What girls’ weekend is not complete without a date with a king? The King of Rock N’ Roll, that is!
Memphis, Tennessee is just a 2½ hour drive south of my home in Missouri, making it easy to escape for a weekend with a few of my closest friends. On my bucket list for the girls weekend, visiting Graceland home of Elvis Presley.
While driving to Graceland and during our visit I learned a lot of interesting facts, or what people thought they knew about Graceland. Graceland is a pretty stunning place, but what I learned, heard, or caught my attention may not be what Graceland is best known for.
1. Elvis has passed away, or so his grave stone on the grounds of Graceland says. I was a bit shocked to learn that people actually cry when they see his grave in Elvis’ Meditation Gardens. I felt completely inadequate when I did not stand and stare at Elvis’ grave, I am an Elvis fan, but I just did not have that special connection. As I approached the grave-site there was twenty people surrounding the grave having what appeared to be a moment of silence for Elvis, people truly still admire The King of Rock N’ Roll.
2. When looking at today’s homes in comparison to Elvis’ home, his home would be considered out of date. When my gal pal loudly announced that Elvis’ house is so out of date in a room full of Elvis fanatics, it was time to duck and run. I assume she thought that they kept his house in working condition, I do not know. The house is unlived in and completely redone as a museum in tribute to Elvis and his family, furniture is either roped off or covered in plastic to preserve it. The decor is exactly how Elvis had it in the 1970’s.
3. The tour of Graceland is a self guided audio tour, this is good and bad. I enjoyed the audio tour, because it gave me time to stop and enjoy what I really wanted to, and skip what did not interest me. However, I felt I missed something on the tour by not having that one on one attention of a tour guide, I always feel I get the best tour when I hear personal experiences of those who work there.
4. Graceland is very busy, our shuttle bus held 30 people and there was not an empty seat, every line had at least 10 or more people waiting to tour each area. Expect to wait, wait, and wait more. If you are traveling with small children, this could be tough, as I know how my kids tend to get bored fast.
5. There is more to see than just Elvis’ home, you also have a chance to see Elvis’ personal planes, his automobile collections, a small history museum of his time in Las Vegas, and many shops and eateries.
6. Graceland is not the most kid friendly destination, now Graceland happily welcomes children, in fact ages 6 and under are free. However, it was hard enough to keep my gal pal who has the need to touch everything under control, I could only imagine how many rules my 6 year old would have broke. I saw plenty of young children there and they seemed to enjoy themselves, but as a mom I would wait until they are older and can truly appreciate Graceland.
7. Lisa Marie is not at Graceland, the Lisa Marie at Graceland is actually Elvis’ airplane, which is stunning. I nearly choked when someone asked if Lisa Marie was there, we could only wish.
8. You can visit Elvis and his family’s gravesites for free. There is a special period of time for free-admission walk-up visits to the Meditation Garden at Graceland. Walk-up times are daily from 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m The Meditation Garden is stunning and worth a visit, even if you have no desire to see Graceland.
9. The famous Jungle Room does not look like a jungle. I was slightly disappointed when I stepped in this room; all this time I had envisioned flying monkeys or something. The Jungle Room in my opinion is the most tastefully decorated room in the home, minus the green shag carpet. I think this room showed Elvis’ true personality and that he appreciated nice and maybe not so gaudy things as would assume when we look at his costumes.
10. Cameras are welcome; however, you must turn off your flash and video recording is not allowed.