Sunday, April 10, 2011

Memphis - Gracelend & Beale St

Before you start reading this post, hit the Play button to Get some ELVIS groove now!

Oh Yeah! Today's Elvis Day and we are heading to Graceland!

Oops, the picture is quite blurry as I took them from the car. Below is the Heartbreak Hotel where it has the famous heart shaped pool...and of course. Elvis's Heartbreak Hotel song

We got ourselves tickets to tour Elvis's giant mansion.
Did you know that Elvis's mansion is the 2nd most popular building in America after the White House?

The tour bus entered the music gates towards Elvis's mansion. In the mansion, we were greeted by this classy living room. No doubt that made a good first impression!

Unfortunately, we can't go upstairs. But the stairs are so tempting and has this mysterious aura. Don't it feel like the more forbidden the place is, the more we wanted to just creep up and see what's really there?

Sitting opposite Elvis's living room is this gorgeous dining room

Moving on, still on the same floor is this guest bedroom. I'd be Elvis's guest anytime :)

A beautiful picture of Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley

We descended to the basement where the entertainment and pool rooms are.
The entertainment room. Except for the CRT TV, everything else still looked in trend

This is one of the most unique room - the pool room with its ceiling and walls covered in pleated fabric.

The back of the mansion is pretty contrasting with its royal front view. With no one around, it looks pretty creepy.

We entered another building and straight into Elvis's office.

Next up is the Trophy building. It houses all of Elvis's trophies (of course), awards, gold and platinum records, Elvis's stage costumes and various Elvis memorabilia. TVs lined up the walkway showcasing shows where Elvis starred in. I wonder how someone can collect so much trophies in a lifetime. Probably it's just Elvis :)

We entered another room which took our breath away. Elvis's awards & gold/platinum records adorned the entire room. Wall to wall, floor to ceiling!

The tour ended in Elvis's meditation garden. This is where our beloved legend was laid to rest. Flanking his burial ground are Elvis's mother & father. Elvis was originally buried in Forest Hill Cemetery but due to security issues, he was later reburied in Graceland where his fans around the world can now pay tribute to him.

We left the Graceland mansion and headed to Elvis's Automobile Museum. I wonder how many cars can someone as rich as Elvis own?

Some of his cars. The pink Cadillac is a hit among female visitors

No doubt he owned a bundle of luxurious cars (and some tractors. Hmm...). He also owned 2 private jets - Lisa Marie Convair 880 & Jetstar. If you get a chance to visit Graceland, check out the luxury interior of the plane. Equipped with a lounge, gold bedazzled bathroom, a bedroom and full fledged meeting table.

All this walking and touring made me hungry. It's lunch time!

We left Graceland and headed to the city of Memphis. We wanted to visit Beale Street - the home of the blues and birthplace of rock & roll.

Umm...something is wrong with this picture. Where's everyone?

There's barely any car on the street?

No cars in the intersection?

It's empty...

Finally, we reached Beale Street

Or in other words, the deserted Beale Street...

We left the deserted Beale St. and decided to cruise around (in the deserted Memphis city)

We ended up at the Mississippi river. America's second longest river. There are 2 bridges connecting Memphis to neigbouring Arkansas. The "new bridge" below is the Hernando de Soto Bridge which looked great at night. Too bad it's not painted in red else McDonald will be happy to conveniently place an ad there :p

Large mansions perched at the top of the hill overlooking the Mississippi river.

So each one of us chose our dream home

This is my (dream) home. It caught my eye with its non conventional architecture. Its non proportionate walls and the crooked balcony. I wished I can see what's inside!

Next, we visited the Peabody Hotel where the Peabody ducks reside. What? Did I just say ducks?

Arriving at The Peabody Hotel. I've got to add a little disclaimer here. This visit is not on the same day we visit Graceland & Beale street.

Introducing the Peabody ducks!

For decades since 1940, the ducks marched from their pen(t)house at the top of the Peabody Hotel, took the lift and marched on the red carpet towards the marble fountain in the center of the hotel lobby. This famous tradition led by the Peabody Duckmaster were witnessed by many celebrities including Oprah, Justin Timberlake, Michael Jordan, Kevin Bacon, Larry King, Lisa Marie & Priscilla Presley etc. Today, we are one of them.

Here we go! Go ducky!

I wonder what are the ducks thinking while marching towards the fountain.

Duck 1: Hey Duck 2, these people never seen a duck before?
Duck 2: Come on, we are royalties. They need to respect us
Duck 3: This feels like a deja-vu. I thought I just did this, this morning.
Duck 4: I believe I can fly...I believe I can touch the sky...
Duck 5: I am so gonna go to Hollywood after this!

Off they swim in the marble fountain. Where people cheered and clapped for the Peabody ducks. I think these are the luckiest duck after Donald.

Later that night, we passed through Beale Street again. So this is where the people are. They only come out at night and party till the morn where it's bedtime! OK, that's my guess to explain the weird phenomena of a city that is empty in the morning. I also gotta admit that we're pretty lame for not joining the party scene at night. Blame it on work!

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