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    • Day 11


      May 16 in the United States ⋅ 🌩️ 28 °C

      Heute haben wir den obligatorischen Abstecher nach Graceland, Memphis gemacht. Hätten wir uns besser gespart. Das ist die totale Abzocke, unter 100 $ pro Person kommt man nicht rein. Also haben wir angeschaut, was man für das 10 $ Park Ticket so sehen kann. Nicht viel..
      Naja, die Amerikaner, die wir auf der Reise kennengelernt haben, hatten uns vorgewarnt. Und v.a. abgeraten hier zu übernachten. Memphis muss immer noch ein sehr gefährliches Pflaster sein.
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    • Day 72

      Day 72 - I'm Going to Graceland

      July 2, 2019 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 25 °C

      Woke up at 8.30am feeling special. We couldn’t face breakfast, let alone be bothered getting out of bed for it.

      For the next 2 hours, I tried to recollect the events of the previous fantastic day & put them into some semblance of order in my blog. We checked out of the hotel at 10.59am.

      About 15 minutes later we pulled into the car park of Graceland, Memphis & outrageously we had to pay $10 for the privilege!

      We walked to the Ticket Office & purchased our tickets for the Graceland & Elvis’ Aircraft Tours at $46 + tax each. We allocated the 12.30pm Graceland Tour, which gave us an hour to kill. We were starving having not eaten for about 20 hours, so we headed to Gladys’ Diner. Jackie had a hotdog & I had Gladys’ World Famous Grilled Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwich (Grilled with Bacon Grease)! The perfect hangover cure, but probably best to avoid sitting on any toilets in & around Graceland.

      After, we went to the Exhibition Hall where there were 3 separate random exhibitions. The 1st was an excellent exhibition relating to Muhammad Ali, which had decent exhibits, posters & video footage. The 2nd exhibition related to techniques used by National Geographic to photograph wildlife, but seemed more suited for children. The last exhibition related to a Century of American Motorcycles & was just a room of 30 odd old or unusual motorcycles. If nothing else it passed away an hour.

      At 12.30pm, we were ushered into a theatre to watch a short video about Elvis’ career & Graceland. We then boarded a bus & were allocated headphones & an interactive tablet. The bus took us across Elvis Presley Boulevard to the front of the Graceland Mansion. We were admitted access in groups of about 20 & our interactive tablets guided us through from room to room. At first it was a bit chaotic, with 20 people all jockeying for position, but after a short while we had thinned out into an orderly procession.

      We started with the ‘blingy’ living room, then Elvis’ paternal grandmother, Minnie Mae’s bedroom. (She lived at Graceland & sadly outlived her son, Vernon & grandson, Elvis). Next was the dining room, where Lisa Marie allegedly still eats when she visits, followed by the kitchen. We then went downstairs to the yellow & black tv room, followed by the games room decked out in a busy patterned cloth.

      Back upstairs we saw the famous Jungle Room, covered in thick green carpet, where Elvis actually recorded the LP ‘Way Down in the Jungle Room’. We then headed out to the rear garden & to his car port & office. There were horses in the grounds, Elvis was a keen rider. We then headed into a gallery which had artefacts & information relating to his family & Graceland.

      Next were exhibits highlighting some of Elvis’ more eccentric tastes & it identified Elvis 🕺 as being keen on law & order & is quoted as saying that if he wasn’t a singer, he would have liked to have been a Police Officer. He was a regular visitor to the Memphis Police & Shelby County Sheriff’s Departments. I’m not sure how this works, but Elvis held the rank of Captain with the Memphis Police Department & Denver Police Force!

      We went to his Racquetball Court & Games Room, complete with the piano that Elvis played on in that room shortly before his death on Tuesday 16th August 1977. He was due to fly out of Memphis later that day to begin another tour.

      The Graceland Mansion tour then took us to the Meditation Garden with it’s fountain, statues & the graves of Elvis Aaron Presley, his parents, Vernon & Gladys & his grandmother, Minnie Mae. There is also a cenotaph for Elvis’ still-born twin, Jesse Garon Presley, who remains buried in an unmarked grave in Tupelo, Mississippi.

      This leg of the tour ended by passing his swimming pool & getting the bus back to the Graceland complex where we then visited Elvis’ Planes. Elvis had owned several planes & two were at Graceland, a 1958 Corvair 880, named Lisa Marie & a Lockheed Jet Star, named Hound Dog II, which was primarily used by his manager, Colonel Tom Parker. We were able to go in both aircraft which I’m sure were considered hi-tech in their day.

      Graceland, particularly the Mansion, had more to see than I had expected. It was a very enjoyable visit & well organised considering the crowds.

      With Graceland now complete we headed a couple of miles down the road to the Full Gospel Tabernacle Church in Memphis, where the Rev. Al Green is the founder & still the pastor. If only it had been Sunday!

