Yesterday I posed the question; 'what is there to do in Memphis?' Well there is really only one thing that you HAVE to do in Memphis, and that my friends is to head to Graceland. For some reason, overtime I say the word, Paul Simon's title track and hit from the album 'Graceland' immediately infiltrates my mind.
Graceland is obviously the home of Elvis Presley from 1957 until his death on 16 August 1977 and incidentally is the most visited home in the US with in excess of 600 000 visitors walking through the home (or 599 995 if you don't count the Plekkers). However, it seems that all of those 599 995 visitors all seemed to have turned up on the same day as we did. This required lots of standing around waiting to proceed to the next thing, that's okay except that whilst standing outside, the temperature in Memphis reached a maximum of three degrees celsius but was below zero for most of the day. I'm sure our friends in Australia will appreciate what we are currently experiencing...not.
The tour we took was the Platinum tour plus aircraft. Did someone say, 'aircraft'? The Platinum tour includes access to walk through the mansion 'Graceland' plus visit Elvis' car collection and his two aircraft. Touring the house was really informative with the aid of iPads for everyone and a helpful narration by John Stamos who is apparently a huge Elvis fan. The house is (let's just say)...very '70s. The coordination of the public moving through the house and other exhibits seemed a little disorganised, which seems strange because I figured that after having this mansion open to the public for the past 32 years, they would have this down pat.
There was much to learn about Elvis including that he was the first artist to achieve one billion record sales and that he was the first Hollywood actor to receive more than a Million dollars to star in a movie. I also never knew that his personal logo as seen on the tail of his Convair 880 private jet:
|Elvis' private Convair 880 was actually ex-Delta Airlines N8809E|
'TCB' followed by a lightning bolt, which stands for; 'Taking Care of Business - In a flash' and it was apparently something the King (no I'm not talking about Lebron James) was famous for. The mansion was not as large as we were expecting, but I assume that largesse in 2014 is quite different to largesse back in the 1970s.
|Do we look cold? Because we were|
|I'm going to Graceland, Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee...|
|Everywhere you look there are Oak trees|
|Maureen and Schuyler in the Living Room at Graceland|
|Elvis' Parents Bedroom|
|The Dining Room. Apparently it is still used from time-to-time|
|The Television Room with three TVs to enable Elvis to watch the three major networks at the same time|
|The Pool Room. Check out the funky ceiling|
|The famous Jungle Room...I think it hurt my eyes|
|Some more Jungle Room...|
|Graceland from the back|
|The Trophy Room|
|This is actually the Racquet Ball Court that has been converted to a Museum Display Room|
|The King died at aged 42, way too young for the King of Rock and Roll|
|Graceland from the front|
|More Oak Trees|
|Thank you very much...Ray has left the building|
After touring Graceland, we checked out Elvis' two private jets, a Convair 880 called 'Lisa Marie' (named for his Daughter) and a Lockheed JetStar called 'Hound Dog II'. Interestingly, Elvis had actually tried to purchase a Boeing 707 and paid a deposit, but the deal fell through. Both aircraft are currently being offered for sale.
|Elvis' Convair 880 ' Lisa Marie'|
|Me in front of Elvis' Convair 880 ' Lisa Marie'|
|Schuyler about to enter Elvis' Convair 880 ' Lisa Marie'|
|The Convair 880's Cockpit|
|Stepping out the back of Elvis' Convair 880 ' Lisa Marie'|
|General Electric CJ-805-3B turbojet|
|Engines One and Two of Elvis' Lockheed JetStar 'Hound Dog II'|
|Lockheed JetStar 'Hound Dog II' Cockpit|
|Lockheed JetStar 'Hound Dog II'|
|Elvis' pink Jeep DJ-3A|
|This car, a 1973 Stutz Blackhawk 3 was actually driven by Elvis into Graceland on the day he died|
|Best Coffee in Memphis? Debatable|
|The Memphis-Arkansas Memorial Bridge which crosses the Mighty Mississippi River which divides Tennessee and Arkansas|
|The Memphis-Arkansas Memorial Bridge is a cantilevered through truss bridge|
|Schuyler stands in front of the Memphis Suspension Railway Bridge which takes passengers between Memphis and Mud Island|
|The Plekkers on the banks of the Mississippi River...again|
|Sunset over Memphis on 05 January 2015|