Today I went to the Happiest Place on Earth, Graceland!
It was a wonderful day. The weather was perfect (sunny, warm and no humidity) and there weren’t many people there. I decided to take the VIP tour since I haven’t been since Elvis’ birthday in January and won’t be back until after Elvis week in August. With the VIP tour you can visit the mansion as many times as you like, you get your own shuttle to and from the mansion, you get access to an extra exhibit, and you get a tour of the grounds behind the mansion.
My favorite part of Graceland is the foyer/staircase/ living room area. You really can feel Elvis there. Elvis greeted his guests in the foyer and entertained them in the living room. And the staircase leads to the elusive upstairs where Elvis’ bedroom is, where no one is allowed to go. The music room off the living room is where Elvis’ funeral was and where he was laid out. That whole area is very special to me and where I like to spend as much time as possible.
My second favorite spot on the tour is Vernon’s office because it shows my favorite video of Elvis upon his return from the Army. It has my favorite Elvis quote, “Someone asked me what I missed about Memphis, and I said everything.” This is my favorite look for Elvis. The press conference was held in Vernon’s office and you can see the same chair Elvis was sitting in.
I like to spend a little time in the backyard watching the horses. Some are descendants of Elvis’ horses and some are horses that Priscilla rescued.
The Trophy Building contains awards, gold records, movie memorbilia, and other aspects of Elvis’ life. My favorite part of this building is the display depicting Elvis winning the United States Jaycees award for One of the Ten Outstanding Young Men in the Nation for 1970. It was the only awards ceremony Elvis ever attended. He was really proud of this and took the award everywhere with him. I love his acceptance speech where he quoted from Roy Hamilton’s ‘Without a Song.’
I get choked up every time I visit the Racquetball court building because that is where the piano is that Elvis played for the last time the morning of August 16, 1977. He played ‘Unchained Melody.’
I like to spend a lot of time in the Meditation Garden. It is just as the name says – peaceful. After paying my respects at Elvis’ grave and the graves of his family, I just sit for a while and relax. The calming of the fountain is wonderful.
Across the street from the mansion is the car museum, the airplanes, elvis lives, sincerely elvis and many, many shops. This is the only place I like to shop.
I almost escaped without buying one souvenir, but then I saw a tee shirt that I had to have. And after touring everything and going into all the shops, I went through the mansion one more time. And this time I was pretty much there alone, which was wonderful!