Monday, March 30, 2009
Heading Home via Memphis, Tennessee - March 23-27, 2009
We sadly said good-bye to our beautiful site and warm weather in Port St. Lucie, Florida on Monday, March 23rd, knowing we were heading back to cold weather. But on the way back to Minnesota, we decided to make a side trip to Memphis, Tennessee. George really put the pedal to the metal driving that big rig over 450 miles each day so that we could be in Memphis by Tuesday night. We arrived early in the evening & checked into the Graceland RV Park & Campground. It was the perfect place to be since we were only staying for 2 nights and didn't want to take the car off the tow dolly. The campground is located right behind The Heartbreak Hotel and across the street from Graceland, so we could either walk everywhere we wanted to go or catch a shuttle. This is me sitting in the lobby of the Heartbreak Hotel. Even the furniture here was extremely "Elvis" style. Since we only had 1 day in Memphis, we got up early in the morning (okay, it was 9:00, but that's early to us!) and headed off to Graceland to tour the mansion of Elvis Presley. It looked exactly as I thought it would - incredibly gaudy and 1970's. If you remember how Elvis Presley dressed, you can imagine how his house was decorated! The furniture was unbelievable and some of the walls even had green shag carpeting on them. The living room was all white & blue with a 30 ft white couch in it. Who has a living room that can fit a couch that long?? The downstairs television room was done in yellows & blacks and the pool table room was done in some sort of wild print on the walls & matching lights.The Mansion grounds and the Meditation Garden were beautiful. I think our favorite part of the tour was when we went to Elvis's Automobile Museum. He had so many really cool cars and a ton of motorized toys. I think George & Curtis were really coveting the toys! We also liked touring the "Lisa Marie", which was one of his two custom planes. Here's a picture of the dining room and the bedroom on the plane. Oh, if only we could fly in something like that! After spending the morning touring Graceland, I decided to stay back at the rig with Bailey while George & Curtis hopped a shuttle to Sun Studios in downtown Memphis. This is still an actual recording studio so Curtis was really in his element. Sun Studios is where Elvis Presley made his recording debut as well as Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and many of the old blues musicians. Since we only had the one day in Memphis, we had to keep going once they got back to the rig. What's a day in Memphis without going down to Beale Street?? We hopped another shuttle in the evening to Beale Street, the home of the blues. If you look real close at the picture of the outdoor restaurant, in the upper right hand corner, you'll see a real live goat standing on the ledge by the triangular cone. We're not sure what it was doing there, but it definitely was alive! It was great listening to all the different bands performing outside. The weather was perfect to walk up & down Beale Street & enjoy the atmosphere. However, I'm not sure I would want to walk it by myself after dark - there were tons of cops, both on foot & on bikes to keep order. I only saw one arrest while we were there so I guess it's probably a pretty safe place to hang out. We also couldn't believe the way they decorated their horse-drawn carriages around Beale Street. We thought we were in Cinderella's fairy tale! The last picture here on the left is the Meditation Garden at Graceland. I wanted to include it because I thought it was so different from the rest of Graceland. It was really a nice tranquil spot to sit down & rest for awhile. After a busy day in Memphis on Wednesday, we still got up early on Thursday to continue the long drive home. I was grateful that the entire drive home was uneventful. The weather remained clear & mild the entire 1700 miles. We spent one night in a roadside rest in Florida, where they have round-the-clock security and/or police, and one night in a Terrible's Casino parking lot in Missouri, which is where we first experienced cold weather after so long in warm weather country. It was time to put away the shorts and flip-flops and get out the long pants and shoes & socks. It was a great trip, but we're glad to be back in Minnesota and enjoying being with family & friends again!