Since I was about 14 I've been obsessed with Elvis. So going to Memphis was a huge deal, the fact that we lost a day of our stay to crazy travel experiences put pressure on everything that we wanted to do, but the one thing I had to do, above all - was go to Graceland. Even if I didn't get to eat any bbq, drink any bourbon or listen to some blue - I was going to Graceland. End of story.
And I did!
We got a bus from Sun Studios, there'll be a post about that later. It was included in the price of their tour and I couldn't recommend it enough, go!
So when you arrive you get to an information center where you can buy tickets, go to the gift shops and catch the buses to the house. The buses go every 20 minutes I think they said, all day pretty much - which shows you ho many people go through Graceland every day. Having said that, it never felt crowded or that you had to compete with others for space.
When you first enter the grounds you go through the iconic music sheet gates, it's impossible to get pictures in front of it which is a shame but they do have a photo booth gift shop picture they do. You go straight up to the house to begin the audio tour. I think a lot of people expect the actual house to be bigger, but considering Elvis bought it when he was 21, not being born with a silver spoon in his mouth this place was a palace to him. I couldn't believe I was finally there being able to take lots and lots, and lots of pictures! They've kept it as close to original as they can, keeping the decor just as he had it. The only place you couldn't go was upstairs, this is obviously where he died so it's nice they didn't turn it into a freak show for all the sickos out there.
Look, I'm in Elvis's house!
The audio tour was really good actually as you went through it room by room and could stop and explore parts where you wanted to. The house certainly packs the wow factor, it was stunning, there are simply no other words. You could really imagine him running down the stairs glittering in gold into the downstairs.
Everything was roped off so you couldn't really touch anything, so I made sure I touched all of the door handles etc, he must have touched those! Yes, I am crazy. I don't even need to say how gorgeous the downstairs was, you can see for yourself.
Next we went on to the kitchen, which to be honest didn't blow me away. But thinking about it, it seems like it would have been based on his mother's kitchen, really homely and warm. This took us downstairs to his games and TV room. Every room seemed to have it's own theme, totally crazy but fascinating, you will never see another house like it.
I loved how retro the TV room was, the blue and the yellow were really eye catching and you could just imagine them all sitting down there having a party with the massive bar and the huge sofa. Then there was the pool room, floor to ceiling fabric, never seen anything like it!
The craziest room of all must have been the family living room, with the jungle theme. The walls were lined with green shag carpet (no laughing). With animal statues everywhere, wood on the other walls it definitely seemed like his family would have had a lot of fun growing up here, and that he wanted to create rooms where everyone enjoyed being in. Who wouldn't want a jungle room growing up?!
OK, The Hall Of Gold. I really don't need to say much. You walk in first to a time line of Elvis' career and you see some old memorabilia and a pieces of clothing, which leads you into the hall. It seems never ending, gold plate after gold plate, award after award. It really is amazing. From all of the world, check Norway!
Then you go through to the clothing part, full of old concert posters, iconic clothes from his tours and movies, my favourite was the wedding clothes, and also the leather 2 piece. It also gave you clips and pictures so you could see him wearing it. What was really nice was that they didn't focus too much on when he went downhill, they really showed him at his best - which is what it's all about isn't it?
The best part, which I didn't expect at all, is the last room. You're not allowed to take video but I took some panoramic videos as it really was - in a word - breathtaking. You think you saw discs in that room before? Think again. You think you saw awesome white jumpsuits before? THINK AGAIN, PEOPLE! Behold. They also had 'If I Can Dream' playing, my favourite.
We also couldn't not see the graves, I loved that he included the Taking Care of Business
We also went to the car museum, it needs it's own post. Stay tuned.