Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What Happens in Vegas Started at Graceland

Two months before I was born, the King of Rock 'n Roll, Elvis Presley died in 1977 at his estate in Memphis, Tennessee. I may not have been fortunate enough to witness the fame and glamour while he was at the peak of his career, but at least in my lifetime, I was able to set foot on Graceland, a large, white-columned mansion with 13.8 acre estate that was once home to Elvis Presley in Memphis. I thought the tour was interestingly fun and it's something any one should experience at least once in their lifetime. Trust me, you don't have to be a fan to appreciate the vastness of his popularity and the mystic of the place. While I only know some of his songs, but by the end of the tour, somehow it felt like I have taken a glimpse into the life of the legend. I walked in skeptical and walked out having a better appreciation of Elvis as a person.

This was our first stop on our Valentine's weekend getaway. It's a must-see tourist destination in Memphis so we didn't want to leave the city without coming here. The mansion was smaller than what I had expected. It was very much well-maintained though. We paid $10 for the parking fee which we thought was pretty steep. We stayed in a hotel just one block away from Graceland, so had we known that was the parking fee, we could have just walked and saved us some bucks. Oh well, we were already there so we went ahead and parked. The admission fee costs us $33/each. Dang! That could have already bought us a nice decent meal at a fancy restaurant! Well, what could I expect? The parking fee should already tell us something. They also have nice gift shops in there. I tried not to go crazy with the items sold so I only bought a pretty pink cadillac magnetic holder and a ring-like key chain with a huge pink stone. That cost me another $20. Haha! Anyway, it's a given that when you go to huge tourist traps like this, you'd better be prepared to shell out big bucks.

Now here comes the official tour. The shuttle bus takes the tourists for a ride across the street to the mansion. There were hundreds of visitors in a day so they take us in groups. I believe we're on trip #7.

*Click photos to enlarge*

Before you'll get inside, a staff would brief you on the Do's and Don'ts inside the house as well as a short history and facts of the estate. You can take pictures but no flash and video cameras are allowed. Headphones are issued to the visitors for a self-paced audio guided tour.

Upon entering the house, you'll see the Living Room to the right. They made certain renovations to some parts of the house but most of the stuff that you'll see especially inside the mansion are old school and were dated back to 50's-70's era .

The next room shown is Elvis's parents' bedroom. White is the predominant color with a dark-purple bedspread that drapes onto the floor at the foot of the queen size bed.

Below is the Dining Room. I love the classy looking chandelier hanging over the table.

This pretty china cabinet is an eye-catcher as well.

Next is the Kitchen. These are top of the line appliances...for the 70's, hehe...

You could imagine this is where Elvis's housekeepers fry up his peanut butter and banana sandwiches! Yep, Elvis's favorite sandwich.

Here's my favorite room in the house...The Jungle Room. Most people find this the tackiest room, with all the astroturf ceiling, animal printed furnitures and shaggy green carpet decorations but hey I think it has the most relaxing ambience and the "waterfall" is pretty cool.

I obviously liked it because I have taken multiple shots at different angles. Gosh, how I wish I have a DSLR camera, lol! Since I'm not a professional photographer, I guess I'll just have to be contented with my Canon Powershot S2...for now!

This colorful room is his Media Room or Audio-visual room or Entertainment Room as you may call it, with its 3 television sets.

Could Elvis have watched 3 different shows at the same time? Why else would you want more than 1 TV set in a room? Haha!

It appears that the guy had a thing for monkeys, which adorned several of the rooms throughout the house.

Adjacent to the media room is this nicely decorated Wet Bar.

Second favorite room of mine is the Billiards Room decorated with fabric in ostentatious colors.

We've reached the open, grassy backyard of the house. Lisa Marie's (Elvis's only daughter) playground and the grounds where the horses were kept and the go karts were raced.

Ah! The Trophy Room...this is where you'll know why he is called the King. I was awed with the extensive collection of trophies, awards, long playing records, movie posters and other old time memorabilia.

The signature Elvis Presley outfits. Nobody wears it better than Elvis. First picture in the row is his famous 1957 Gold Lame' Suit.

Elvis Aaron Presley got married to Priscilla Ann Beaulieu on May 1, 1967 in Las Vegas. Middle was their wedding photo, the bride's wedding gown on the left and the groom's wedding suit on the right.

