Graceland

I’m not sure why exactly, but I’ve never been an Elvis fan. He never moved me, maybe it’s because he was a tad before my time. Maybe it’s just because of the enormous amount of hype that follows Elvis image. Whatever, we’ve been visiting family in Memphis for years and I’ve avoided the big Graceland tour every time because I figured it just wasn’t for me. I think we’ve hit every other museum and tourist attraction in the area too…but not Graceland. Until today that is. Unbeknownst to us, this week is the 35th anniversary of Elvis death. Today, is actually the date. When we arrived I got on  a rental car shuttle van along with a gentleman from Germany and the gal who was driving said; “So, y’all in town for Elvis or just business?” I chuckled since I thought she was joking. The German guy said “Elfas!” She then begin describing all the foreign Elvis tourists she’d been driving all week. Stupid me…I said, “Is there some kind of Elvis event in town?” The German guy looked at me with barely veiled contempt and the driver said; “What? You don’t know this is Elvis week and it’s the big 35th Anniversary?” Mr. social faux pas…that’s me.

For the next few days it seemed like everywhere we went we saw Elvises. I actually saw an Asian Elvis! So many black hair dye jobs and long sideburns you woundn’t believe it. On top of that, so many older women with Elvis tattoos! It’s a freakin’ cult! Well…we got caught up in it. Heck, the Today show on NBC did a story about it this morning! So we bought tickets and went to Graceland this morning. You know what? It was a BLAST! Cult or not…Elvis was amazing! So was Graceland. We spent hours wandering around the house, the grounds, the miles of gold records and awards, the incredible automobile collection, the custom airplanes, the enormous number of European tourists…many of whom were trying their best to look like Elvis! OMG…the shops there selling everything you can imagine! Elvis bought Graceland in the 50’s for $100,000. I’ll be just one gift shop alone took in $100,000 while we were there! We saw a leather jacket for sale for $3500.00. Replica’s of those kooky rhinestone suits Elvis wore in the 70’s were available for purchase for $1975.00. The funny thing is that after 3 or 4 hours we were beginning to get hooked! Even Lesley started contemplating large purchases…and she was less interested in Elvis than me going in.

It was a great time, honest. If you’re in Memphis don’t miss it.

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