Wednesday, September 26, 2007

"The Mississippi Delta was shining like a national guitar..."

One of the projects I involved myself in once I returned from my road trip was to organize my photos. With time devoted, I was able to narrow almost 3,000 pictures down to a little over 200, depicting 39 places/attractions from the vacation. My mom and I covered 2,497 miles, hitting 11 states in 8 days. We had a wonderful time and I took many pictures (surprise!).

I'm going to be sharing many of these pictures. It will help me get back into blogging, even though school has started again and this teacher seems to demand much more effort than others for participation and my group picked a topic that will be extremely difficult (which the teacher has vetoed, which is good, I figured she might, but we still need a new topic by Thursday). The topic I picked for my individual papers will not be easy, but at least interesting.

On day 4 of our trip, my mom and I went to Graceland. The home of Elvis Presley is quite the sight! It is a bit of a time capsule. The entire place is still decorated as it was in the 1970s. It is excessive and there is a general feeling of the family profiting from his name (considering a $25 entry charge - this was the highest priced tour we took). But it was interesting and I did buy souvenirs! (Because I'm a sucker.)

When you walk in, you listen to an audio program on headphones describing the different rooms and some of Elvis's history. You get to see the sitting room/living room right away. The upstairs of Graceland is roped off from tourists, but the ground floor gives you a picture of 70's excess by letting you see the sitting room, the dining room (not pictured), the parent's bedroom (not pictured), and the kitchen.
Sitting Room Sitting Room

Kitchen Kitchen
When you travel downstairs, you get to see the TV room, where Elvis liked to watch three networks at once and decorated with his symbol. The symbol was TCB and a lightning bolt, which stood for Taking Care of Business. You also get to see the pool room, where the walls and ceiling are covered in fabric. Finally, you do see the famous Jungle Room, which I have three pictures of. One of the pictures does have my mom in them.

TV Room
Pool Room
Jungle Room

Mom in Jungle Room
Jungle Room 2

A portion of the house has been converted to show some other items that Elvis either used in decorating previously or memorabilia of his life/stage show. There were displays about his movies, music, and his life events. The tour did continue through other buildings on the property (recording studio and a racquetball court turned into a display area).

A jumpsuit of his on display:

He was popular:
Hall of Records
This was one of the beds he had. It frightened me. It also has speakers in the bed. I'm not sure if it was the roundness of the bed or the fur that actually scared me the most. Probably the fur:
Fur Bed
Here is the house from outside. It was interesting to see that Graceland isn't really that large of a home. It wasn't what I expected. It's a nice sized house, but by today's mansion standards, it is small.


The end of the tour is the graves of Elvis and his family. I have a pictures of his grave specifically here, but wanted to point out how Graceland is still an attraction. His grave still draws visitors daily to pay tribute. I did not bring anything, but was amazed at how many people left flowers, drawings, and tributes.
Elvis graveTribute paid

*The title of this post is the opening line to Paul Simon's "Graceland."