Showing posts with label Graceland Mansion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Graceland Mansion. Show all posts

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.