Monday, April 15, 2019

Graceland!

Yes, we finally made it to Graceland, even though I'm not telling you about it in a timely manner.  We had no trouble getting around Memphis thanks to our trusty Garmin GPS.  I bought our tickets online the previous day, and that saved us a little time.  We arrived not long after the gates had opened.  The first thing that happened, once we changed our receipts into actual tickets, was picture-taking.  Now I, of all people, know that these things are overpriced.  I mean, what are you going to do with something like this?  And yet, I pay the ransom every time.  You couldn't just buy one picture, there were billfold-sized pictures attached to it.  Who passes out tourist pictures for relatives to put in a billfold?  See the questioning look on Cliff's face?  The man taking our picture said "smile"; Cliff looked sideways at me and said, "What'd he say?" just as the camera clicked.  Poor guy.



So that's how our day on the Elvis Adventure began.  By the way, the "Elvis Adventure" is what we chose, so our tickets were $59.90.  That also included an additional $5 apiece because I wanted to see the two airplanes Elvis used.  You will find all the ticket prices HERE.  It wasn't a cheap day, but the good news is that when we got home I immediately paid off the credit card we used, including lodging, gasoline, and food.

Everybody gets in line with their tickets.  Then each one gets an iPad.  Then you get a headset with which to listen to the iPad, so while you walk through the house, you can hear information about whatever you're looking at.  I kept getting ahead of mine... it would describe something, I'd look ahead and see something they were NOT describing..  Cliff had to do the tour without the iPad and headset because of hearing aids being in the way.  He admitted he really did enjoy going through the house, though.  It's furnished like Elvis had it at some point.  In my book, the house isn't large enough to be called a mansion.  Oh yes, there are lots of rooms, and it's decorated beautifully... but I've seen homes of doctors and lawyers that were as big as Graceland.

When you go inside the house at Graceland, if you look to the right, this is what you see.  This is where Elvis entertained visitors.  Only family was ever allowed to go upstairs, our guide told us.  Because of lighting everywhere in the house, very few of my pictures turned out well.


The dining room.


The kitchen wasn't that much different than anybody else's kitchen in the 60's or 70's.  It isn't even that much bigger than many kitchens.



After we'd gone through the house, we went out into the sunshine to the meditation garden and saw the graves of Elvis, both his parents, his grandmother, and his twin brother, who was still-born.




Gladys Presley's grave.

Elvis Presley's grave

When we got through the memorial garden, it was time to get in line and wait our turn to get on the tram so we could go across the road and go through all those buildings.  Both of us had knees and legs hurting after being on our feet so long.  We were in front of this nice lady you see below.  I told Cliff I was going to sit at the side on a concrete wall and rest my knees, then I'd give him a turn sitting.  That lady said, "Both of you sit down.  I'll save your place."

We got talking to her and found out she and her family lived in Iowa, as well as another family on down the line, so we talked about the state I first called home.  By the way, If you think this lady looks disgusted, that's because she is.  Somehow her eleven-year-old son had gotten away from the rest of the family, gotten on the shuttle, and went across the road without telling anyone.  Employees searched diligently and found him eventually.



While we were in line for the tram that would take us to the rest of the complex, employees came to collect our iPads and headphones.  I fumbled around with them a bit before I handed them to the folks.  After we got on the tram, I began digging for my camera, which I'd had secured to my wrist by the strap on it.  It didn't take much searching to realize I had lost my camera; I was pretty sure I must have dropped it when I gave the folks back the iPad and headset, and I knew exactly where I'd lost it.  I didn't tell Cliff, though.  He lets a little thing like that ruin his day, and I usually end up feeling really stupid for letting something happen that shouldn't have.  So both of us have ruined days.

 We spent hours looking at the classic cars.  We ate an overpriced, nothing-special lunch because we were captive and didn't have many choices.  And yes, Cliff was still enjoying himself.  

When it was all over, I said, "Now come on, tell me you enjoyed looking at all this stuff."

"I might have enjoyed it if I hadn't had to drive for eight hours to get here!"  

You see what I put up with.



 This was Vernon Presley's office.  I don't know anything about those pictures scattered around.

We had seen everything but the airplanes at this point, so we went down there, showed our tickets, and climbed the stairs to the biggest of the two, which was very impressive.  It was furnished sort of like someone's house would be.  Cliff spent fifteen or twenty minutes examining the outside of the plane:  Anywhere we go, he's curious about trains, planes, tractors and old cars.  He likes to figure out what makes things tick, how things are done.  The second, smaller plane was pretty ordinary, but the larger one was worth an extra $5 apiece to see it.

As we got off the plane Cliff was looking around to see where we were in relationship to our car, so I broke the news to him:  "I want to go up to the Lost and Found.  I lost my camera back there where they took our iPads, or else on the tram shortly after that."

As I expected, he couldn't believe I'd lost my camera, and he certainly didn't expect anyone to return it.  I told him nobody wants these little bitty Canon cameras like I use these days.  Everybody uses a phone as their camera.  

We walked up to the desk, I asked one of the ladies, "Has anyone turned in a little silver camera?"  She reached over on the desk, picked up my camera, and handed it to me.  


This shows the layout of the buildings.  This map was too big to scan, so I did what I could, then scanned the upper right-hand corner to get the picture below this one, so you can see what's in each building if you so desire.  There really was a LOT to see.

This above is all on the opposite side of the road from the Graceland mansion.


I'm getting short tempered from uploading pictures to this entry, so I think I will get comfortable in the other room and stay away from the computer for awhile.  By the way, Cliff got over his bout with the intestinal virus.  It's all behind us now. 



8 comments:

Margaret said...

It looks like a great adventure, but the house doesn't look as fancy as I expected! (as you mentioned) I'm glad you got your camera back!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

It must have been wonderful to see it all. I didn't realize how many things were there to see besides the house. Thanks for sharing your trip and for taking the time to lode all the pictures!

Adirondackcountrygal said...

Fantastic. I was never a really big fan of Elvis. Too young I guess, but I do remember when he died. My cousin locked herself in her bedroom and cried for two days!

krueth said...

That looks like a fun time checking out Graceland. So glad you got your camera back. Nice of that lady to hold your place while you were able to get off your knees and rest them for a bit. Glad Cliff is all better again now too. Wendy

Margie's Musings said...

I am delighted you got your camera back!

The Feminine Energy said...

Oh Donna, my own knees hurt like blazes just reading about all the walking! *hugs* And you got your camera back.... wonderful!!! I think I would have passed on the ipad too, like Cliff. I have no patience for such things. I can appreciate you wanting to walk away from the computer after all the uploading, my friend. I'm grateful you uploaded as much as you did. I have heard from many, who have visited Graceland, that it's a lot smaller than expected. I think I might have even mentioned this to you in a previous comment. Anyway, I'm glad you got to see it.... and I did too, through you. Love, Andrea xoxo

TARYTERRE said...

looks like a nice tour.

Sheila Y said...

Me, my parents and my daughters went back in the 90s when my oldest was about 3 1/2 years old. She couldn’t understand why she couldn’t swing on Lisa Marie’s swingset. I had a cousin who lived in Memphis at the time and she made up a funny story to tell at a family reunion about finding my Mom lying on the grave crying and my Dad trying to get her up. :-)
Take care,
Sheila