Memphis – Day 2 (Graceland)

Neither of us is a big Elvis fan, but we just couldn’t come to Memphis without seeing Graceland. The King himself greeted us in the ticket lobby.

The Elvis Experience started with a short movie about Elvis, then a van ride across Elvis Presley Boulevard that took us to the mansion itself. We had to wait for two other groups to go into the mansion, but then it was our turn.

The mansion tour only included the ground floor and basement; the family living quarters upstairs was off limits. The house reminded me of my house in the ’70s, except that Elvis had a lot more room and money for decor than we did.

Living Room, leading to the Music Room
Formal Dining Room

Even a family with the resources of the Presleys couldn’t escape the clutches of Harvest Gold and Avocado Green.

Elvis had TVs all over the house, but his TV Room had three (just like the White House). He also had a great sound system. And, of course, a bar.

I could see myself spending time in the Pool Room.

The Den (which the press renamed as the “Jungle Room”) was interesting. And dark.

And that finished our tour of the Mansion. But there was much more to see before we boarded the van to return to the other side, like this model of Elvis’s birthplace.

Our next stop was the Trophy Room, loaded with memorabilia, like his first bike.

Elvis sold 50 million records for RCA between 1956 and 1960, and they gave him this TV as a thank you. It’s not even HD!

Elvis was a big supporter of law enforcement and collected badges and patches from all over. He actually was appointed a captain in the Memphis and Denver Police Departments.

We left the Trophy Room and walked over to the Racquetball Court building; besides the court, it had dressing rooms, a Jacuzzi, and a great room to sit and relax.

Elvis loved horses, and Graceland still has quite a few.

Our final stop before leaving the complex was the Meditation Garden, where Elvis and much of his family is buried. I was surprised to see a Star of David on his mother’s original headstone.

That finished our tour of Graceland…but Elvis Presley’s Memphis awaited at the other end of our van ride. We started by seeing the Presley Motors Automobile Museum with some of Elvis’s favorite cars like this pink Cadillac.

There was much much more to see throughout the property (including many videos of Elvis performing). I’m only going to show a few highlights from the various exhibits, like his 1956 Gibson guitar.

And these buttons (and other merch). Oy!

Elvis sometimes wore this Chai necklace (on and off stage).

And what Elvis experience would be complete without walls and walls of jumpsuits?

We ended our day by visiting Elvis’s airplanes; he had a small business jet that his manager, Col. Tom Parker, often used to go to cities and ensure everything was OK before Elvis arrived for a tour date. But his pride and joy was the Lisa Marie, a Convair 880 which Delta Airlines used to fly.

Naturally, the interior of the plane was over the top. The seatbelt buckles were gold-plated, and not only was the guest lavatory lavishly decorated, but it was huge (by airplane standards).

As we left Graceland, I had only two regrets. I wished I’d brought along a USB-C cable so I could charge my phone (I was nursing it the last couple of hours we were there so I’d have enough juice to call a Lyft to get us back to the Peabody) and I wished we hadn’t had a very indifferent pizza for lunch at Gladys’s Diner.