no matter where you go, there you are

Sunday, June 19, 2011

saw the ghost of elvis...down in the jungle room

Upon choosing Memphis as one of our destinations, Graceland instantly became #1 on our to-do list. First because Molly L went through an Elvis stage in high school and still has a love for "the King." Second, it was the only tourist site we knew of in Memphis off the top of our head. Anyway, we started off our one day in Memphis with a tour of Graceland and the accompanying exhibits. We got our ticket, hopped on the bus, received our audio guides and enjoyed the short ride across the street and through the gates of Graceland.

The tour happens every 10 min or so with groups of 10-15 people, each with an audio guide (automatically included with the ticket purchase). It's pretty much self-guided except there are people standing by doors and herding each small group into the rooms as they finish taking pictures  and listening to the information. No visitors are allowed upstairs because that maintains the "private" area of the Presley family. The first room to the right has the longest couch EVER. It's like 15 or so feet long. And white.

I'm pretty sure each room hasn't been touched since Elvis passed away in 1977. Nothing has been updated in terms of decoration and such things like carpet have been meticulously maintained and cared for. After the living room you get to see Elvis' parents' bedroom, then the dining room. You pass through the kitchen which looks like it was taken straight from the 1970s, appliances included. Then you get a glance of the Jungle room before being led downstairs to the basement where all the recreational/party rooms were.

There is a room with mirrors on the ceiling and 3 different TVs all playing separate stations because Elvis liked to watch the news on every channel. There's a bar and then the next room includes a billiards table and the walls and ceiling are covered in an interesting and expansive piece of fabric.

Led back upstairs, you arrive in the Jungle room. As we finish the tour of the house I think about how its called Graceland Mansion but it doesn't really feel that big. Felt like a typical size Cohasset house to me.

The rest of the tour consisted of going through all the buildings Elvis had on his land. There's the office in the back, and fields where horses still roam, another building with a whole museum inside consisting of jumpsuits, memorabilia, merchandise, records, Grammys and a whole lot more. And finally the barn which has another lounge room where Elvis spent his last day and a huge room full of records and more outfits.

Last but not least you're led to the poolside graves of Elvis, his mother, father and grandmother. There's flowers galore and plenty of color from posters and tributes and gifts left behind by fans. There's even more posters alongside the paths to the bus stop where you finally get a good view of the mansion from out front. Back at the main complex there's a plethora of gift shops, places to eat and even more exhibits highlighting Elvis's fame, his foray into the movies, love of automobiles and all sorts of other things. You can also walk through his plane which like the mansion is a step back in time.

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