I'm going to Graceland

I'm going to Graceland

I’m going to Graceland,Graceland.
I’m going to Graceland.
Poor boys and pilgrims with families.
And we’re going to Graceland.

Have you ever gone somewhere that you know is going to be cheesy, but you go anyways? I just did that last Friday. I went to Graceland.

It was a weekend in Memphis. My niece plays softball for a small college in Memphis. Her parents were going there to see her play, so I decided to join them. Three days of family, BBQ, sports and touring in Tennessee.

We’ve had this planned for a few weeks. We know there are certain things that we want/need to see. I’m not the biggest Elvis fan, but even I know that we have to make that pilgrimage to the home of the King. You’ve got to pay your respects.

Our plane lands at eleven. We can’t check into the hotel until three. Four hours to kill. First stop is the shrine.

I ask the rental car person how do you get to Graceland. The good news is he doesn’t say practice, practice, practice. It’s five minutes from the airport. How convenient. Only two streets. “Take Winchester to Elvis Presley Blvd. Turn left and you’re there.” 

I don’t know why I was so surprised to find a street named after Elvis, in Memphis? I don’t know why I was so surprised to find out Graceland was on his street. Maybe I should have read the website a little more closely?

After a quick bad lunch (no bbq, Wendy’s…why?), we are now at the home of the King. Well, at least we’re in the parking lot of the King. Ten bucks to park. That’s not such a bad deal considering you can’t park anywhere else. They could have doubled or tripled that.

We make it inside the building. It’s not the main house, but the place where your afternoon of all things Elvis will start. We already have our tickets. I bought them off that website that I barely looked at. Forty-Two bucks! Senior rate! Being old pays off again! Now it’s time to check out the gift shop. There’s music in the background. Guess who? There are about ten different kinds of coffee mugs that you can own for around $15/each. Maybe you need a new t-shirt that has writing on the front that lets everyone know you’re a hunka burning love? You’re in luck! They have that, too!

I escaped from the gift shop with all my money still in my wallet. It’s time to go to Graceland!

Not quite yet, dude. First you head to room with the rest of the one o’clock tour group. You see a short film, which I zoned on, that explains a few things. I’d tell you more about it but like I said, I zoned on it. Sorry. Then a guy comes in to have a chat with us. I think he explained how the tour was going to go, but there was more zoning. Sorry, again. But c’mon already, I’m a poor boy and a pilgrim and I want to go to Graceland already.

The speech is finally over and he led us to the shuttle bus that takes us across the street to Graceland….FINALLY! I thanked him…thanked him very much. The guy sitting next to me said he wanted to say that. I told him that he would probably have many more opportunities in the next two hours to do that. He did…and he did!

We’re in line for the shuttle, in the rain…oh btw, did I mention it was a brutally cold, rainy day in Memphis?…and we’re handed headsets with Ipads. It’s going to be a guided tour. Guess who is our audio tour guide? John Stamos! Do you remember when he played Uncle Jesse on “Full House” that he had an Elvis fixation? I guess that carried over to real life. Yanno, this kind of thing could lead to a new source of income for him. He can do the guided tours for Elvis, all the Beach Boys homes and the upcoming prison cell that will be housing Aunt Becky/Lori Loughlin.

Here’s some Graceland 411 for you…I was told that Graceland owns more than 800 Ipads.

We finally make it across the street. Honestly, we could have walked there much faster. Before they let us into the house, another tour guide wants to tell us a few things…IN THE POURING RAIN! I have never seen such a big big build up for anything. It can’t be that great, can it? I’m going to be let down, aren’t I?

Hey, look at this. We are inside. It’s not cold and rainy in here. I finally made it. I’m inside Graceland! WOOOOO!

I know that this is a piece of musical history, but what I’m seeing is a house with a lot of rooms that looks like it’s stuck in the 1960-70’s. Plus there are a lot of pictures of Elvis on the wall. I guess his fans sent him their drawings/paintings and he felt a need to show them off. What an ego on that guy.

There’s actually a lot of similarities between Graceland and my parent’s house in Highland Park, Illinois. Elvis had a pool table. We had one in our basement…and not just a basement…a finished basement. Elvis had a swimming pool. We had one in our backyard. Elvis had a big RCA tv that the company gave him, in 1970, for selling over five hundred million albums. We had the same one and ours even had a stereo attached to it. Music and tv in one big box. One upped you there, Big E. Elvis has his grave on the side of the house. Creepy AF! That’s where the similarities end. I’m happy to say that my parents are not buried on anywhere on Lynn Terrace.

Talking about creepy AF, I was told there is a woman who shows up at Graceland every day, before they officially open to the public, and visits his grave to do whatever someone like that would do at his grave.

So after an hour or so of looking around a house, you shuttle back to parking lot. We took the basic tour. You can pay more to see his plane, but why would you? Hey, I just got off a bigger airplane less than two hours earlier….thank you, American Eagle. Thank you very much. There’s a final opportunity to purchase some Elvis swag or maybe get a drink from the Elvis diner. Yanno…a whole lot of Shaking going on? (I know that’s Jerry Lee Lewis, but they were buds).

Look at the time. We can head to the hotel. I can cross Graceland off my “must see” list. I was right. It really was cheesy. Oh yeah, grilled cheese is another thing you can buy in the diner. Ladies and gentlemen, I’ll be here all week. HA!

Thank you. Thank you very much.

ooh, ooh, ooh
In Graceland, Graceland
I’m going to Graceland
For reasons I can’t explain
There’s some part of me that wants to see
And I may be obliged to defend
Every love, every ending
Or maybe there’s no obligations now
Maybe I’ve a reason to believe
We all will be received
In Graceland

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