Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Visit to Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee

** HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELVIS! Long live the King! **

It's really strange to grow up really close to a major landmark but never go see it. Isn't it? I think this is something that a lot of people do. Maybe you just take for granted that you can go anytime so you feel no urgency to go and as a result you never go at all?? Anybody else doing this in your life right now??

I grew up in Arkansas, about an hour away from Memphis and Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley, but I just never went to see it. Over Christmas break we had the rare opportunity to spend four wonderful nights with my family and we decided to make a quick trip over to visit the home of the King! 

I was super excited. I had heard soooo much about it. How gaudy it is. How emotional it is. How much it's like stepping back in a time machine. We took the girls with us to teach them a little more about an important chunk of rock 'n' roll history! It's important to us for our kids to be musically well-rounded - they are probably some of few 7 and 9 year olds who know all current pop songs but can also belt out everything from Beastie Boys to Black Crowes to Bob Marley to The Beatles! LOL! 

There is a massive tourist center across the street from Graceland where you park and buy your tickets. There are all kinds of exhibits here and, when you're ready, you load into a bus that drives you across the street and through the gates to climb the winding drive to the mansion. 

The self-guided tour is done with a headset and little hand held control box. It is easy to see how people spend lots and lots of time listening to all of the additional info that's available! 

One thing that's so striking about the inside of the mansion is the fact that the decor is all still exactly as it was when Elvis left the building in 1977. The upstairs is off limits out of respect to Elvis since, according to the tour, it was his private area when he lived there. The mansion is definitely kitschy but it's fabulous and you can see how it was the place to be in his time!! Here are some pics of the inside, decorated for the holidays with the same decorations that were used when he was there. 

Formal Living Room

Stairs to the private area

Any ghosts reflected up there??

His parents' room

Dining room set for holiday dinner

State of the art kitchen, just newly redone in 1977

Basement TV room (with awful creepy monkey)

Basement pool room, looks like inside of a genie bottle!

The much-discussed waterfall in the "jungle room"

The tour continues through outbuildings which include a massive hall of awards and a racquetball court that has been turned into an amazing room of trophies and stage costumes. 

View across the horse fields in the back

Lisa Marie's creepy swingset - can't you just see/hear this thing swinging and squeaking in the night???


Just a few of his awards.... wow.

The girls with maybe the hokiest painting ever

This paisley tux is pimp. And let's just be honest, I was mostly there for the clothes!

Plaque with just a portion of the many, many charities he helped. I know people personally who can attest to the fact that he gave out new cars all the time to strangers that he found nice or deserving!

Seriously. I want this!! 


Or one of these!! I bet I said "I want a jumpsuit!!!!" about 50 times! LOL! 

The tour concludes at the graves of Elvis and his family. I guess I had forgotten that he was buried here and it kind of caught me off guard. It was a cold, overcast day, which are the worst for visiting burial sites anyway. Before long I had to keep on walking to stop the tears :(

After we toured the mansion we walked through a few of the visitor center exhibits and they were great!

So many fun cars! 


All aboard the private plane! 

Bed on the Lisa Marie. All seat belts have real gold buckles!

All in all, the place is amazing. It is truly breathtaking to see what ONE PERSON'S life can be. He was only 42 when he died but he lived one of the biggest lives imaginable. We spent tons of time over the next couple of days googling all of the drama in his life and the controversies and conspiracies surrounding his death. The whole story is fascinating! 

I would go back again and again and again. If you get the chance, GO! So inspiring and touching and perfect.


  1. It is so awesome to see the photos! We went, but to be honest, we went to graceland with the WORST HANGOVERS OF OUR LIVES. Seriously, there was a shuttle from downtown, and I paid the dude a $20 to drop us off at the hotel on the way back. Because I couldn't stand it for another second (to be on the van). I think it's awesome that they decorate it!

    1. Hahahaha!!

      That's soooo funny. Probably way more of a rock star way to see it than we did. Elvis would be proud! ;)