Graceland

On our second day in Memphis we made our way to Graceland. It wasn’t that we necessarily wanted to go, but it was just one of those things that we felt we had to see at least once in our lifetime. Sorry if that offends any Elvis fans out there.

In my humble opinion, Graceland is way over-rated and way over-priced. Standing in the heat didn’t make the visit any more enjoyable either, but again, if we’re in Memphis we have to at least visit Graceland and then cross it off our list of places to see.

So, we purchase our tickets and are told which group we’re in. Lili is getting fussy, which isn’t a good sign and since we have some time we set off to find something to drink. There we purchase our first souvenir, a Graceland water bottle. Dave also finds some Skittles in the hope that Lili a sugar fix will cheer Lili right up. It worked to a point.

It’s getting closer to tour time so we make our way outside and wait for them to call our group number so we can stand in line. After a 15 or 20 minute wait we hop on a small bus for a drive across the street to Graceland where we get to stand in line for another 5 minutes waiting for the group ahead of us to enter. We then made our way to the front porch. Yes, the very porch Elvis stood on. We were given our instructions . . . .

*No flash photography – Not a problem because Lili has to be held during the tour so taking pictures just isn’t a real possibility.
*No video taping allowed – Again, not a problem because Lili has to be held during the tour and I didn’t bring the video camera.
*No food or drinks inside Graceland
*No stroller inside Graceland – Thus the reason Lili has to be held during the tour. If I didn’t hold her she would be the child climbing on all of Elvi’s furniture in Graceland. Of course then I could take pictures. LOL!!!

We then entered the front door. Now prior to our trip to Memphis Dave learned a little piece of trivia that they don’t share on the tour. Elvis died in one of the bathrooms at Graceland and that bathroom is directly above the entry. So now we’re standing right below the place Elvis died. Yes, that’s a bit morbid I know.

We begin our walk through the house, which back in the day was quite the place. However, by today’s standards it really isn’t much at all. The house is small in comparison to some of the other homes we saw in Memphis. Of course they don’t allow anyone to tour the entire house. Only the first floor and basement are allowed to be seen, so the true size of the house isn’t really known.

The one part of the tour I did enjoy was going through the trophy house. It was fun looking at all the gold and platinum albums and finding songs that we know. That truly was a little walk down memory lane.

The pool looked nice as well, but Lili had a lot of trouble understanding why we couldn’t go for a swim.

After Graceland we headed to our next BBQ food stop, Neely’s Interstate BBQ. Again, it was ribs for everyone except Lili and me. Lili went for the hot dog and fries and I chose the pulled pork sandwich and onion rings. The consensus among the rib eaters was the ribs were better than the ribs at Rendezvous, but the BBQ wasn’t that great. There was much discussion about how nice it would have been to have the Rendezvous BBQ sauce and the Neely’s ribs. My sandwich was good, but the onion rings were some of the best I have ever had. So good in fact that a 2nd order was placed for the table. Neely’s was also the place that started me on my “sweet tea” kick.

After lunch we headed back to the hotel for nap time. We got the guys and Lili down for their naps and my sister-in-law and I headed out to find souvenirs to take home. We had searched for some at Graceland, by like most tourist places everything was pretty expensive. We wanted to find some cheaper Memphis t-shirts. We managed to find some at a Walgreens down the street from the hotel, but finding much of anything was hard to do. I did managed to get t-shirts for 2 of the boys and me, but that was all I could find. We still had another day though so maybe we would have better luck tomorrow.

After shopping we headed back to the hotel and decided to go for a swim. Lili was just waking from her nap and wasn’t quite sure what she wanted at that point, but we knew we needed to have some exercise and the pool was the best place for that.

Swim time was over and it was time to get cleaned up and ready for dinner. We decided to skip BBQ and set off to find one of Lili’s favorite foods – fried chicken. We had seen a place on the Food Network or Travel Channel called Gus’s Fried Chicken and had to try it. Let’s just say that Gus’s got a thumbs up from everyone in our group. It was very enjoyable and I can honestly say it was the best friend chicken I have ever had. I typically pull the crust/skin off the chicken before I eat it, but it was so good and all the skin was removed before breading and frying. If we ever get back to Memphis, Gus’s will be on the list of places to stop.

Up to this point I hadn’t done a very good job in the picture taking department, but I did have Dave try to get one photo on the way to Graceland.

The van was moving and he didn’t get the camera centered, but the sign says “Elvis Presley Boulevard.” At least it was a start 🙂

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