My parents listened to Elvis throughout my entire childhood and I HATED it. Things really do change as you grow up because now I own every single CD Elvis ever put out, so when I decided to visit Tennessee I had to see how close Graceland would be to where I was staying. It was just under 3 hours and I thought…close enough! So I strapped on my blue suede shoes and headed out to Memphis for a luxurious day in the life of Elvis Presley.
When I arrived at the gates to the parking lot I was entirely confused as the house is nowhere in sight but there was a huge hotel across the street, so that should have tipped me off. Parking is ten dollars and took me to an area with restaurants and gift shops, I would recommend taking a gander through here because the souvenirs are really neat, they have Elvis nutcrackers, christmas ornaments, socks, Elvis sunglasses, etc. When I entered the main building there was a little cafeteria to the left, here is where you can find Elvis’s favourite food: Deep fried peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwiches, also the thing that is credited for causing Elvis’s death. We did not try this because when we were done with the tour everything was closing, sad. I started off the tour in a small theatre where I learned a bit about Elvis’s career and his life at Graceland, be prepared to have some catchy tunes stuck in your head for the rest of the day. Afterwards we were taken outside to be shuttled to the house, we had a tourist photo taken and were provided with our mobile tablets for the tour.
I think I was most impressed with the gates of the house, they are very musical and a great opening for what awaits in the mansion. The audio tour is given by John Stamos who played a huge Elvis fan on the hit show; Full House. He will guide you through the mansion and explain the various trinkets and interior design choices by the King. The top of the mansion is roped off to guests because Elvis did not allow anyone upstairs and the owner of the museum wishes to keep this tradition alive. When you enter the mansion you can tell that this is Elvis’s home, everything is flashy, modern (for the time) and colourful. My spouse really liked the ‘jungle room’ complete with carved wooden furniture, carpet on the ceiling and an indoor waterfall…I think I am in for some surprises when we purchase our first home.
Outside we saw Elvis’s managers office, stables, his pool (which cost more than he paid for the house), a squash court and a garden. The tour ends with a memorial to Elvis and his relatives who are buried on the land of Graceland.
I don’t think I can explain how happy I was throughout this tour, there is just an overwhelming amount of love inside of this home and this is just something I cannot put into words. I explained to my spouse that this is was one of the best museums/tours I have ever experienced, it brought back memories of my childhood listening to my father belt out ‘Jailhouse Rock’ while vacuuming. Something that perhaps I didn’t appreciate until I visited Graceland.