My parents always tell this story about the night I was born. The only thing on television that day was a documentary about Elvis Presley and his birthday tribute. Yes, it's true! Elvis and I share Jan. 8 as a birthday! You better believe that while I was in Memphis, I had to go check out the home of my fellow Capricorn.
If you're going to visit Graceland, get there as soon as it opens. On the Saturday we went it was 9 a.m. You pay $10 to park across the street from Graceland and walk up a path leading to the visitor center. As you walk up there are souvenir shops, Minnie Mae's Sweets Shop, and large photos of the King.
After you buy your tickets, you're taken to a room and shown a short video that shows highlights on Elvis' life: his movie career, love of music, time in the army, and him talking to the press about his love of Memphis and Graceland. There are several different package options to touring Graceland. Do your research before so you know what tour is best for you.
After the video, you take an iPad, headset, and get on a shuttle to cross the street into Graceland. Graceland is an amazing property with green acres, lots of flowers and a gorgeous mansion. As you start the tour, on your headset, John Stamos (AKA Uncle Jesse from Full House who was obsessed with Elvis), starts telling you the history of the property and how Elvis came to acquire it.
Now I won't tell you everything I learned and saw (you’ll have to fully experience it yourself); but, I will show you some of my favorite parts of the tour including a few rooms of the house.
The dining room: This room is still in use! Lisa Marie and her family celebrate holidays at Graceland and enjoy using the china Elvis and Priscilla had at their wedding. Lisa Marie frequently chimed in during the tour. She shared what the house was like when her dad was alive and memories of the fun they had.
The living room: Take a moment to marvel at the peacock stained glass. Elvis played often at that very piano!
The jungle room: Green shag carpet on the floor and ceilings (for better acoustics. Elvis would turn this room into a recording studio sometimes), a custom waterfall built into the wall, and lots of greenery. I'd definitely hang out and jam with Elvis in this room!
The Memorial Garden: This is where Elvis, his parents, his grandmother and his stillborn twin brother Jesse are laid to rest. The garden is peaceful. It's the perfect place for prayer and reflection.
Once you're done touring the house and grounds, take a shuttle back across the street.
Now it's lunch time. Grab a bite to eat at some of the restaurants. There's Glady's Diner and Vernon's Smokehouse. The eateries are named in honor of Elvis's parents.
If you paid for this package, go see Elvis's plane the 'Lisa Marie'. Then go check out his AMAZING car collection. This pink Cadillac has my name written all over it.
They also have different exhibits with Elvis’ military memorabilia, guitars and outfits. Can I borrow this white jumpsuit, please?
From there, there are more exhibits, shops and even a studio showing some of Elvis's films!
Have you ever been to Graceland? What was your favorite part?