Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Our Trip to Graceland: Part 1

Graceland in one word: FANTASTIC. I went as an Elvis admirer and left a true Elvis fan. I have heard this from others as well, but I was skeptical. I guess you just have to see it yourself to believe it.

We arrived in Memphis on Friday night and stayed at the Heartbreak Hotel. I don't advise staying there. It was kind of yucky. But the bed and bathroom were clean, so we survived. Plus, it was right across the street from Graceland, so it was quite convenient and we didn't have to pay for parking. Good deal! (Oh!--and there was a heart-shaped pool. Neat.)

Our tour started at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

Everyone kept telling me how small Graceland was for someone who was so famous. Though it may not be considered a mansion by today's standards, it certainly would have been in the 60s and 70s. I was not at all disappointed.

That's me!

When you enter the foyer, the formal living room is to the right and the dining room is to the left. Everything has been left as it was originally arranged and decorated. We were alowed to take pictures, but no flash photos, so they're a bit dark. Over time, the flashes would damage the artifacts, which can't be replaced.

I especially loved the stained glass windows in the living room. (I dowonder how he kept the carpet so clean with all of the guests constantly coming and going...)

Next was the kitchen, where Elvis spent lots of time with friends and family, talking and eating. Very 70s.

Down in the basement was a den with a 15-foot wraparound, blue velvet couch with lots of white and yellow throw pillows. The room has a bank of 3 tvs so Elvis could watch multiple shows at once. Not sure how that works where sound is concerned. This was my favorite room.

Also in the basement was a game room with a pool table. The room was covered in drapery fabric from the center of the ceiling all the way to the floor. He had pretty crazy decorating taste, which we would see more of upstairs in the famous "Jungle Room".

Back up the stairs, and there it is: the famous Jungle Room. Not quite as wild as I expected, really. I guess it had just been built up too much for me. It was pretty wacky though, I'll admit. Green carpet covered the floors, walls and ceiling, and the entire lefthand wall was a rock waterfall.

This was the last room we got to see before moving on to the rest of the grounds. The upstairs is offlimits to the public. When he was still alive, the upstairs was Elvis' private santuary, so to speak, and very few people even saw it then. So out of respect for him, the estate keeps it private to this day. Apparently everything is exactly as Elvis left it when he died, down to all of the clothes in the closets, and cosmetic products on the bathroom counter. I did find some pics online that are thought to be legitimate, but we may never know.

Here is a picture of the back of the mansion. Simply gorgeous, I thought.

This was quite a lengthy tour and there was much more to see, but I will just share one last picture here, because I probably took over 200. You'll have to go see the rest for yourself. It's definitely worth it.

This is Elvis' final resting place, in his meditation garden, which was his favorite place to relax.

All in all, we spent close to three hours touring the mansion and grounds. It was all very educational and intersting. I really learned a lot about Elvis' life and passions. We even got to tour his personal airplane, the Lisa Marie.

If you get the chance, definitely get to Graceland. You won't regret it. It was really enlightening and, more than that, it was a blast!

P.S. Tomorrow I will share the CRAFTY part of my trip!

even smaller sig

1 comment:

  1. My husband and I visited Graceland for the first time last Fall on our drive back to California. We enjoyed it so much and got the extra tour tickets to see the different museums of clothing etc. I was fortunate to see Elvis three times in Las Vegas - from the slender days to his heavier days he was a wonderful singer and performer.