Blog Master G

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Cross Country: Day 6

Sunday, December 28th, 2003 · 1 Comment

Lexington, Kentucky — We crossed over the Eastern Time Zone some time around 9:30pm Central Time tonight. We had gone through the rest of Arkansas after leaving Little Rock this morning, crossed the Mississippi, and drove all the way through Tennessee. Today was the longest day yet, settling into Kentucky, which, according to the guy at the front desk of our hotel here, isn’t technically the south by Civil War definitions.

Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee wasn’t what Jen or I had expected. We had envisioned grandeur, excess — the kind of extravagance typically associated with the rich and famous. But by rock star standards, Elvis Presley seemed to live a fairly modest life, at least at home in Memphis. The first thing that was striking about Graceland is its locale: The part of town is pretty dilapidated and there’s not much around besides some gas stations, car dealerships, and boarded-up restaurants. Then, out of nowhere, are the white gates leading up to the Presley estate. You don’t park on that side of the road, though. That’s the weird and annoying part.

After parking in the lot across the street and walking past half a dozen different gift shops, we bought our tickets and got in line to board the shuttle that would take us all the way across the street and up the slight hill of a driveway. It was laughable. Only in America. It was clearly about crowd control, but incredibly frustrating that we could’ve thrown Happy Dingo the length of the street between us and the mansion, but they wouldn’t allow us to walk.

The self-guided audio tour of the mansion was about half an hour to an hour. Upstairs in the mansion is closed off to tourists because it was Elvis’ private area, so it’s out of respect for the family that they don’t bring tourists there. (Though they don’t go into detail about it on the tour, apparently Elvis also died upstairs at home, so that may be part of it, too.) The tour does include the main floor and basement of the mansion, including the famous Jungle Room, which has an indoor waterfall at one end. I really liked the basement TV room with mirrored walls and ceilings.

The remainder of the tour walked through the trophy rooms, the racquetball house, the stables, and the rest of the grounds, ending with a visit to the grave of Elvis, his parents, and his grandmother by the pool. It was pretty surreal. I’m sure it’s even more surreal for those Elvis die-hards who believe Elvis is still alive.

Coming the southern route across the country certainly adds a lot to the trip — about an extra thousand miles and two days, in fact. We’ve driven 2,826 miles since San Francisco, 580 of those since leaving Little Rock this morning.

Tomorrow we head north to visit my grandparents before cruising into New York for our eighth and final day of the journey.

Tags: relocating

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 El Peacho Magnifico // Dec 29, 2003 at 12:18 pm

    GAAAAAABE DOG !!! I love that you are posting all of this on your journal ! That galaxy diner is indeed the same one that me and Brian stopped at when enroute to texas they had great malts not as good as hueys but then will anything ever be as good as hueys was ? I laughed so hard aboutthe bunny dont feel bad about a suicidal bunny man its not your fault he was trying to end his life and its not like bunnys are endangered I mean the saying screwing like bunnys is a saying for a reason right ? or in the words of the immortal Jay Leno Crunch all you want theyll make more ?
    ok ok time to rap this up remeber to get your oil changed soon your about due and the scooby sounds like it definatly earned it also when you are getting your oild changed have them look at the breaks you want to have plenty of pad left when you make the turn up north and start hitting the shity weather ! Ok ok I am really trying to wrap this up ! I hella miss you guys its alreeady getting hard to find stuff to do with out you guys we always party / crash at your house !! =)
    alright drive safe ( faster) talk with you soon!