One morning, Rick, Mom, and I were having breakfast when we notice that we were about to run out of our special cherry jelly and apple butter. Of course, that meant it was time for a road trip. So, we loaded up the car and were off on another adventure thru Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and into Branson, Missouri searching for that special cherry jelly and apple butter. After a couple of days of driving through the Ozarks and up to St. Louis, with no luck on the jelly, we saw a road sign for Memphis. And, knowing that Mom had always wanted to go to Graceland, (Bucket Listed) as she just loves Elvis Presley, we decided to take a small detour. Memphis, Tennessee – here we come!
I had driven by Graceland many years prior, but I had never taken a tour inside. Now, pulling up this time, I noticed it was very, very different. Graceland is now a complete park. It is huge with museums, restaurants, sound stage, shops with lots of Elvis souvenirs, and a hotel (The Guesthouse at Graceland) nearby. Elvis’ home across the street, which used to be considered Graceland is now Graceland Mansion, and our first stop.
Coming through the gates to Graceland Mansion, you get this feeling of stepping back in time a bit and into Elvis’ personal life. It is amazing. When you walk in the front door, you are greeted by the beautiful white staircase that leads up to Elvis’ private rooms and bedroom, which we did not get to see. To the right, is the living room. Where you will see a huge white couch and peacock stained glass windows leading into the white baby grand piano room. Straight past the staircase, you will see Elvis’ parents’ room. To the left, is the dining room, with a gorgeous dining room set decked out for visitors. You will also see a picture of Priscilla and Lisa Marie on the wall.
A little further, you will see the kitchen as well as the downstairs the TV room and billiard room. This is where Elvis did a lot of entertaining and family time. Another room that you will see, and my favorite, is the jungle room. Yes, it is odd and weird looking, but that’s part of the beauty of it. Look at all the hand carved furniture and decorations – very unique. I could see Elvis and his friends having fun in this room.
Next, going out the back of the Mansion, you will come to a small building, “the office,” where Elvis and his father worked a lot. But a look past that, you will see the beautiful pastors, stables, and horses running around. By the way, these horses are rescues taken in by the Presley Estate. What a wonderful thing to do!
Continuing to the left on the grounds, you will also see other buildings and entertainment areas. You will see the handball court building. Then, another building that I think was originally used for recording, but now a museum of private photos, clothing, artwork, and things special to Elvis. And, you will also see the Mansion’s cozy pool. The whole area was built for fun. A place that Elvis could relax, kick back, and put his roots down with his family and friends.
And, the final area on the Mansion grounds, that I want to point out is the Memorial. This is where Elvis’ tombstone, his parents (Gladys & Vernon), and grandmother (Minnie) are buried. There is also a stone for Jesse, Elvis’ stillborn twin brother. It is very inspirational and moving.
Back across the street at Graceland, there is a ton to see and explore. You can spend a good day looking at everything, and still may not get through all of it. You can see museums with Elvis’ cars and motorized toys, as well as lots of records, every type of Elvis memorabilia you can think of, and Elvis’ costumes everywhere. There is also a restaurant named Gladys’, after Elvis’ mom. Just about anything Elvis can been seen at Graceland.
And, for all of you Rock & Roll and Elvis lovers out there, Graceland is now considered a Historical Landmark. According to Wikipedia:
“Graceland Mansion was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on November 7, 1991 and designated a National Historic Landmark on March 27, 2006.  Graceland was the first site related to rock and roll to be entered in the National Register of Historic Places. ”
The last thing that I want to touch on is Elvis’ private planes, Lisa Marie & Hound Dog II, that can be seen at Graceland. On our tour, we could go through them and heard lots of history. One tidbit of entertaining odd history we heard was about the Legendary Sandwich Run:
Accordingly, on February 1, 1976, Elvis took some of his friends on a trip to Denver and back in his plane, just to get peanut butter, jelly, and bacon sandwiches. He thought they were the best sandwiches anywhere and wanted his friends to try them.
Yalp, bacon. And, here I thought it was peanut butter and bananas all this time. I stand corrected!
Now, I understand dedication, craving a certain acquired taste, and wanting to share it with your friends. But that may have been a bit extreme. But again, this whole trip started, because we were running out of a special Cherry Jelly and Apple Butter.
Happy Adventures & See You Again Soon,
PS. To see more of our Graceland Photos, click here. AND, please feel free to COMMENT on this post AT THE BOTTOM of the main post page.