Skip to main content

In the Hall of the King

As the old saw goes there's two kinds of man, the Elvis man, and the Beatles man. You can like both (in fact, most do) but the love is never equal. You always like one more than the other. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am most definitely an Elvis man, and today I went to the mecca of Elvis men. Yes, I have been to Graceland. I have stepped in his house. I have seen his grave. I have bought much of the crap they sell with his picture on it. Unfortunately I forgot my camera like a moron, so all of my pics are off my iphone.

Graceland is basically separated into two sections. The first is the original mansion and grounds which remain pretty much intact from the days when Elvis was alive. The second is actually across the road and that's where the parking lot and all of the exhibits and the many many many gift shops are located. After purchasing your ticket, a shuttle bus will pick up a group and take it literally across the road -- a 2 minute trip at most. You're handed a little digital walkman-y thing which lets you listen to specific facts about specific parts of the house.

The first impression you get from the mansion is that it's not very big. I mean it's much smaller than most of the standard McMansions that now populate the suburbs of every major city. The tour in many ways is a lot like taking a tour of a regular house. Here's the living room, here's the kitchen, here's his parents' bedroom, etc.

Once you hit the trophy room that all changes. Gold records all over the place. The 'racquetball court' is even more impressive, especially since it looks like this now:

The 'meditation garden' is where Elvis's grave lies. It's hard to believe that one man is responsible for so much of world pop culture. The popularizer and pioneer of rock and roll, the first truly global celebrity, the first honest-to-god rock star.

I spent the rest of the afternoon in Memphis and I still can't figure out this city. I spent some time on Beale St (the birthplace of, if the museums are to be believed, rock and roll AND soul) and it was as crowded as a tourist corridoor could be expected to be on a Tuesday afternoon. Yet not two blocks away I stepped into (what appeared to be) a very new mall with a lot of very expensive features (fountains and ponds etc.) that had the entire upper level cloaked in darkness. On the plus side I tried this chocolate cake batter ice cream.. Delicious!

On the way back to the hotel I saw another park. Instead of Jefferson Davis, there was another statue in it. I thought it was a fitting end for the day.


  1. i'm a beatles guy but love the pics and the experience...I've always had a fondness for elvis. Can't quite read what it says on his grave, but great photo anyway


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

A Dreamy Day in London

London is a not-very-attractive city surrounding an incredibly beautiful city.  I suppose that's true for most cities but it's especially true of London.  Coming in from the east end (I arrived at London City Airport on CityJet -- basically their version of Porter but with jets -- the level of shift in aesthetics was jarring.

I took an Uber in to save a few pounds and he turned out to be a reasonable tour guide on the way, pointing out the Tower Bridge and the Tower of London as well as some other landmarks.

I arrived at around 8:30 at my hotel which understandably did not have my room ready yet.  I knew this was likely, so operating on a questionable amount of sleep (I can never sleep well before and early flight -- my brain always thinks I'm going to miss it) I headed out into London.  I stared at the Underground map for several minutes and then decided to walk.  I picked this hotel because it was relatively close to everywhere and it paid off today.

It's right besi…

Tubes and Towers and Treasures

One thing I've learned from this trip is not to push myself too hard in the service of seeing something instead of taking a necessary rest.  I have to be on a train tomorrow and exhausting myself makes me irritable and unpleasant, and no one wants that, least of all me.  As a result I missed the National Gallery today, which is a loss, but one I'm willing to take in service of not feeling like a zombie tomorrow.

I did see the British National Museum today.  One the one hand it was incredible to see such a huge collection of antiquities from around the world.  On the other it was sort of like Britain bragging about all the cool shit they stole when they were overseas.  I did enjoy the Roman treasure hoards hidden under English farmhouses and being able to see the Rosetta Stone up close.  Also I have no idea how anybody read cuneiform -- it takes a sharper eye than mine that's for sure.

Also, I did make it out to the Tower of London.  Had to take the tube which is not exact…

(Barely) Made it to Dublin

Well, I made it to Dublin.  Took some doing.  Got a great airfare out of Toronto with the caveat that I needed to take a ten hour layover in St Johns.  So I figured: Bonus, free day in Newfoundland.

St John's is a pretty city filled with nice people.  Smelled like the sea.  And a fair bit of weed. They like to blaze out there.

Went up to Signal Hill, the big central attraction which has a beautiful view of the harbor and the city and has historical significance not just for being a former fortification but the place where Marconi first heard the telltale beeps of the wireless coming across the ocean.  It was a good day even though I was exhausted at the start of it thanks to my overnight at Pearson, but I slept most of the flight out.

They almost didn't let me in to Ireland.  My fantastical dreams of meandering around Europe indefinitely got dashed pretty hard by the customs officer.  Apparently they don't love people who show up with no established exit time or ticket.  …