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Old 05-05-2004, 08:55 PM   #36
MikeO OP
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Joined: Jul 2002
Location: Scarning, Norfolk, today...
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Another dull day. I decide I’m going to visit Graceland. I’m no Elvis fan, but it seems daft not to do the tourist bit, as I’m not far away and have no other plan for the day…

I follow Betty’s directions through the scattered showers and soon find myself on Elvis Presley Boulevard. I’m surprised when I get to Graceland – it’s in a pretty rough part of town, just down the road from a whole rank of cheap motels & pawn shops. Some of the hotels cater for the more, ahem, dedicated Elvis fan…



I ride into the car park and park just outside the entrance to the Heartbreak Hotel (no, really). I then walk over to the visitor centre and pay my entrance fee (Platinum Ticket – all features including Graceland Tour, Aircraft Tour…etc) – got 10% military discount, though

The guided tour was very good – the ‘guide’ was a small audio player…



…which allowed you to do the tour at your own speed. The visitor centre was packed, but the tour was run so well that you never felt rushed or crowded once you were in the house.



Which felt quite small, considering the money clearly spent (squandered?) on its interior design and decoration. Now, it’s easy to be critical of someone else’s taste, especially when the décor has been preserved since the late 70s – the decade that taste forgot – but, believe me, Graceland is GARISH Flash photography is not allowed inside any of the exhibits, so I’m afraid you’ll have to take my word for it, but, to give you an idea, the ceiling of the ‘Jungle Room’ is covered in green shag-pile carpet…

After an hour and a half’s tour (the commentary for which is top quality), you end up at Elvis’s grave in the garden...



It’s hugely overdone in a good old Las Vegas style, with an eternal flame and wreaths from all over the world…



…glad to see we were represented...

Then it was back to the gift shop to look at some of the choice items on offer…



Shirt?



Teaspoon?



Statuette? (What size, sir?)



Glass, um, thingy?

Enough.

I go and have a look around Elvis’s private jets.



The larger, a Convair, named the Lisa Marie, was used by Elvis on tour, whilst the smaller,



a Jetstar, was used by his manager Col Tom Parker, to fly ahead to the next concert venue to organise things. Incidentally – as Elvis’s manager and agent, Col Parker took 50% of his earnings…

All Elvised out, having taken all the glitz, diamante and poor taste I think I can take, I make my way back towards my bike – and I’m suddenly reminded that I’m in America…



Brilliant.
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MikeO screwed with this post 02-13-2006 at 11:06 AM
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