      After a few photos, we headed east on Interstate 40 to Brownsville arriving just over an hour later. The main purpose to stop was behind McDonald’s & was the Tina Turner Museum, which is housed in her old school, that had been moved from Nutbush. It contained mainly costumes from her shows, some framed discs & the actual tables & chairs.

      Next to it was the Home of Legendary Blues Pioneer Sleepy John Estes, which was pretty much just a run-down shed with a bed, funnily enough.

      In the visitors centre, there were a couple of other tiny one roomed Museums & we were asked to sign the Visitors Register. It was all free so we left a small donation.

      Next we drove into Brownsville town centre & located Billy Tripps MindField which is described as a dismantled, tangled, beautiful metal mess. It is the creation & life’s work of Brownsville resident & artist, Billy Tripp. It was all a bit strange.

      We had planned to stay the night in Brownsville, but Jackie wasn’t getting a good feeling about the town, so we moved on. First we drove north about 10 miles to the rural unincorporated community of Nutbush, which by it’s very description doesn’t have ‘City Limits’. We found a Nutbush sign & Jackie insisted on doing a little routine, which I videoed.

      It was a bit hazardous, but we got it in the can, but only after a tatty old pick-up pulled up & the young couple asked if we were ok. They loved our accent & were amazed that English people were in their little rural unincorporated community. Just before driving off, the lad said, “Before you leave, you should look at the duck pond, it’s real preddy”.

      Jackie was now fearful we were going to get shot, so we wrapped it up quickly & drove to the next town along Interstate 40, Jackson. It was now 7.00pm, so we quickly decided on the Belmont Inn & booked it on Booking.com. We then located a busy Asia Garden Chinese restaurant & ordered just two dishes. When it arrived the portions were enormous, but they got Jackie’s wrong, giving her chicken instead of beef. She sent it back & we started on my honey chicken. We were both pretty full before we finished mine & only then did Jackie’s new dinner arrive. We picked at it, but it wasn’t the best meal we have had. More quantity over quality.

      Song of the Day - That’s All Right by Elvis Presley

      Bonus Songs of the Day :-

      Jailhouse Rock by Elvis Presley
      Trouble by Elvis Presley
      Always on my Mind by Elvis Presley
      Way Down by Elvis Presley
      Are You Lonesome Tonight? by Elvis Presley
      In The Ghetto by Elvis Presley
      Suspicious Minds by Elvis Presley
      Let’s Stay Together by Al Green
      Nutbush City Limits by Ike & Tina Turner
      Graceland by Paul Simon.
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    • Day 26

      Fried PB & Banana S/W at Gladys' Diner

      May 24 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

      I had to try Gladys' famous fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches. The options were fried in bacon grease (tempting!), or butter. I chose the butter.

      I'm not sure this reflects anything Gladys would have made, though it would just be "cruel" to come to Graceland and not give this a go.Read more

    • Day 11

      Nashville - Memphis

      May 7, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

      Seit heute morgen geht es Romy leider nicht so gut, sie hat ne Erkältung abbekommen 🤧
      Wir haben uns daher erstmal Medikamenten eingedeckt und sind dann nach Franklin gefahren.
      Dort haben wir die Leipers Fork Whiskey Destillerie besucht und eine sehr gute Führung mitgemacht.
      Zum Glück haben wir ein großes Auto und Romy konnte so die vierstündige Fahrt nach Memphis auf der Rückbank schlafen.
      Wir übernachten heute direkt gegenüber von Elvis Anwesen im Guesthouse at Graceland. Ein sehr schönes Hotel mit ganz viel Hinweisen darauf das der King noch lebt 😉
      Hoffentlich geht es Romy morgen wieder besser, wir sehen dann mal weiter was und wie viel wir in Memphis machen.
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    • Day 156


      December 29, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 4 °C

      The hotel is packed with Ohioans down in Memphis to watch their team, Iowa State, play Memphis tomorrow at the Liberty Bowl. Their college sold 15000 tickets so there are at least that many and more in town at the moment and I guess that is one of the reasons why accommodation is expensive this weekend, that and the New Year. Expensive and difficult to find when I was looking just 3 weeks ago.
      We were not sure about heading to Graceland today with so many of them here, instant crowd and all. The shuttle out there from Beale Street is free so we thought head out there and if it’s too crowded we’ll head back into town and return tomorrow. Luckily Ohio State had a prep rally in the morning and a parade in the afternoon so the crowds weren’t too bad.
      Thankfully we took cash as well as our travel card as our ticket payment with the card was declined.
      The Elvis Experience Tour - a tour of all the exhibit halls which included his cars, his costumes, his career, icons influenced by Elvis and his early life in Tupelo, an introductory film about Elvis and Gracelands and a Gracelands itself.
      The exhibitions were interesting and really well presented. This tourist attraction is a real money spinner and money has been spent to present everything well. And Gracelands ......... in a word - kitsch. Kitsch, yes, but tacky to the point of being totally over the top and cool in a way. It was certainly a product of that era, the 60s and early 70s. The green shag pile carpet on the ceiling was a shocker but I rather liked the jungle room.
      The shuttle returned us to Beale Street. Beale Street was jumping. The bright lights, the load music from each restaurant and bar and chaotic crowds in the street reminded us of Khoa San Road in Bangkok, a very cold Khao San Road.
      After a stroll through it we continued on to 2nd Avenue for dinner at Las Magaritas.
      A good day.
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    • Day 44

      Graceland and Peabody ducks

      May 17, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

      Today we were going to be tourists. We had no idea what we would expect for Graceland as we didn't look anything up.

