Graceland – home to the legend, quite possibly one of the most memorable men in music, Elvis Presley.
Am I huge Elvis fan? No, but we may only head this way once so we absolutely put it on our list of must visit.
We get our overpriced tickets and hop on the shuttle to the mansion. This tour is cleverly planned out, iPad’s are given at the start which move with you as the tour progresses, providing additional images and commentary about parts of the mansion you can’t fully access. We have our obligatory entrance photo against the green screen; I never quite understand why these always come out so bad. Needless to say we don’t purchase the photo.
The mansion itself is gaudy, the dining room it still fully laid for Christmas with the dinner service that Elvis once ate from. Pictures of him and his family adorn the walls and as you move through the downstairs it is apparent that this home was very much enjoyed and lived in. His parents have a room for themselves and while we now consider the microwave oven as a norm in any kitchen, here it is highlighted as being an extravagant purchase. The upstairs is out of bounds, Elvis wanted a space that was just for him and his wife, and even his personal guests were not allowed up there. I absolutely love this idea. The thought that even though he was considered a king there was still sacred parts to his life that he didn’t want accessible to all, his family. This makes me warm to him dramatically. With reality T.V. on our screens in abundance this idea is romantic to me, it is special, love is special, and this man clearly knew the true value of happiness and privacy.
We are shown through the house to his games room; the iPad tour points out the tear on the pool table made by Frank Sinatra, right through to the leather lounge explaining that this was the location of his last breath. I always thought he died on the toilet for some reason, but apparently not. This all brown, smooth, almost dense room was where the king had a heart attack. It all seems so very normal, not what I was expecting at all really.
We enter the room displaying the infamous jumpsuits he wore. From this you can picture his size, he really was a large statuesque man, and while some look slender you can see those outfits that are larger, where he clearly had grown fond of the burgers. The iPad guides you out to the garden and into an outhouse which houses his office, an interview of the man himself is playing about the war and if he had found the love of his life. I watch it twice, the twinkle quite apparent in his eye that he had indeed met Priscilla.
This really is an extensive tour, no one rushes you, you can take excessive amounts of pictures, special artefacts are covered in plastic for preservation, and I’m really impressed. The mansion tour culminates its ending just past the swimming pool that Keith from Memphis jelly beaned, at the Presley tombstones. There were weeping fans here; the atmosphere in this part of the mansion has a different feel, almost a sombre one. The mansion has garnered a lot of respect from me, so we head off to explore the cars and planes.
Now the pink car he bought for his daughter is more synonymous to the image I have of him. I quickly learn he loved cars and speed, doing primarily all of his own stunts in films. The aeroplanes though are more Mr.C’s thing. The seats are all covered with plastics much like in the house, for preservation. The larger of the two is most impressive with a lush bathroom and it feels strange to see a plane decorated with so much carpet, the green carpet in one echoes that from inside the mansion and I’m left with the concept that Elvis was a rather consistent person.
We finish in the gift shop, purchase some socks for one of my girls who is an actual fan, to the extent she has his name tattooed on her. Mr.C and I concur that she would love it here and pull some grass from the mansion lawn for her.
We are leaving as educated Elvis Presley fans. Both of us are so glad we stopped here, yes it is expensive and some may say overpriced, but I think he was worth the money. A once in a lifetime trip for us and we are so pleased we committed to doing it. We leave questioning which exit Keith was ejected from after his drunken antics and highly recommend you visit but don’t jump in the pool!