I’m excited to share the first post of photos and images from our recent Fall Break trip to Memphis. We’ve visited Memphis several times, mainly to enjoy the zoo and Mud Island, but we’ve always stayed on the outskirts. This year, I decided I wanted to give the kids a little more of an urban downtown experience. So, I booked our rooms at the Marriott Spring Hill Suites right on Main Street at Court Square (I definitely recommend it). One of the big draws for me in choosing that hotel was the back door access to the Downtown Trolley. The backyard of the hotel is the Court Square park space — another plus, but I’ll share more evidence of that later.
The Memphis light-rail Downtown trolley system has operated since the 1993. The system runs as the last line of Memphis’ original streetcar system, which closed in 1947. The vintage trolleys are from around the world and are each over 40 years old, but have each been restored with brass seats, transom windows, antique fixtures and hardware. The restoration makes for a sufficiently rickety and ambient-filled ride through the Downtown area. We spent our trolley rides on the Main Street line moving up and down the thoroughfare with the sound of bells, wheel lurches and cranking metal. Dark wood, rotating seats, brass window latches and watching for our stop, it was enough like an old-fashioned train ride to intrigue the kids. When we chose to walk instead of ride, the fun came in watching for the trolley and trying to gain the driver’s attention to elicit a beep of the horn. We all cheered when several drivers obliged.