Yesterday I sampled Muddy’s bakery and had my morning coffee here. A friend suggested Tart this morning on Cooper, but it was closed. So, I went to an old favorite, Cafe Eclectic for their Sunny Hash and coffee. It was just as I remembered although a little more worn than it was five years ago. But the food and coffee were as fresh and lovely as ever.

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Shelby Farms has a restaurant overlooking the lake where we used to walk. They’ve improved and expanded the lake and built this trendy restaurant with a large porch called The Kitchen Bistro. The food was really good but $20 for a 2-egg omelet, a piece of toast, potatoes and coffee was a bit steep. My breakfast this morning was much better and was much cheaper even with the tip. Keri and I took a walk around the lake but almost died from heat exposure as the trees are still just sapling and don’t provide much shade.

Whole Foods is larger and much improved, Lululemon has moved to Germantown, Penzey’s Spices seems to have disappeared or moved somewhere else, and the Soul Fish Cafe has expanded. They finally did something with the Hotel Chisca on South Main. I longed to go in and look at that old abandoned hotel. I used to daydream that the rooms were left just as they were when they locked the doors, and my hope was that ghosts might roam the halls and would stop by to say hi. Now there’s a fancy restaurant called Lyfe Kitchen that has a stellar reputation. There just aren’t enough meals in the week for me to hit them all. This one will have to wait.

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This morning I got a chance to run and go to my friend Leah’s yoga class. I have two more days here. Tonight some friends are gathering at Central BBQ downtown, and a girlfriend is meeting me here in about 20 minutes. I hope the weather holds out, and I look forward to more laughs and good coffee and yummy Memphis cuisine. Ashok just always look forward to the next meal – whatever it is. She’s so easy to please.

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