Going to Graceland: Home of the King of Rock and Roll
“I’m still afraid to this day that one morning I’ll wake up and find out that everything was a dream and that we’re all still back in Tupelo with no hope of getting out from under the poverty.” -Elvis (1970)
Rock and Roll, Fried Food, And Other Awesome Things
For a while now, I’ve been nagging Jessie to write some blog posts every now and then so that you guys don’t have to listen to me all the time. ‘Cause I get tired of listening to me too, and I sympathize with your pain. She has been hesitant to write one because even though she’s a writer, when I remind her that she’s The Writer In The Family, her response is always, “But, I write fiction.” And then I respond, “Well, you know I’m making all this crap up, so what’s the difference?” Anyway, I finally whined enough to get her to give this blogging thing a shot, and I’m feeling pretty good about it. However, as I read through her post, I’m kinda cracking up, because either she’s making it all up (not really), or we really really see things differently (we really do)… so just for fun, I’m going to butt in just like I do at home and tell MY side of the story. It’ll be just like having dinner with us. So here’s our story about our trip to Graceland, the second most visited home in America (the first is the White House).
Jessica: Amanda recently shot a wedding just outside of Memphis. You might have seen it. Out of all the traveling she has done this year, this was the only one where our schedules synced up enough for me to go with her. We went in a day early to have a mini-vacation. What to do? (A: Eat some fried chicken!!) J: We vacillated a little bit. We considered a few attractions (A: Let’s go see the ducks!!). Were both Elvis fans, but neither of us are FANS (A: Hey, I’m Southern. It’s the law in the south that you love your mama and Elvis… and college football… and Nascar… uh-oh, I’m in trouble here…). After all, who really goes to Graceland? In the end, we decided the people watching alone was likely to be worth the price of admission. So, we went.
A: Seriously, all I really wanted to do in Memphis (besides photograph the wedding), was go to Graceland and eat some fried chicken. One out of two ain’t bad, right?
J: I fully expected to see some towering hair and sequin jumpsuits. At the very least, some serious bling.
A: Yeah, I really thought we’d see some beehive hairstyles or something. I guess that’s what I expected because I grew up in a part of the world where people listened to Elvis and rocked the beehive for decades past its heyday.
J: What I didn’t expect was a crush of people, even with the parking lot less than a quarter full. Not one of them looked that much different than me, though most were probably a bit more fashionable. I heard people speaking both French and German. There were families with little kids and several folks with walkers. The guidebook predicted a 2 hour tour. We were there more than 6 hours! I had no idea all that stuff would be so fascinating. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
A: Um, we shopped in the seventy two gift shops for four hours.
J: In the end, tired, we hiked back to our car. As we walked down the aisle we parked in, we noticed several of the license plates on the cars; Louisiana, Tennessee, Iowa, Utah, Alabama, and of course, us, Georgia. For kicks and giggles, we drove down the rest of our aisle and up the next to get to the exit. Seven more states. Then, there was someone trying to park a large vehicle in a small space and blocking the road to the exit. (A: Stupid tourists!) So, what the heck, we drove two more aisles. And then, because there were only two more after that, we drove the rest of them too. And I was busy snapping shots with my iPhone to document all the license plates. Twenty three states, from Maine to Washington State, to Texas, plus one from Quebec, one from Ontario, and one was a Citizen of the Patowatoni Nation in Oklahoma. (I didn’t even know they had their own license plates) So, who goes to Graceland? Everyone!
A: Yep, were geeks. We really did drive up and down all the aisles. It may have been my idea, but it probably wasn’t. It was probably Jessie’s idea. She’s the Harry Potter fan too. (Geek.)
A: One final note for you guys. Graceland was actually pretty cool. I mean, it was waaaaaay cheesy, but who hasn’t watched an episode of MTV Cribs and groaned? But I came away from the experience with a little more appreciation for Elvis and his part in music history. I’m also always a fan of a story about an underdog. And Elvis was definitely a rags to riches story. That stuff always gets me. If you ever find yourself in Memphis and you have an afternoon to spare, I would tell you that it’s worth the price of admission. He was a pretty good guy. Kinda weird. But in a good way.
And because it’s illegal to just talk about The King and not enjoy his musical stylings (Im already getting my Southerner card punched for that comment about Nascar) ….. here’s one of my favorites….
Oh yeah, the signage was really clear that photos made at Graceland are for personal use only. So I want to be really clear with y’all that this is a personal travel story that I’m sharing with you. These are photos from my personal collection. They are not intended for sale or any other commercial use. Pinning them is ok though. M’kay? Thanks. Bye.