All Elvis, All The Time!
Trip Start Jul 20, 2012
18Trip End Jul 30, 2012
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If you're not an Elvis fan, you better skip this entry. Not that I'm a big fan myself, but you have to respect one of the most famous figures of all time. As to why we came to Graceland, I need to take you back to January 2011 - for Aria's birthday. We let Aria draw any picture she pleased for her birthday cake we were making for her and for some reason she drew a picture of Elvis. We don't listen to Elvis' music nor do we watch his films. But Aria wanted Elvis on her cake so that was that.
Fast forward to my planning for this vacation trip and when Memphis was in my radar, I felt Aria wanted to visit Graceland - and she did. So Graceland was our first stop this morning on our first day in Memphis
Graceland was a short drive from our hotel downtown. The set up here was that you would pay to park (& Elvis makes money) at a parking lot across the street from Graceland and in this visitor's center you would purchase your tickets to enter Graceland and/or a variety of other "Elvis Experiences" such as going into his planes, an automobile museum or other special exhibits. The tickets were not cheap. Yes, Elvis is still getting paid.
The Elvis Graceland experience was more like a Disneyland experience.
To even reach the Graceland estate was not a quick experience. The first of many lines was a 10 minute line to purchase tickets. Once you had your tickets there was a queued line to board a shuttle bus to get across the street to reach the actual Graceland Estate: This process consisted of a 20 minute wait to be called by group number to stand in a 15 minute line to take a family picture (which of course we then purchased at the end) and then we got into another line to shuffle along for another 15-20 minutes to board the shuttle bus all for the short 1 minute ride to go across a four-lane street to Graceland. That was a loooonnggg process for a ride that I could of walked in all of 3 minutes
But once we finally got inside Graceland, it got much better. I was a good vibe to see the house as Elvis once graced it - exactly as he had it decorated. Although we felt like herded cattle being rushed through the mansion living quarters, once we got outside to the backyard we were able to go at our own pace through the back portion of the house and the trophy rooms, racquetball court and grave site. It was well laid out and a good experience (a side from the bus boarding portion).
We then returned back to the visitor center side of the street and walked through a museum of Elvis' cars and went inside his two planes. Yes, Elvis lived the good life and, as I've mentioned previously, he's still getting paid.
As for Aria - I don't know what she thought of the Graceland visit. She was so excited to get to Graceland but once here she showed little emotion. When I tried to take her picture along the tour she was not interested in posing, but she was very much into looking at everything - just with no emotion. She was rushing to get through it to see the next thing instead of soaking it in. I'm not sure if it was less then she expected or if she was sad about what happened to Elvis
Aria begged for a model of Elvis' famous pink Cadillac so after I talked her out of the $90 model, she settled for a $10 smaller model. As for Jadin, he just followed along listening to the audio tour guide and doing some recording on his IPod. Not much of an interest for him but he was a good sport and never complained. I think he did enjoy going into the fancy planes though.
Graceland was nice to visit. I've done it once and got the family picture. But I doubt if I'll be back though.
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