Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Memphis Tennessee Priceline Bid

Alright, the information everyone wants is that the winning bid for a 3 1/2 star hotel was fifty-five dollars.  We booked a week before Elvis week (middle of August) so you may be able to go a little lower on Memphis.  Two contributing factors driving up price may have been that August is prime vacation season and there were definitely a lot of Elvis impersonators staying at the hotel.

We stayed at the Memphis Hotel owned by Marriott in Southeast Memphis.  Don't worry about staying a little a way from downtown Memphis doesn't have much traffic.  The hotel was close to the Pink Palace and Leonard's BBQ (disappointing) featured on Diners Drive-ins and Dives.  It was close to the highway but it wasn't in the best neighborhood.  The problem is finding a good neighborhood is probably pretty difficult.  It seemed to vary from week to week.

While in Memphis we visited Graceland.  We payed the extra 30 or so dollars for the entourage tour.  If you don't have a bunch of kids this is the way to go.  Skipping line is a big benefit.   It was an hour wait just to get to the mansion when we were there.  We also visited Beale Street.  Our favorite place on Beale is A. Schwab's Dry Goods Store (closes at ten).    There was also a cool little dessert place near "The Daisy" but I don't remember it's name.

The best surprise was on the drive back to St. Louis.  A couple hours from Memphis in Sikeston, MO there is a restaurant called Lamberts Cafe.  They throw rolls across the place and they have pass around that come with your meal.  There was way too much to eat but it is a really enjoyable experience.  Now this isn't a quiet gourmet restaurant.  It is loud with perfectly cooked southern staples.  Yeah the green beans maybe canned/pickled but in the south they are supposed to be.  If you're on a road trip this place will wake you up after a long drive.  Great food, fun time.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Philadelphia through Priceline

We booked our vacation package to Philadelphia the day before we left.  The downside is that I did not get to choose any flight option, which would have been nice.  We got stuck on Delta and I am not a fan of the airline.  Our hotel reservation was at, Crowne Plaza Hotel Philadelphia-Bucks County.  The hotel was pretty nice (3 1/2 stars), nothing over the top though.  We also got a rental car.  The whole package was 496 per person for two coming to a total of 992.  I forgot to get the discount through e-bates like a big old dummy so it could've been 4% cheaper.

The hotel about 20 minutes from downtown Philadelphia and even with a GPS unit I had trouble getting to the hotel.   Driving around the turnpike was really confusing and the main roads have side roads making a sort of double exit system.  So if you turning left make sure your in the middle section and if you're turning right make sure you are in the right section.  You won't be getting over to the correct lane at the last minute.  The exits are also jump right on style, which are tough with the loops because a lot of people stop before getting on the highway.

The great benefit about our stay through Priceline is that it was really easy to go up to New York City for a day.  We also looked at New York as a vacation spot and the trip would have cost us more than twice as much without a rental car.  In New York we would have been fine using the subway and taxis, which would have been even more.  It did cost around forty dollars in tolls to make it to New York but I have heard I could have avoided the tolls.

Long story short is that Philly was a great trip and can easily turn into a trip to multiple cities and best of all it is very reasonably priced.