Sorry I’ve been a bit quiet recently but I’ve been ticking things off my Bucket List like there’s no tomorrow, not to mention the fact that I’ve moved house which I really don’t recommend doing in the middle of a Turkish summer!

So, can you guess what this particular Bucket List item is purely by the headline? Yep, that’s right, I ticked off number 70 and went to visit Elvis at Graceland, his home in Memphis. Although, as luck would have it, he wasn’t home as he was doing a stint at a bar not too far from where I live. I really should have phoned ahead to let him know I was coming…

The obligatory cheesy photo outside Graceland

The obligatory cheesy photo outside Graceland

Anyway, apart from the absence of the host, it was a fascinating day – interesting, informative, emotional – everything you’d expect from a visit to the home of one of the most famous and successful singers and actors ever to have walked this earth.

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Graceland from the front

Graceland itself was actually pretty small and had an intimate feel about it. You weren’t allowed to go upstairs where Elvis’ bedroom was but you could view the rest of the property including the kitchen, lounge, rec room and, of course, the jungle room.

The infamous Jungle Room

The infamous Jungle Room

The area that had my mum in tears though was where the graves of Elvis, his twin brother, his parents and his grandmother lay.

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The King finally laid to rest

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…with the rest of his family

As well as Graceland, there was an opportunity to go inside 2 of his private planes – a small six seater one and the more luxurious Lisa Marie.

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The Lisa Marie

There was also, amongst other things, a museum housing his cars & another housing his stage outfits. And hats off to the genius marketing team who decided that all ten (yes ten) gift shops should have different items in them meaning you spent an absolute fortune – on that note, I am now pleased to say that I am the owner of a unique, slightly cheesy, Elvis bag/shoe that has to be every girl’s fantasy combination (second only to a night on the sofa with Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper).

shoe bag

Jealous?

Not only did I go to Graceland but I also visited his birthplace in Tupelo, Sun Studios in Memphis and Studio B in Nashville where Elvis recorded over 200 of his songs including Are You Lonesome Tonight? He apparantly recorded it with the lights down and managed to do it in one take. In fact, if you listen to the end of the song very carefully you will hear a double click – that’s him hitting his head on the microphone at the end of the song. Didn’t know that did you?

Studio B

Studio B

Channelling Elvis at Sun Studios

Channelling Elvis at Sun Studios

The guide also informed the tour group that Studio B closed down on 17th August 1977, the day after Elvis died. Was it out of respect? No, the studio executives had actually decided a whole year before that it was to close on that day. Spooky.

That was the point I felt tears pricking at my eyelids…and I realised that Elvis had indeed left the building.

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