My First Trip to Memphis and Graceland 1999
Labor Day Weekend 1999 is when everything changed, my real Elvis fanaticism began (even though I had been an Elvis fan since I was a toddler watching Elvis movies on tv with my mom. It was my first trip to Memphis and Graceland. Mom, Dad and I arrived Friday September 3rd and left Monday September 6th. We had adjoining rooms at the Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel on Main Street. I wrote the following in my journal from that historic first trip:
“I finally went to Graceland!! We arrived in Memphis late Friday night. We had a quick bite and then headed for bed. Saturday was Elvis Day!!! We went to Graceland first thing. The house was great! I teared up a few times – while viewing Elvis’ last concert in the racquetball room where he was just hours before his death and of course at the grave site. I bought a lot of Elvis memorabilia at the many Elvis gift shops. Then we went across the street to the Heartbreak Hotel. Its lobby was SO tacky – I loved it! Our next stop was Sun Studio, which I loved! Just being in the same room where Elvis first recorded – and U2 in 1987. I bought some more stuff there. Then we went to Elvis Presley’s Memphis, an Elvis themed restaurant and bar on Beale Street. I had a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich. Yum! What a great day for an Elvis fan like myself! Can’t wait to get the pictures developed, so I can relive it all! Mom and Dad and I ate dinner at King’s Palace on Beale Street, then I met up with some friends I knew who had recently moved to Memphis. We spent most of our night at Alfred’s, but we also hit Rum Boogie and BB King’s. We drank and danced until after 4:30am. Sunday exhausted and hung over, I went to Mud Island with Mom and Dad – big disappointment. But I did enjoy seeing the Memphis Belle along with the WW2 propaganda film about it, but walking the model of the Mississippi River was boring especially in the heat and humidity. We had lunch at this little Irish Pub TJ Mulligans – it was good. Then we took a boat ride along the Mississippi. That was cool, but too long. We went to dinner at Corky’s BBQ, which was fantastic! After dinner, my friends picked me up and took me to the Tunica Casinos. Monday, our last day in Memphis, we saw the ducks at the Peabody Hotel, did some shopping on Beale Street, had burgers at Dyers, toured the Hunt-Phelan historical antebellum house, and drove by the Lorraine Motel (which is now converted into the National Civil Rights Museum). It was a great trip. I liked Memphis – it was a cool little city. I LOVED Graceland and Sun Studio.”
I did a lot on my first trip to Memphis 21 years ago. All I remembered was Graceland, Sun and Mud Island. Glad I saw the Memphis Belle as it is no longer there. Nice we went to the Pinch District (TJ Mulligans) – most people don’t go there. I am glad we toured the Hunt-Phelan and at least drove by the National Civil Rights Museum where I would work nine years later. Of course we saw the ducks at the Peabody Hotel, where I would work three years later. I must have been drunk that night on Beale Street because I don’t dance, or maybe I did when I was 26. I am so glad we ate at Elvis Presley’s Memphis as it is no longer there – pretty sure that was my first fried peanut butter and banana sandwich (still love them!). It was really a perfect first trip to Memphis and Graceland made even better that I got to experience with my parents. I liked Memphis so much that I would visit again three years later then move there a few months after that.
**I will post photos from this trip as soon as I dig through my boxes**
***Even though this post is dated Sept 1999, it was actually written Feb 2021***
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