FRIDAY- Day 3
We had 9:45 a.m. tour tickets for Graceland on Friday, so we got up and just had breakfast at our condo and got ready to go. Graceland was only about a 10-12 minute drive from the condo, so it was very quick and easy to get to! We paid the parking fee and got there just in time to get in line for our tour.
(“Graceland” is now a huge complex, with a big building across the street from actual Graceland, the house. The tours and exhibits are mostly housed across the street, with shuttle vans taking guests across to tour the home and property. When I was there as a child, I’m pretty sure it was just the house with some exhibits in the basement!!! It is now a full day affair to see it all.)
The tour starts with a short intro movie which I really liked! It of course included a lot of his music, scenes from concerts, etc. but also was just a great overview of his career and life. Especially helpful for the kids. It took a while to get in since they were only allowing small groups into the theater at a time due to covid.
After the movie, they took us in small groups across the street to start the house tour! They handed out mini ipads with headphones for everyone to listen to an audio guide as we walked through each room. It was slightly complicated juggling my camera with the ipad, but we made it work. Haha. 😁
The kids loved Graceland. It’s decorated in SUCH a unique manner and it’s just really cool!! John Stamos narrated the guide and I thought it was very well done- brief, yet informative.
The kids’ favorite room was the billiard room. According to the audio guide, this was Lisa Marie’s favorite room too (and where “all the fun happened”).
Iconic “Jungle Room”, though Elvis himself didn’t call it that.
I remember loving the grounds as a child, and I still really liked walking through this part. After leaving the house, we saw his manager’s office, the stable, pool, his racquetball court building, shooting range and meditation garden.
The whole Presley family is buried on the property, right there in the garden. This was cool to see. Apparently, after he died, he was buried at a regular Memphis cemetery near his Mom’s grave, but people would flock there and some guys even tried to steal his coffin. His Dad had Elvis’ body and his Mom’s both moved to Graceland, getting special permission from the city.
I especially loved all of the memorabilia in the museum areas. They had tons of history about the family, his career, etc. but also just random items, like bills for the stained glass in the house. Or invoices for the pool or furniture. It was interesting to see how much things cost- and how much he was able to pay, in cash for this luxurious home. They even had things like his elementary school report card, or old toys.
I told Ivan we should start saving more of the boys’ items…. You never know!! Maybe someday they will be famous and we will need those items for EthanLand or something. 😂😂
After touring the house, we went back across the street and spent a couple more hours touring more exhibits, seeing his cars (OMG SO MANY), his stage outfits, his airplanes and more. Loved it all! So interesting!! I really, really enjoyed this.
By the time the tour was done (and we could have used even more time!! But we had to keep going to do other things….), it was probably 1:30 p.m. at least. We were hungry, so we went back to downtown Memphis.
I had heard of a quick service Mexican food place called Maciel’s Tortas and Tacos that was supposed to be good, so we decided to check that out. I was glad, because it was a few blocks off of Beale St and got us into a little different area of downtown, which was nice to see.
It was quick and yummy. I got a huge steak milanesa torta, the boys got tacos and I think Ivan got a huarache (kind of like a thicker tortilla/doughy thing topped with beans and meat and cheese). I liked sitting in the upstairs and looking down at the street below. It was a good choice!
BIG RIVER CROSSING
After lunch, we drove over to the Big River Crossing area. We parked and started the 1 mile walk across the Mississippi River! It was a BEAUTIFUL warm, sunny day so I wanted to make sure to get this in that afternoon (weather looked iffy for Saturday). This was fun! After a lot of standing around reading things in Graceland, it felt good to move.
This appears to be a very popular place in Memphis for locals- tons of walkers, runners, rollerbladers, etc.
Halfway across, we came to the Arkansas/ Tennessee state line!
A. SCHWAB/ BEALE ST./ DINNER
After our lovely walk, we drove the few minutes back down towards Beale St. I wanted to get into the old A. Schwab store before they closed at 7:00. It’s basically an old “dry goods” store, which is now like a mix between an antique shop, museum, thrift shop type place. It felt a lot like the old Western stores out in Colorado, in a way. It was fun to meander around and look at some of the odd things they had for sale! Haha.
They also have an old soda fountain + ice cream bar on the other side. We got a strawberry shake and root beer floats.
I found these funny signs that I liked a lot. hahaha!!
By the time we got out of the store, Beale St. was getting BUSY (being Friday night and all). We could tell we did not want to stick around long. We lingered just briefly and watched some street performers doing acrobatics, then took a couple pics of the Elvis Statue and Beale St. sign!
We ended up stopping for a couple of beers and some appetizers at a place called the Flying Saucer Draught Emporium. Since we had a late lunch, no one was really starving, so we just wanted something light. This was a great choice! Had a fun atmosphere but was a large place and not overly crowded at all either. A perfect end to an awesome day!!!
BONUS PIC: Me with my Dad on top of the Peabody! I forgot my mom had sent me this one. Love it!
I am grateful for finally getting the rest of my old photos off my old iMac last night!! One big step in the photo project DONE.