Monday, October 17, 2011

Memphis

Sunday morning, Shannon, my mother and I drove up to Memphis for a quick trip. Since none of us had visited Graceland before, we decided to make a pit stop there for a quick tour. we elected to do the 1.5 hour audio tour through the mansion and other buildings. It was just what I expected... tacky!! However, it was fun to hear stories of Elvis and his friends, and what they did in the various rooms. It was also amazing to see all of his platinum records and awards. I learned lots of things about "Elvis the pelvis!"




Here is one of the rooms where he entertained friends. In fact, we were told this is where Elvis played the piano the day before he died.








And here is one of the beaded outfits he wore for a show, this one was worn in 1969.










Lastly, here are some photos of his meditation garden, which is where he is now buried (in addition to his mother, father and grandmother...who all lived at Graceland with him). What I found so interesting was that fans still mail and deliver flowers to Graceland, especially around his birthday and the anniversary of his death, and the staff at Graceland put them out. Their policy is to place them in one of the buildings, or around the grave site until they wilt or look worn (if silk or plastic).

Elvis has left the building....





The rest of our afternoon and evening was spent catching up with my Aunt Sue and Uncle Jim. We first met them for a late lunch, and then separated to get ready for the reception before the opening of "Memphis" at the Orpheum Theater. Since the reception was at the Peabody Hotel, we decided to arrive early so we could see the ducks do their thing at 5pm. We arrived just before 4:30, and the place was packed and lines were formed around the fountain and along the red carpet where they walk to the elevator. Shannon squeezed her way up to the front and I followed so we could get some photos.




The hotel's lobby was fairly dark, so many of my pictures didn't turn out so good, but it was very cute to see the trainer tap the side of the fountain, and up they got on the edge. Then they waddled down the red carpeted stairs from the fountain, across the lobby and onto the elevator.






At the reception, they introduced me to David Bryan (the keyboardist from Bon Jovi who wrote the score for the play). We also met the woman who plays the lead (Felicia) on Broadway in New York for the play. Since the leads on the touring company were the understudies in NY, she wanted to come support them for their big night. Following the play, we walked to an after party at the Majestic, where we ate, drank and mingled with all of the producers. About an hour after the play wrapped, the actors started rolling in. I snapped a few photos, and spoke to Bryan, the leading man who played Huey. It was after midnight before we finally headed back to the hotel. What a fantastic night, and what fun to feel like a superstar at all of the parties!


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