The King

Trip Start Mar 10, 2011
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24
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Trip End May 05, 2011


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Where I stayed
Vista Inn Motel Downtown Memphis
Read my review - 2/5 stars

Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Thursday, April 14, 2011

Luckily my funk lifted after a good read and some light hearted television.  I made it to my place without much ado but found that while it was well located it was far from ideal.  It really was more of a motel with bunk beds and bumbling in the dark, I awoke my room-mates-to-be.  At least in the morning we had some something in common - a sore back.  The beds were atrocious and comfort was not an option in the night.  So with two new friends in tow we headed for Graceland, Elvis Presley's house and final resting place.  After some wandering, waiting and an encounter with a helpful but greedy vagrant we made it.  Not surprisingly mansion was now more a shrine than a house.  So pouring through the gates with scores of devotees, we were introduced to the excess and contradiction that was Elvis.
Graceland was purchased by Elvis when he was only 22.  Already at this time he had been a superstar for nearly 3 years and being both youthful and rich, he could live out all his fantasies without much consideration.  The house was an ode to the same  garish style of his music.  A display of both cultures he was so deeply rooted in (white of his birth and black of his influences) overlaid by gratuitous decoration, every room was more ridiculous than the last. These carpeted walls, interior fountains, tandem televisions and curtained ceilings were somehow married with a sense of homeliness.  There existed the scratched pool table, the father's portrait and his beloved horses.  This contradiction, while grossly displayed was quintessentially Elvis. Much like Him  it was simultaneously proud and humble, loud and reserved, rebellious yet saintly.
The rest of the complex was quite dilute by comparison, being mostly soulless gift shops and fast food with a sprinkling of small exhibits.  What was most of worth though were Elvis' two jets.  The greater, aptly described by the King Himself as "Graceland of the sky" was perhaps the epitome of His excess. Costing close to one million dollars during the 70's, it is even more ridiculous than the mansion itself and used mostly for spur of the moment joyrides.  Every one of Elvis' comforts would be catered to where ever and whenever he chose to go.  Yet it was made and named for his only child, Lisa Marie and many times the plane flew for her rather than Him.
The afternoon was capped by a visit to the even more bizarre Peabody Ducks.  For strange reasons this ridiculous procession has persisted where 5 trained ducks are ushered to and from the main fountain of a grand lobby.  Absurdly confused.  We set off to calm ourselves over some Memphis BBQ and live music.  

My Review Of The Place I Stayed



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