Tuesday, March 22, 2011

We've Been to Graceland

 We got off to a late start yesterday, and arrived outside of Little Rock after midnight.  We got a room at Howard Johnson's by going into the building through the bar - the front desk was closed for the night.  Once we got settled in our room (very nice, by the way) we washed our faces and went straight to bed.  It had been a really long day and even the simplest TV did not appeal.

After a fortifying breakfast at the Waffle House we pressed on for Memphis and Graceland.  The combination of listening to a podcast about Scooby Doo and my notoriously bad sense of direction, even with the assistance of Google Maps GPS led to our turning around a few times before we got our bearings and arrived at Graceland.

The weather was warm, so I planned to walk around with Roxy while Shana enjoyed the tour rather than leave Roxy in the car.  I'm not a fan, but Shana is, and she was really looking forward to taking the tour.

From the moment you enter the grounds you hear an uninterrupted stream of Elvis Presley music, some of it accompanied by videos of the singer strategically displayed about "The Plaza".  The ticket counters are in a large attractive building, and there are probably half a dozen stores and another half dozen Elvis themed cafes among the attractions in the area to keep fans busy before and after their tours.  There is probably no conceivable item of clothing not sold with the image or signature of The King in the shops. Shuttle buses drive across the street to the mansion at frequent intervals, and the Faithful take self guided tours with special headphones.

I was disappointed that I was not allowed to walk onto the house grounds where there are garden to enjoy.  The Plaza area had no landscaping at all except for a (very) few of the most care-free and minimal shrubs and ground covers.  There really isn't anything to see or do if you don't buy a tour (starting at about $30.00).  You still have to pay for parking even if you don't take a tour.  Shana was very satisfied with her tour.  She saw what she wanted to see, and because of the self guided aspect she was able to linger a little longer over her favorite parts.  She purchased a few official items at the shops and was pleased with her day.

She was even more pleased after we checked into our hotel.  The lobby is all Elvis, the pool is guitar shaped, every time you step outside you are serenaded with Elvis music, and the pool is guitar shaped.  We have Elvis overlooking our bed (really nice room)

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