Down in the Jungle Room
Trip Start Jun 24, 2012
91Trip End Sep 21, 2012
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Once we got to Graceland, we picked up our pre-booked tickets and then waited in a huge queue to get another shuttle bus over the road to the actual mansion. I don't know why we had to get buses literally across the road, but we did and it was daft. On the way, we were supplied with headsets much like those in Alcatraz to give audio-tours as we walked through the mansion. I quite like this, as you take in much more information whilst listening as you wander around, but it is funny to see everyone shuffling around in a line like zombies, all fiddling with this little headset
We all piled out, a bus load at a time, and got to see the outside of Elvis' home, which is actually surprisingly small. By 1970's standards it was probably huge, but compared to the houses you see D-list celebrities living in now, it is tiny. The decor was interesting too - the living room for example was all done out in white, and had stained glass peacocks on the doors separating two areas which were really pretty. A little OTT for today's taste but still. We also got to see the kitchen, where Elvis gorged himself on peanut butter and banana sandwiches and fried chicken, and then went down into the basement to two of 'the King's' chill out rooms; one of which had tapestries lining each wall. After this, we came back up into the famous 'Jungle Room' which had carved wooden furniture and green shagpile on both the floor and the ceiling! Amaze. We only got to see the bottom level of the house as the upstairs in private (he died upstairs).
The mansion tour then led outside, past Elvis' office in the garage, and past his pony paddocks. We continued on into a museum of Elvis' outfits, records, awards and other memorabilia, which was pretty cool, and then finally back outside to his gravesite. This was pretty intense - there was a huge crowd of people stood looking at his and his family's gravestones and loads were crying and leaving flowers and presents
After catching a shuttle back to the ticket office/museum sites we grabbed some lunch at an old school diner where you could sit in cars (and Elvis music was played over the tannoy surprise, surprise) and then headed into an exhibit of his cars and other vehicles, which were all beautiful. Then this, we went through an exhibition of modern musicians who have been inspired by Elvis, and on to a walk through his personal aeroplane, the Lisa Marie, which was really cool. His bathroom inside the aeroplane is all gold plated...seriously bling.
Once we'd done the planes, we went into some of the hundreds of Elvis gift shops (they all sold variations of the same items dependant on which shop you were in) and then found we had had our fill of Mr. Presley and decided to grab the shuttle back to Beale street.
We had a leisurely walk back through the city, looking for something else to do for the evening, but once again we came up short. The only thing really available was to go drinking on Beale and we didn't much fancy it
In the end, we headed back to the hotel, ordered in some pizza and kicked back to enjoy the thunderstorm again. Tomorrow is our last day in Memphis and although we probably would have preferred to have seen New Orleans as well as 'the River City', we've both grown quite fond of it, and the people we've come across - who, apart from the evil witch who made me feel bad about the trash can, grr - have been warm and friendly to us. Plus, the barbecue has been outstanding; having said that, it will be nice to root out some vegetables once we get to Chicago!