Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

We are now in Del Rio Texas

We are now in Del Rio Texas

Memphis TN: Beale Street and Graceland

May 11- 12 

On Sunday the 11th we headed into Memphis to have breakfast and to check out Beale Street.  For whatever reason we picked Denny’s to have breakfast.  That was a mistake!  The food was good but could have eaten at one of the better restaurants in the downtown area.  We saw many people eating breakfast/brunch on sidewalk tables and enjoying a cocktail to boot.  Now we know better!

After the big breakfast we headed a couple of blocks south to the famous Beale Street.  This is Sunday (and Mothers Day) morning so there isn’t too much going on but you can tell this is a happening place as the sun goes down. Beale Street is not real long maybe 10 blocks or so.  It is very similar to New Orleans but much smaller and with lots of BBQ thrown in. Can’t wait to see this at night with all of the neon and also have some of the famous BBQ.  

From the North end of Beale Street looking South

Typical wall art on Beale Street.

A place to get a drink on the street.

Inside one of the many bars on Beale street.

Many artists are memorialized on the sidewalks.  This is a more famous one.

Street car in the downtown area.  Seems the cars are original, no big modernizations.
While we were downtown Memphis we found out that this week starting on Thursday is the World Championship BBQ Contest.  We are scheduled to leave here on Wednesday and head up to Nashville before the contest begins.  After some deliberations we decided to stay here until Saturday the 17th and attend the BBQ contest here in Memphis.  Nashville will still be there the next time we pass through but we may not be here for the BBQ contest next time.  That’s one of the nice things about this lifestyle; we can change our plans easily.  The key for us is to plan but have few absolute time specific commitments and, of course, that is easier said than done.

The weather and the big breakfast did us in after a couple hours exploring the Memphis downtown area. The temperature just reached 90 degrees with an 80% humidity and no breeze.  So we headed back to the RV for a nap in the AC.  

After the nap, I did a few chores around the RV. We haven’t used the bikes since we were in our winter spot in South Texas so I got the bikes out and tuned them up.   I also washed all of the windows on the outside including the big rear window.  The big rear window hasn’t been cleaned since sometime last year.  Since we were backed up against a fence during our winter stay, we never raised the blinds. So there was no reason to wash it then.

For dinner we decided to build a fire and cook a steak and watch TV news on our outside TV.  I gathered the leftover firewood from the other unoccupied sites which was easier than going into the woods.  It was nice outside as the sun went down so we sat outside and watched the local TV news and cooked. It was very nice end to the day!
Patty building the fire to cook our steak on.

Our site to watch the local news and 60 minutes while waiting on the steak to cook on the fire.

Monday the 12th we decided we would visit Graceland, the Elvis Presley mansion.  We didn’t plan it this way but the mansion is only 6 miles from where our site is.  Since this is a Monday, and not the “in season” time, there was no crowd at all.  The huge parking lot was about 25% full.  We could see whatever we wanted and stay as long we wanted to.  This is the reason we like to do our sightseeing in the Spring and Fall and during the week, much less crowded. 

Visiting Graceland is expensive!  First, it cost $10 to just park! The tour cost us $36 each bringing the total to $82 to visit a dead pop star's house.  Now I must say, after visiting this attraction, it was worth the money, and I am not exactly an Elvis fan.  Elvis was a big part of American life from the 50s and on up to his death in 1977 at the age of only 42. 

Front gate to Graceland.

Cardboard Elvis.  You can buy this here too!

Front of the mansion.  He paid a little over $100k for it in 1956.

Living room.

His parents bedroom.

Dining room.

Billiards room.

His office and where he did his first TV interview after returning from the service.

All of his gold records.

Elvis's racquetball and lounge area he had built behind the house.  He played the piano in this room and sang to some friends on his last day of life. 

A couple of the many costumes he wore performing.

Back of the mansion.

Pool with his and his parents graves in the background.

The Presley family grave site.  Elvis, his parents and his grandmother are buried here.

Elvis's grave
After the Graceland visit I have much more respect for the man than I did before the visit.  He had his parents and his grandmother living with him in the mansion.  He was also very generous with the people of the Memphis area. He was also an extraordinary performer with a great voice.  Yes, he had an addiction problem with prescription medications that eventually cost him his marriage and ultimately his life.  But overall he had a positive impact on the lives of many people.

We spent almost 4 hours there at the mansion complex. The attraction has many more things to see than just the mansion.  His 2 personal jets are there as are many of his automobiles and his extravagant toys.  There are all of his gold records and the costumes he wore while performing and from his movie career.  By the way, each place you go there is a shop with VERY expensive Elvis items for sale. One shop even had replicas of his costumes for sale starting at $1,800!  I did not purchase one of those!

One of the cars Elvis bought for his wife Priscilla.  After his death she returned it to the mansion for the museum.

Elvis has millions of dollars worth of cars.  I only have a few here.  This is a 1975 Ferrari.

Elvis bought this cadillac for his mother.

Elvis owned 2 personal jets.  This is the largest.

Dining table in the big jet.

Seating in the big jet.  The seat belt locks were gold plated.

Elvis's bed room on the big jet.

Elvis's smaller jet.  He had his dog with a bodyguard flown to Boston for emergency surgery on this jet. Unfortunately, the dog died days after surgery.

It looks like it is going to rain on and off for the next couple of days. Our plan is to eat at one of the best BBQ restaurants in Memphis on either Tuesday or Wednesday and then visit Beale Street all in the same evening.  That will leave us with Thursday and Friday visiting the BBQ contest.  We are just going to play it by ear and see what happens with the weather. 

We will leave here on Saturday the 17th and head northeast through Illinois toward Wakarusa IN.  It’s about 650 miles to the Prime Time factory in Wakarusa where our rig was built. Our plan to be there by the 20th next week so we can make the appointment we have at 9:30 am on the 21st to have Warranty items fixed.  

One of our stops along the way will be in Rantoul IL which is near the home of a couple who we have corresponded with over the past 1.5 years about full time RVing.  They are planning to start out sometime this year.  We are now planning to have lunch with them next Monday.  We are looking forward to that!

The next post will be after we are full of BBQ!

On our way back to our campsite I took this picture of the entrance.

Stay Tuned!

1 comment:

Joyce and John said...

Enjoying your blog. We are also full time RVers with mail forwarding in SD. We are thinking of registering our RV & truck in SD. You stated that it was $319.00. Can I assume that was for the truck & RV? Thanks so much, Joyce Tyo