Trip Start Jun 07, 2008
Trip End Sep 10, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Again sorry for the delay, you know how it is.
Curently i am in LA but i will detail my memphis trip, since it was pretty good and i really want to share it with everyone.
I arrived in Memphis at 2pm i had layers of clothes on to keep my suitcase under weight, so i was boiling. But did what i had to do. I went straight to the Elvis Presley Heartbreak Hotel. It was really nice there. I had a really nice rrom with a fridge and microwave so it had more than any of the others had had, so that was a bonus.
Once i arrived in the lobby it was like i was in another era. Everything was decorated modern but 60s style, and they even had an old-style tv in the lobby guests could sit and watch on that just played Elvis films 24/7 so that was a nice touch. The rooms were more modern but had Elvis portarits hanging in the bedroom and lounge but it was so cool, i was there to see Elvis stuff so bring it on i say.
I went back downstairs 30mins after getting there and caught the free shuttle to Sun Studios, and toured that. That was a cool place not just for Elvis fans but Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis among others cos they all recorded there. Then after that i got another free shuttle from sun studios to Beale St which was seedy really but had a unique southern charm to it. I went to the Rock n Soul Museum there which was so well put together i have to say. You have an audio headset and as you go along music and musicians and everything to do with what you were looking at played. It made you want to dance, especially when 60s style jukebox music came on, but you know what i mean. It was really good. After that i saw the Elvis Statue and got the shuttle back to my hotel and relaxed and watched tv for the night. (They even have a channel devoted to Elvis movies, and another with just pictures on the screen and Elvis radio playing songs to them, yes they have an Elvis radio station!!)
The next morning i woke up to rain, not heavy or anything but constant drizzle. It was humid outside still but it didn't bother me all that much since Graceland had more to see inside and all the other museums too about Elvis so it didn't damper my mood at all. I had a VIP ticket which for any Elvis fans this is the way to go. You have a headset on that expalins what you're looking at, so each room i looked at once i walked inside and then in the backyard and at Elvis's grave, all of that had commentary about it, which was awesome. When i first saw Graceland in front of me i couldn't believe i was standing right where Elvis Presley himself had stood, it's stupid but for someone like him it was a weird feeling.
Graceland was by far the best house i have ever seen that reflects the time it was lived in. It was so weird seeing all of these rooms that had so much stuff on the walls, or like his pool room it had floor to ceiling coverings, and his kitchen was so old but so retro its very hard to explain but for people who enjoy seeing the past right in front of them its amazing to see.
After that, i got to see a special exhibit VIPs only get. I saw his sadles and office set and everyday clothes he wore. There were also photos that had never been published and lots of little things like that. P.s there were alot of people visiting when i was there. Elvis week had just finished but there were so many people still, and all of the anniversary of his death mementos from fans were all lined up new so that was cool to see them aswell.
After that i got another little tour in the backyard area where Elvis's horses and tractors were, i saw the church that had been built behind Graceland and also the flats Elvis had built for friends to stay in aswell. It was truly awesome to see in the flesh.
I toured the aeroplanes he had, including Lisa Marie which hadn't changed since he had it. I saw hundreds of jumpsits that it blew me away every time i saw each one. I saw his Cars and motorbikes and mechanical toys, all of which were in a warehouse like museum. Then i saw all the things he kept from being in the army so that was really cool to see aswell.
After that i took the free shuttle back to Beale St and walked a few blocks to the National Civil Rights Museum. I couldn't take photos there cos they took you're cameras and held them but i took photos of the front where Martin Luther King Jr was shot dead. The museum is the actual Lorraine Motel that he was shot at and it was by far one of the best museums i have ever been to in my life. The detail in all of the exhibits...there's an actual 60s style bus that you climb on and there is Rosa Parks in plastic sitting in the seat she refused to move from because only white people sat in the front, and a diner with plastic people sitting in it doing a sit in like they did in the 60s. But the best part was the Martain Luther Stuff. You got to see his hotel room and how it looked the day he died, the place he was standing when he got shot and more eerily you cross the road opposite this and there's more exhibits to do with the shooting and you can see the view James Earl Ray had when he shot him. It was truly surreal to be standing there, because the Lorraine Motel hasn't changed in exterior since the shooting, the motel is now a museum so you can't stay there, but the attention to detail was phenomenal and you had chills when you saw the Martin Luther stuff. I will never forget it as long as i live. So all in all my Memphis trip was alot of fun, i got my Elvis experience aswell as my history experince in a place so much had happened, cos Memphis has had so much happen in it with civil rights, music and much more so it was a great place. But being on my own and just viewing the place in the flesh it was a very seedy town compared to anything i expected, alot of homeless people and it was scary but eye opening all the same.

Hope everyone is well,
love to all,

Toni xoxo
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