Where We Be
|Graceland is fairly small and ordinary looking on the outside for such a wealthy megastar
|Graceland -- Memphis, Tennessee
|Graceland is the place to pay tribute to Elvis the man and Elvis the legend
We liked Graceland a lot: we thought it was
quirky and whimsical and reflected the spirit of
a man who didn’t take himself or his fame too
seriously. Clearly Elvis Presley liked having a
good time and wasn’t too concerned about
what others thought about him. Graceland is
sort of like an ode to the '70s with its shag
carpeting and dated decorations and appli-
ances, but it is frankly a fairly small and casual
home for such a wealthy megastar. The Jungle
Room was the most memorable room, of
course, with its shag carpeting on both the
ceiling and the floor, wood-paneled walls, brick-
stepped waterfall, and eclectic decorations
such as furry armchairs and funky lampshades.
The audio tour provided a good overview of
the house and grounds – from the black-and-
yellow TV room with three TVs playing at the
same time to the colorful billiards room and
shag-covered hallways. One of the best things
about visiting in early January was the lack of
crowds. We were able to take our time in each
room and no one pressured us to keep moving.
Other buildings housed his countless awards
and provided a timeline of the early years and
his later comeback. His increasingly flashy
costumes were on display. A separate building
housed his vintage autos and toys, including
(most memorably) a snowmobile altered to run
on dry ground since Memphis rarely got much
snow. Home movies of Elvis with Priscilla and
Lisa Marie showed his fun and human side.
Our Platinum Pass ($36 each) also allowed us
to step aboard his two jet airplanes. The Lisa
Marie, named after his daughter, includes a
gold-plated washbasin and solid-gold seat-
belts. It served as his “Graceland in the sky.”
Our final stop was the Meditation Garden,
where Elvis is buried next to his home. Built
around a circular fountain, it offers a pleasant
spot where his fans can pay tribute to the King.
|You can't see the shag carpeting on the Jungle Room ceiling in this photo, but it's there (partly for sound dampening as Elvis recorded music here)
|Tacky or quirky? You decide! Graceland has been called garish, tasteless, and white trash -- but hey, we liked it anyway!
|Lisa Marie's swing set in the back yard
|View of the main house from the back yard
|The other buildings at Graceland are filled with memorabilia, awards, and tributes to Elvis -- like the Hall of Gold featuring his gold and platinum records
|. Elvis got his musical start at Sun Studios right here in Memphis
|Display case filled with Elvis trinkets and memorabilia
|Shag carpeting on the hallway walls
|This is the family room, the first room you see as you begin your tour of the main house. It's just to the right of the entryway.
|The main stairway is straight ahead of the entryway (we didn't have access to the upstairs). Poinsettias everywhere!
|Elvis furnished this bedroom for his parents. He had promised to provide for them if he ever made it big, and boy, did he ever.
|The dining room is just to the left of the entryway
|The wet bar at the bottom of the stairs is decorated in black and yellow
|The black-and-yellow theme carries over to the TV room, just beyond the bar. Notice the three TVs playing three separate channels.
|The billiards room is quite colorful. There's even a rip in the far right corner of the billiards table where one of Elvis' friends tried to make a trick shot.
|Elvis went to high school and began his musical career in Memphis so his roots run deep here
|The kitchen definitely has a 70s vibe
|The famous and wonderfully kitschy Jungle Room with its indoor brick-stepped waterfall
|The small separate building behind the swing set was used as an office
|Elvis was the first musical megastar of the rock and roll era. He even had a lipstick named after him!
|Elvis' fatigues from his two-year stint in the Army. He served in Germany
and met 14-year-old Priscilla there, who became his wife 7 years later.
|This room is stacked to the rafters with reminders of Elvis' awards and the impact he made on popular culture
|Elvis' final resting place in the Meditation Garden just outside his home
|One of Elvis' favorite guitars
|A separate building housed Elvis' vintage automobiles, including this gorgeous Rolls Royce
|Notice the snowmobile in the center of this photo, which Elvis had altered with wheels so he could use it in Memphis despite the lack of snow!
|This pink Cadillac was one of Elvis' favorites
|Just three examples of the dozens of over-the-top costumes Elvis
wore when performing and which are on display here at Graceland
|At one point this building housed a racketball court! Elvis played the piano seen here on the day of his death on August 16, 1977.
|A tribute to Elvis in the Meditation Garden: "Elvis time is anytime!"
|This part of the Automobile Museum captures the feel of a '50s drive-in
|The Lisa Marie is Elvis' customized jet. On one occasion he convinced his friends to fly out to Denver in the middle of the night just to
try a new concoction he had heard about: a deep-fried peanut butter sandwich with bananas and bacon! He loved it so much he bought
the recipe and had his personal chef ready to make it at a moment’s notice. Over time this strange treat became closely associated with Elvis.
|The gold-plated washbasin and the solid gold seatbelts in the Lisa Marie are definitely deserving of The King