When I was 7, I remember I used to envy our neighbor for having this kind of TV back then. We owned a very small cheap looking black and white TV and I thought it was cool to have a big one like this, haha!

The last part of the tour is a visit to the Meditation Garden, where Elvis, his mother, his father and his grandmother lie buried.

Fans from all generation leave wreaths, flowers, cards, stuffed toys and other gifts to Elvis's grave.

A pretty keepsake from a fan. It's Elvis Time indeed!

The upper floor which housed Elvis's bedroom was off limits to the tourists out of respect for the Presley family. His bedroom and bathroom which was reportedly the site of his death remain unchanged from the day he died and are only accessible to the family. It didn't break my heart that I didn't get to see the "bathroom", it would have just creeped me out I guess. The tour took a few hours. Was it worth it? Yeah. I enjoyed it so much, even without being an Elvis fan.

30 replies:

Dean and Lee Schroeder said...

Wow Jenn! ang ganda ng mansion, so grand! Mabuti ka pa at nakapasok na sa mansion. Ilang beses na kami nakaadto didto sa Memphis pero wala jud mi nag tour tour ni Winn.

He's so rich! It really shows sa mansion nya. Hay, namatay lang sya dayon... Nice photos Jenn, ngano wala man lagi ka picture hehehe

Twerlyn said...

I'm so speechless with the photos you have taken, gosh! you're pro Jenn! My gulay amazing! And hey wow count me in, I mean your reader! Nako ha very articulate. bravo! Buti ka pa galing mo sa lahat ng bagay, takdi ko bi..unta makatakod jud. Thank u for sharing..

Bchai said...

Sweet shots, Jenn! I'm glad you gave us a personal tour of Graceland. Makes me want to visit, although I'm just "iffy" about those admission prices. Jeez...! I guess it's worth it though. I mean, his family could've chosen to keep Graceland a private residence, but they were kind enough to open it to the public, so I'd pay that $33 fee too. Hopefully, it doesn't go up by the time we manage to visit!

I'm with you too---I wish they could've opened the upper floors, but I guess they want to keep that part of the house private. It'd be neat to see what his bedroom looked like though. :)

bingkee said...

So gorgeous pics...did you take them? You took the pics like a pro. It's like having a tour --being exactly there...para na rin akong nandyan. What a great mansion. I'll keep that in mind that someday when we visit Memphis, I'll definitely take a trip there.

eden said...

What a lovely mansion! Thank you so much for taking us there. I agree with the others, your pictures are all fantastic. I enjoyed the tour so much.

Dhemz said...

holy cow! am speechless...very very impressive....:)heheheh!

salamat for taking the photos you took....bitaw woi, asa man ka sa picture...ehehhehe!

meretrisha said...

thanks for the tour net, you have saved us a few bucks.. and you're a wonderful tour guide as well..

""rarejonRez"" said...

Awesome tour indeed! When my sister-in-law toured here three years ago, endless question-and-answer portion I've had of her. Hahaha. The photos made all the difference. It's a must-see indeed! Wa pa ko kaanha diha pero anhaan ra japon ko someday.

Thanks for sharing Jenn! That was an incomparable short trip you've had. Enjoy to the max jud ba!

Michelle said...

Wow, that's a very good looking house of Elvis! Good that you're allowed to take photos inside. Thanks for sharing. I think I don't need to go there after looking at the nice photos you took. :)

kimmyschemy said...

Oh my Gulay! I love it! di ko pa nakita ang mansion ni Elvis, grabehhh! I will just dram about it.. Hehehe!

Unknown said...

Aguy ka mahal sa mga binilin ni Pareng Elves, bisag parking place sot 10 buckz mn dayon. magisi akong bulsa ana Jenn uy. You guys are so lucky especially you madame. aguy nganu wala ko nimu ubana intawn ako lng taga bitbit. Thanks for sharing all this pretty pictures of elves stuff and place

Unknown said...

-haze, ay mao ba? i tot nakasulod pud ka sa mansion. next time adto mo memphis, drop by nya mo, nice bya ang tour. o wala kaau koy picture diha kay daghan man kaau tourists oi maulaw ko muposing posing sa sulod sa haus, hehehe sila tanan ang house man ang gipangpiktyuran. i have one sa pool sa garden i already posted it on my previous memphis adventure. puol na sad kaau akong dagway oi, hahaha!

