I was torn on this one on whether to pick Graceland or Gladys, Elvis’ mother, for my ‘G’ Elvis topic for my A to Z Blogging Challenge. But in the end I went with Graceland as it is the happiest place on earth to me. While Elvis, I am sure would have went with his most favorite person in the world, his mother Gladys.
I have been to Graceland countless times since I first visited in 1999. When I lived in Memphis, I had an annual pass and would go at least once a month. Since I moved in 2011, I have gone about two to three times a year. I am never more excited than when I am walking through the front door of Graceland. It has a certain smell – a good smell. It also has a certain feeling. Don’t get the net out or anything, but I can feel Elvis there. You can definitely feel his presence. It’s a calming feeling.
I am honestly never as happy as I am when I am standing in the Graceland foyer looking into the living room and then up the stairs where we’re not allowed to go (Elvis’ bedroom). I imagine Elvis walking down the stairs and then into the living room entertaining his friends. I get a bit of sadness looking into the music room because I know that is where Elvis’ coffin was and his funeral in the living room. And before that his coffin was in the foyer for fans to pay their last respects. I spend as much time as I can in the living room and foyer letting tours pass me by, so I can have a little alone time in my favorite place.
I enjoy the rest of the house too. Like everyone, I enjoy looking at the Jungle Room, which Elvis called the den. The basement is fun with its three televisions. I oddly really love Vernon’s office in the backyard because that is where Elvis’ return from the army press conference took place with the same chair Elvis was sitting in and they play the press conference right next to it. For some reason, I just love that! The racquetball court is another favorite, but a sad favorite as it is the last time Elvis sang. I just look at that piano and imagine him singing “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” and “Unchained Melody” the morning of his death. Although now I don’t have to imagine it because they are playing it over the loud speakers, which is even more heart wrenching. And of course the Elvis’ grace in the Meditation Garden is equally as sad. If I have the VIP tour, I often go back into the house and stand in the foyer and living room one more time before I leave. And then I usually come back up at the end of the day to walk through it all again – and to be the last one inside so I can have that alone time (with the staff) in the happiest place on earth. This past New Year’s, I was the last person inside Graceland in 2017 and the first person through in 2018.
Click here to see my photos from Graceland this past New Year’s Day.
What is your favorite movie, song, book, topic about Elvis that begins with ‘G’? Please comment below. Check back Monday to see what ‘H’ topic I’ve chosen for Elvis, as my A to Z April Blogging Challenge continues here.