Day Seven - doing the drive straight through to Memphis was an excellent plan as it had us at Graceland right on opening time ready for a great day.
Having never really been an avid Elvis fan it still seemed wrong to not visit Graceland while in the area, and I must say it was a rather overwhelming experience. The mansion is still as it was when Elvis died back in 1977, and the upstairs area was closed to the public just as it was when Elvis was alive. It was always considered his private family area and no one was ever permitted upstairs other than direct family. So as a sign of respect these wishes are still observed till this day.
We toured through the rest of the mansion and saw all the areas that were the day to day living spaces of Elvis and his entourage, things were alive 24 hours a day with people coming and going day and night and even the kitchen had full time staff preparing food throughout the day and night. The place has an Erie feeling about it, almost as if you could feel his presence their even today, it was Elvis through and through. His jungle room and tv rooms were just amazing with the furniture and fitment within them.
Entering his trophy room was incredible, this room appears like it was done as a memorial to Elvis but in fact was already there when he was alive as a living memory of his experiences. The man was incredibly generous and on one wall in a display corridor were cheques written out to people that had been donated back many years later for the display after his passing. He would buy cars, houses, pay out debts etc. for completely unknown strangers just because they were in need, unbelievable.
Stepping into his indoor handball court was the final culmination of his achievements. The walls were covered with just some of his gold and platinum album awards, floor to ceiling, and this room was so overwhelming as to his life and personal life of giving that I had to actually leave the room and step outside, really strange. Nothing has ever touched me like the visit to Graceland. It should be a must on everyone's agenda when visiting the area whether an Elvis fan or not. I can only imagine what it must do to those that were avid Elvis fans, and I now have an all new understanding of those mad Elvis fans that revisit every year on the anniversary of his death. This year is the 36th anniversary and the premises were setup for National Elvis week, a week long celebration of his life and achievements with live re-enactments of his Vegas concerts. If we had arrived here 3 days later the place would have been packed with worshippers.
We went aboard the Lisa Marie, his private jet that is also parked on the premises, and it was one of only a couple of private jets owned by celebrities back in the '60's, completely decked out in the finest leather and all metal buckles and taps were covered in 24 carat gold.
Well 4 hours was enough as we had to hit the road again and start making our way towards Atlanta. We headed off from Graceland and used a different navigation program on the iPhone as my iPad was playing up, talk about going round in circles.
The google maps application on the iPhone had me leaving motorways to go down another motorway, exiting, re-entering on the other side to rejoin the original motorway we just exited, hilarious, not to mention frustrating. Anyway soon were well out of Memphis and through Birmingham to a lovely quiet RV park set in the middle of the Talladaga forest, just beautiful and the sounds of frogs and crickets was relaxing music to go to sleep by.
So it's been a long couple of days with the drive though etc. so getting an early night to catch up on some sleep.