Monday, August 6, 2012

Gangland to Graceland


Brooke and I set out for Graceland at 2. We didn’t leave town until 3:30! We had to finish packing, and then we had to get our eyebrows waxed then get lunch at subway.

We were finally east bound and down. We were going to put the top down on the Jeep but decided against it because it was so windy. I was fighting the wind for the first hour then when we turned to go east, we had a tail wind : )

My thoughtful husband bought me a new stereo for a road trip present.

We listened to our ‘Road Trip’ play list & Pandora, we had some girl talk and laughed a lot. It was fairly uneventful until we got to Memphis. It was 9:00 pm and I took a wrong turn on a highway. And as luck would have it, we were low on gas. We were still on the main highway so I found a place that was well lit and we got off the highway.

As we pulled up, I realized why the place was so well needed to be. We got some relief knowing I was packin my 9 : ) but when we saw a police car parked at the front of the store. I pulled up to the gas pump, put in my card and got an error. Just as I was about to try again, some homeless drunk guy comes up and asks us if we needed help. I told him “no”. When I swiped the card again, I realized it said I had to prepay. I looked at Brooke who was standing beside me because she was too scared to wait in the Jeep, and told her to get in, we’ll pull forward by the cop and both go in to pay. The drunk was leaning on my spare tire that is on my tailgate. I’m assuming he needed it for balance. I pulled up and he left.

The store was filthy and we were in such a bad neighborhood that the guy working at the store was encased in a bullet proof cage inside the store. It looked like something out of a movie. Luckily, I was able to ask the cop for directions. Unfortunately, he was useless. I decided to go the way we came and look for a better neighborhood to ask for directions.

We made it a few miles when we saw a grocery store that was open and a security guard out front. I pulled up and saw he was an armed security guard. I thought well crap, we aren’t out of the bad area yet.

I showed him my GPS. He told me that we weren’t far and he lived near there so he could give us good directions. He prefaced his directions by saying we were going to have to drive 4 miles through gang land and be sure to not stop. URGH! I asked about stop lights and stop signs. He told me there would be cops at the intersections and once I got past a certain street, we would be in the clear. I got back in the Jeep and had to put on my “mommy face” and act like everything was just fine.

We lucked out and only had to stop at one light for just a sec. We were so thankful to get out of the bad area and so glad that we didn’t put the top down earlier. We both wondered how long it would take before we could look back and laugh on this one. We were laughing about it later that night.

We got checked in and got ready for bed. We stayed up too late watching TV and planning our Graceland tour the next day at 9.

We drove right to Graceland. Memphis looks a lot different in the day time. We had passes to see everything so we were prepared for this to be an all day event and it was. It was surreal seeing those gates and driving up to the house. It was much smaller than I expected. We had headphones for a self guided tour so we could go at our own speed.

After the house we got lunch at the Chrome Grille. I am a vegetarian who dabbles in the vegan food but I could not go to Memphis and not get BBQ! I had that stuff all over my face. Brooke was laughing at me; I told her that I was never washing it off. Of course, it was an impulse buy and it made me sick afterwards.

We went into several of the gift shops on our way to see his airplanes. We bought t-shirts and all the typical souvenirs.

View our Graceland Pictures Here

Elvis released a total of 771 songs in his career. Of all of those songs, when we were checking out at the souvenir shop we heard Never Been to Spain. We both just stood there in silence. Those that know us, know why.

The planes were interesting. He put them to good use. They said that Lisa Marie had never seen snow so he gassed up the plane and took her to the snow. She was little. She played for 30 minutes or so then they flew home. Awesome.

We left Graceland at about 3. Since we were so close, we drove a few minutes south into Olive Branch, Mississippi, got a pop and headed back to take a drive around the good part of Memphis. We put the top down on the Jeep and cruised for a few hours on the main streets. We passed a group of Democrats with signs that said “Honk if you love Obama” or something like that. I turned around so we could flip them off but chickened out. The most I could muster was to give them a loud boooo and a thumbs down.

We went to eat at PF Changs and then made a run to Target to get snacks and pop. We went back to the hotel and just lay around watching movies, talking and painting our toenails. We headed home Sunday at noon or so.

We had such a great time; we decided to make it an annual event. There is so much more that we wanted to see but didn’t make time for. I am so thankful for my beautiful, hilarious and fun daughter.

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