Unknown said...

-haha! lerms thanks for the nice comment ha. ikaw noon takdi ko sa imong beauty. :)

Unknown said...

-yeah, we also thought the rates are high. but well, he's the king and the legend, hehe. ive read somewhere that the family had to open it to the public as a museum to help them with the property taxes, maintenance costs and all that stuff. it was nice of them to do that though. i know elvis had millions of fans who would go out of their way to pay that much to see what he has left behind. it was pretty cool. yeah too bad i didnt get to see his bedroom. :)

Unknown said...

-hi bingkee. yeah, i took all the photos myself, using my point and shoot Canon camera, hehe. i wish i own a DSLR though. im drooling over Nikon D90 lately, hehe. how i wish i know more about photography. i love taking pictures but i know nothing about the professional side of doing it. it might be something that ill keep myself busy with, u know searching stuff like that online. :) yeah when u get the chance to visit memphis, be sure to drop by Graceland. you'll enjoy it!

Unknown said...

-you're very much welcome 'den. my pleasure to share it to all of u.

Unknown said...

-halu. glad u enjoyed it my friend. o oi wala ko sa pics kay daghan kaau pipol shy ko mu posing posing sa mga rooms kay daghan kaau guests, ako ra nya magpicture picture didto sa ako self. hehe.

Unknown said...

-jo, ur welcome! my pleasure. :)happy u enjoyed the tour! next time mga animals na pud sa zoo, hehe

Unknown said...

-cel, o enjoy jud ba. hehe. someday if makalugar mo visit nya mo ni hubby ug trish didto, lingaw pud bya. picture picture dayon kay mao ra na souvenir na nakaadto ka.

Unknown said...

-mich, yep taking photos is allowed as long as u don't use flash. video is not allowed as well. mejo dark nga gamay akong mga kuha kay no flash man. glad u enjoyed the photos and the tour. :)

Unknown said...

-yeah elvis had a huge estate. i think his daughter sold 85% of it a few years ago. but still the house was there and u can see how the king used to live and even the old stuff were still there. it's fun.

Unknown said...

-hahaha, mao lagi mam oi, buslot bulsa, pero cge lang kausa ra man pud dili na muusab. mahal bitaw oi noon nalingaw man pud noon ko tanaw sa mga kabilin ni pareng elvis, hehe.

Jude said...

Thanks for sharing your photos and visit because I'm quite sure I'll never go to Graceland even though I liked Elvis, take care.

Pearl said...

OMG! I enjoyed viewing your photos! I felt like i was also there... It's also great that you included some captions for each photo... Thanks for sharing!

Lainy said...

Oh! La! la! I am in awe! Very nice au oi! Captivating! You sure had a blast,Jenn!

Kanus-a paman ko makabakasyon uy? Dugay pa kaayo mahuman ang election period, di ko ani jud ka latagaw. Hago na kaayo sige trabaho. Maayo paka makasuroy-suroy.

LifeRamblings said...

great post and lovely captures. wish i were there too. thanks for bringing Graceland to us. Elvis was really a King.

Windmill said...

My dear Jenn,

Thank you ever so much for your kindness. The donation you are helping with making that house get built is most sincerely appreciated.

I am blessed that bloggers like you have heard my plaintive cry for help.

Thank you once again and God Bless you Always,


Lainy said...

Hi Jenn.

Thanks so much for taking part in the Project Heavenly Home. This means so much to us most especially for the poor widow and her 3 children.

Your avatar is up and running right below my blog's header alongside with other donors. This is our little way of showing how much we appreciate your generosity and benevolence.

My PP addie is honeyllaineyahoocom

See yah!

Lainy said...

Should be honeyllaine[at]yahoo[dot]com Jenn.

Windmill said...

My dear Jenn,

I've come to personally thank you for your kindness and donation support for the house being built.

I always repeated to myself, "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." when I go about doing what I do for people I meet in dire circumstance.

And this is indeed one instance where kind and generous persons like you have shone love and hope for this widow and her children.

Thank you most sincerely.
God Bless you Always,