Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The King of Rock and Roll

An Experience

Graceland – the home of Elvis
Memphis, TN
Part One

A modest sized Mansion but grand for its time.

First you must know that I am not much of an Elvis fan.  I completely respect him as an artist and thought he was more than adorable in his younger years, but I would never consider myself a fan of the great King.  But a trip to Memphis just did not feel complete without a tour of Graceland.  And there was no way I was going to in the neighborhood without checking out this great American landmark.

Graceland has expanded over the years, to include not only a modest mansion but also a museum complex across the street.  Once you have parked ($10) and found your way to the gate you are given your tour options.  Just the Mansion, $32;  upgrade to the Platinum tour, $36 or go hog-wild on the VIP tour for $70.  (Go to the Graceland website for all the details.)

We jumped on the Platinum Tour (Mansion admission price after the AAAdiscount).  It starts with a Mansion tour time, where a shuttle bus takes you across the seat and your personal audio tour walks you through this modest home.  Only the first floor and basement are accessible to the public, but the grand living room with peacock details and piano are amazing.  Then onto the dining room and my favorite space… the kitchen.  All authentic to the 1970’s with Electrolux range and carpet on the floor.  I loved all the hard wood and 70’s detailing. 

That famous Jungle Room

We then went down to the basement where Elvis turned his three tube televisions into futuristic flat-screens by mounting them into the wall.  The billiards room draped in fabric was a favorite for me then back up to the Jungle room with its stone fountain wall.

Outside we wandered past the lush fields with horses over to the office where management kept Elvis’s affairs in order.  A small room once used as a cold food storage area had been converted to a shooting range for Elvis and his buddies.  Off to the Racquetball court now converted to the second space of memorabilia we came upon.  All throughout the audio tour we get to learn about Elvis’ great career as a musician and actor, but also about his great philanthropic works in the community.

From front to back:  Grandma, Elvis, Mom, Dad and Brother

No trip to the grounds of Graceland would be complete without a trip to the family plots in the Meditation Garden.  Elvis is flanked by his mother, father, grandmother and a marker for his still-born brother.  Folks still after 35 years leave heartfelt pieces of love that the family allows to remain until it is faded and withered.

In my next installment, I will fill you in on the rest of the Platinum Tour. Stay tuned. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to let me know what you think!