by adwells on April 18, 2011
Oh, yes, we did.
A little back story -
When you think Memphis, you think Elvis, right? Ok, well I do, any way. A couple of years ago Nathan and I were in town for a wedding and joked about going to Graceland, given that neither of us had ever been. Well, we did. I thought it was going to be one of those funny trips, where we laughed the whole time making fun of the craziness that was Elvis. But, oh, was I wrong.
We both wandered around the place, with our lovely little Graceland walkmans on, jaws on the ground and totally entranced. Loved it. Loved it. Loved it. I spent the three hour drive home googling Elvis facts on my phone. Whatever “it” is, there’s no doubt Elvis had it.
Fast forward a few years and my six-year-old has a thing for the King. I can’t explain it. We took both girls to Memphis last year for an impromptu weekend getaway and all she could talk about was Elvis (because his face is everywhere throughout the city.) We promised her when she was a little older (since the tour is pretty long), we would take her to Graceland. We kept our promise on a recent trip to Memphis to visit some family that just moved to the city.
She was a little apprehensive because she kept asking me if Elvis was going to “pop out.” Ummm…no, I assured her. (But I guess in all seriousness, you never know!)
When you arrive at Graceland, you’re immediately greeted by a bevy of souvenir shops – Elvis-themed dinnerware, anyone? We told Ry that she could get an Elvis t-shirt to wear on the tour, given that the shirt she had on was covered in barbecue sauce from lunch (ahhh…Memphis!). While I tried to persuade her to get the cute pink shirt with a big “I ♥ Elvis” on it, she insisted on the one with his massive face (she is her momma’s child.). “I like his blue eyes,” she said.
So here’s our little snaggletoothed Elvis maniac –
If you haven’t been, Graceland is not what you would think. The house itself isn’t that big, like you would think the ultimate superstar would’ve lived in. I love the fact that Elvis loved Memphis and would reportedly get homesick for the South. He called Graceland home for more than twenty years and it was the place of his death as well as his final resting place.
Elvis’ parents bought a home on Audubon Drive in east Memphis in 1956, but with the superstardom of their son going through the roof, it was quickly apparent that they needed a more secluded place. In the Spring of 1957, Graceland was purchased by the Presleys for $90,000.
The property was originally a 500-acre farm during the Civil War and was owned by the owner of the Memphis Daily Appeal, Stephen C. Toof and was named after his daughter, Grace. In 1939, Toof’s granddaughter inherited Graceland and built a two-story Classic Revival home on the property. Toof’s great-granddaughter, Ruth Marie was a talented pianist and the home was built to showcase her talent when they entertained, with large rooms across the front. Elvis purchased the property from Ruth Marie, who later became a celebrated harpist with the Memphis Symphony.
Elvis lived at Graceland with his parents, Vernon and Gladys and his grandmother, Minnie May. Later, he brought his bride, Priscilla, to Graceland, and of course his daughter Lisa Marie, lived out her childhood at the home.
Photo found here.
You don’t have to be an Elvis addict to enjoy Graceland. It’s one of those places you should definitely see before you kick the bucket. More info here.