That’s all right, Mamma, that’s all right with me…Elvis music played in my head for the next two days after our arrival in Memphis on Monday. We were able to snag a campsite at Graceland RV Park, situated right behind Heart Break Hotel, at the end of Lonely Street. The start of the Graceland Tour is just a short walk through the parking lot next door. Because of that, the RV Park is well secured 24/7 and everything is very well organized. Since it was mid-afternoon when we arrived, we opted to take the Boulevard into downtown Memphis, just twenty-minutes away, to check out the action and have dinner.
Being a Monday night, things were rather quiet. Some of the restaurants had entertainment, and staff on the street urging us in. We decided on the Jerry Lee Lewis Cafe where we stuffed ourselves with southern-style BBQ ribs, baked potatoes, coleslaw, and beans while enjoying the performance of an Elvis impersonator. He was one of the best we’d ever seen, sounding very much like the King. He switched gears for one song and brought Johnny Cash to life.
At intermission we wandered down the street and poked into a couple of shops then headed back to camp. I wanted to take advantage of the good WiFi connection to get some blogging done.
Tuesday morning was devoted to the mundane domestic tasks that we could put off no longer, such as laundry, but the afternoon was spent doing the Graceland Tour. It’s pricey, and the last part of it, the little museums on a strip across the road from Graceland, all led us through gift shops, but Graceland itself was far from the tacky display that I’d envisioned. The house is grand, but not huge. It displays a simpler side of Elvis than the flashy one that appeared on stage. The main floor is tastefully decorated in the era of Elvis’s life and death, including dark wooden cupboards and harvest gold appliances in the kitchen. The lower level is, well, maybe a little eclectic.
Some things I learned about Elvis that I didn’t know before:
- He loved horses as much as he loved his cars. A couple of horses still graze in the pasture.
- He had quietly donated several million dollars to a large number of charities over the years, many of which helped improve the lives of his friends and family in his home town of Tupelo, Mississippi.
- He loved to play racquet ball.
- He had a beautiful Meditation Garden built at Graceland in 1960. It has since become the burial site for his mother, father, grandmother and himself, and a memorial for his twin brother who died at birth.
We walked away without souvenirs, not being Elvis fanatics, but we enjoyed the visit. It’s worth seeing once.
More excellent ribs for dinner at Marlowe’s down Elvis Presley Drive brought our stay in Tennessee to an end. The next morning we were back on I-55 in the direction of New Orleans.