Going to Graceland

Memphis TN Travel Blog

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Trolley tour

The previous evening we go to the gigantic Union Station in Chicago and board a very crowded train.  The next stop seems to totally fill out carriage and I try to get comfortable to sleep.  I take decongestants and pain killers then doze and cough and sneeze!.  I have to get Andrew to pass over some cough lozenges to an old lady across the aisle who is trying to supress a cough like mine.

Into Memphis very early (6.10am) and wait until 7am to catch a taxi to our Super 8 Motel, talk the staff into letting us leave our bags with them as all rooms are full and we cant check in yet.  Walk to McDonalds for breakfast.  Meet a family off to the zoo who warn us when we see aircon units with chains and padlocks on them to leave the neighbourhood immediately!.

Grand houses from the cotton dynasties
  We walk a fair way then catch a taxi to the famous Beale Street where the soul and blues music was born.  Walk to many nearby sights and catch a trolley to do a circuit.  Once back at the Motel we book a day tour for the next day.

The tour was really good and we are shown many of the great hospitals that provide free health care thanks to some very philanthropic people like Danny Thomas.  Health care is now Tennesee's largest industry.  At 11 am we are taken into the Peabody Hotel lobby.  We wait with a small crowd in this magnificent hotel as a porter rolls out a red carpet from the elevator to the fountain in the lobby.  At precisely 11am the elevator doors open and a drake and 4 ducks run down the red carpet, climb two wooden steps and jump into the fountain!!   It is just an amazing and unexpected event that has been occuring daily since the 1950's.

The Peabody Hotel lobby with the famouse ducks in the fountain
  The ducks live on the roof top and are allowed to spend 6 hours a day in the fountain, then they return to their penthouse apartment.  Off to Beale Street again where this time the tour includes lunch.  There are 5 of us and we sit together and swap stories over some Soul food.  This time I try the fried green tomatoes and turnip greens with my mashed potatoes and corn bread and sweet tea.  Andrew tries the meatloaf and mashed yams.

In the afternoon we are taken to Graceland.  This is a very well co-ordinated tour by the operators of Graceland.  We are given audio equipment, boarded onto one of their buses and taken over the road.  We are turned free to walk the house and gardens at our own pace.  It was not as tacky as I expected and we see the famous   Jungle Room, the lounge room, kitchen, garden, pool, billiards room and the stables area.

Graceland
  There is a beautiful place in the garden where Elvis, his mother and grandmother and father are buried.

We are bussed back across the road where we see several of his cars including the pink cadilac.  Two of his private aeroplanes are there one being the Lisa Marie.  There is another museum of Elvis memorabillia.  A great value tour.

Back at the motel we do mundane things like laundry in a real laundromat!  Fed up with hand washing!  There are many people on the streets with scams going to get money out of tourists like running out of petrol.  When a woman shouts out to us from the  middle of the road to get us to help push her car we are hesitant.  She is genuine and has run out opf petrol and the gas station is right there.  We push and I am very careful with my back but I do jig it up a bit.  She offers us money and we refuse!  Off for a burger and sleep

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Trolley tour
Trolley tour
Grand houses from the cotton dynas…
Grand houses from the cotton dyna…
The Peabody Hotel lobby with the f…
The Peabody Hotel lobby with the …
Graceland
Graceland
A pink cadillac in Elvis collecti…
A pink cadillac in Elvis' collect…
Memphis TN
photo by: clearviews