      We got there about 10am and it was not that crowded yet. We were not expecting the $60 a person cost (luckily kids were free) but it was something we had to do, even if neither of are huge Elvis fans.

      We have been introducing Brandon to Elvis over the last week or so, and he was so excited. He loves the GPS on the car so he knows how close we are (as well as learning numbers and time) and 4 min till Graceland he was so excited, screaming like a young teenage girl at a rock concert.

      Graceland the many museums in the area were worth the money. There was a lot to learn about Elvis and career. He seemed to be a stand up, charismatic family guy who loves to entertain. We saw his house, Graceland, his outfits, all his gold records, all his movies he was in, information about his time in the army, and his many cars. The kidney pool that was built looked exactly like my grandparents house.

      We had no idea that Graceland was going to take 4 hours and we had to change our day around as we weren't going to see all we had planned.

      As of most of the week, it was hot and sticky and thought we could take the kids to a splash pad which was supposed to have great views of the city. Well, we could not find this place, so we ended up going to the Memphis Botanic Gardens.

      It was 3pm, the weather was threatening with a storm, and we couldn't drive all the way back to the campsite as we had plans to be at the city at 5. The gardens would normally cost $10 an adult, but the nice lady let us in just to check out the kids tree house and stay for a little bit. The gardens were beautiful and the kids area was fun. There was a cubby house which lots of banging and music could be played. There was slides and holes to crawl through. Cubby houses with alfalfa growing on the roof. There was a tree house that has a slide from it. Inara tumbled down the slide and hurt herself. Between the two kids they have scrapes, and bruises all over their legs and arms from falling and being kids.

      We had about 30 min before the storm came down on us as we were playing in the tree house. There was thunder and lightning and hard rain. We got soaked getting to the car.

      Our next destination as tourists was the Peabody hotel. This hotel has been around since 1925 and the spectacle of the Peabody ducks since 1930. At 11am the ducks waddle across the foyer on a red carpet from the elevator to the water fountain in the middle of the bar area and back at 5pm. The kids got to sit right at the red carpet as the ducks made their quick exist from the fountain. It was a unique site.

      By the time we got back to the campsite, the rain has stopped, the tent was safe and dry inside and we had a lovely spaghetti dinner made by Josh.
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    • Day 18

      Across Arkansas to Memphis

      October 15, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 21 °C

      It was a rainy travel day. So I did not get any photos. So I decided to post a few I did not post previously. The first is a sunset from our first night in Edgewood, NM. The next 3 are views from the top of the cliff at Tent Rocks National Monument. Oklahoma had the absolute best visitors centers. Staffed by people and loads of free information. Made me want to go back to Oklahoma instead of just traveling through. In New Mexico they told us they were closing most of their visitor centers because with GPS and Google no one is stopping. The buffalo head was in the Rockwell Campground's office. It was just west of Oklahoma City.Read more

    • Day 19


      October 16, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

      Spent all day at Graceland. Walked there from our campground. They had a really nice audio/video tour. Photos of house, living room with stained glass peacocks, foyer with stained glass, the gravesites in the meditation garden, the pink Cadillac and one of his jumpsuits. Delicious lunch at Vernon's BBQ. A two hour nap late this afternoon and then soup with John and Denise and a game of Sticks.Read more

    • Day 20

      Memphis Pyramid and Beale Street

      October 17, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

      Today we visited The Memphis Pyramid. It is a Bass Pro Store, The Cypress Lodge and at the top The Lookout restaurant. We perused the store and then took the elevator to the top for lunch and the view of the Mississippi River. We stopped by historic The Peabody Hotel to see the ducks in the fountain. After a few hours of rest Tom, Denise and I took the shuttle to Beale Street. We checked out the stores including A. Schwab, their motto is if we don't have it you don't need it! A family owned store since 1876. Then we went to BB King's Blues Club for live music by The BB King All Star Band and some ribs for dinner!Read more

    • Day 21

      Last day in Memphis

      October 18, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

      This afternoon we took a boat ride down the Mississippi River. It was a beautiful afternoon. We saw some "grocery" barges. They deliver fuel, fresh water and groceries to barges moving up and down the river so they do not have to stop for supplies. This evening we got a ride in a pink Cadillac from the campground to Marlowe's for BBQ dinner.Read more

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