Day 34 – Graceland, Downtown Memphis, & BBQ

We woke up ready to head out to Graceland. We arrived at right before 9am, as soon as it opened, wanting to get there before the crowd.

We had to wait a few minutes for the tour to begin, so we killed some time in the gift shop.



Mr. Potato Head looking like a cool dude!

The tour of the Graceland estate is self guided tour with an audio headset, as I so stylishly model for you above. After you are equipt with your headgear, you load into a shuttle to go across the street to the house.


By todays standards, the house is average on the outside. The inside is a whole different story. Did somebody say Gaudy? Oh lawdy, lawdy this sho is gaudy! (BTW, that’s spelled how I said it)



I must say, I did like the decor in the first room.
They really liked mirrors, the stairs down to the basement are walled with mirrors.




There’s FABULOUS carpet in the kitchen! My grandmaw had the same stove and love of wood paneling. Why would you want carpet in the kitchen! But that’s not the half of the carpet, just wait it gets better!

That’s the stairs with the mirrors, that’s pretty awesome! I would totally do this to my basement stairwell.
Down stairs is the T.V. room and the pool room with fabric walls.


Back up the stairs, adjacent to the kitchen, is the Jungle room. There is green carpet on the floors, walls, and ceiling.



That’s all the rooms they allow you to tour inside the main house. No one is allowed upstairs out of respect. Once you leave the house, you then tour a series of building used for different things.

Lisa Marie’s play set, the backyard is smaller than I would have expected.

Office with a meat curing room next to it that was used by the previous owners. Elvis used it as a shooting range.


Elvis had horse stables in the back of the yard and there are still a few horses in residence.
The trophy room is next.





This room took us a while to get through. There’s so much to read, listen, and see. We didn’t want to miss anything.
As we leave that room there is a pool, I was wondering why someone with so much money didn’t have one….and there it is, it was hidden.

The next room is Elvis’s racket ball court with comfortable viewing area. Well that’s what it used to be, it’s been converted into a shrine of memorabilia.


The last part of this tour takes us past his grave, along with that of his parents and grandmother.

Ok, so all of that was part 1 of the Graceland tour, we purchased 6 parts…so this was going to be a long day.

Elvis loved cars and he had a lot of nice ones over the years. The cars in this museum were ones that he owned at one time that were later given back to the museum and restored.











Elvis had a airplane and a jet. The jet is much small and looks like it could have been in an Austin Powers movie.

The Lisa Marie was given a $200,000 remodel to make it comfortable and suit his taste.

Elvis didn’t like to drink alcohol, he didn’t like the way it taste. He preferred Diet Dr. Pepper, Gatoraide, Soda water.


After seeing as much Elvis stuff as we could in one day, we headed back to the camper for a quick lunch and to check on Roux.
Then we went Downtown to the Gibson tour, no pictures aloud.

Our final tour was across the street from Gibson.
The Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum. There is so much history in this place and it’s a Smithsonian, when knew it would be awesome.





The exhibit takes you through the history of music in Memphis, whites and blacks working together to make some amazing music that we still love today.
This museum is freezing, like painfully freezing, I had to go through faster than I would have liked because I just couldn’t take it anymore. If you don’t like cold, be prepared!
We then made the short walk to Beale Street, which is the music and activity hub in the Downtown area.



After walking down the street we decided that this place is not that cool and it’s pretty dead. It ain’t no New Orleans!
We decided to head on over to the BBQ place we wanted to eat at for dinner. It was a good walk so we got to see some of the city….it looks abandoned, I imagined tumble weeds rolling by. The lady that gave us some advice on where to go while here at the visitors center had said the area is “up and coming”….well isn’t that special! ( in my best church lady voice)
Needless to said we walked as fast as possible to the BBQ joint.




The ribs were good, not note worthy, I liked the dry rub and the glaze thats was caramelized on them. The sides were ok. The chips had rave reviews on Yelp, they were just regular homemade chips with seasoning. The pulled pork had no smoke flavor and was very dry. The recommended smoked turkey was blah, so dry! The sausage was good, fine ground hotdog like consistency with a casing that had a good snap, I like that. Would I go back? No…Would I recommend it? No

Tomorrow we’ll be in Arkansas.

Day 5 – Cherokee, NC to Stone Mountain State Park NC

Hi there..on Day 5 we left the beautiful town of Cheokee, NC and to travel to Stone Mountain State Park in Roaring Gap, NC. We meandered down HWY 19 through the blue ridge and got onto Interstate 40. Most of the trip was interstate. We stopped in Black Mountain, NC at Phil’s BBQ pit, we saw the billboards from the interstate.20130805-181120.jpg20130805-181139.jpg
Inside the restaurant, the atmosphere was upbeat and modern. There were cool hats, pictures, license plates, and this cool hog mounted on the wall..looks like Pumpba from the lion king!
The bbq was good, not great. The meat was a little dry but the sides were good and the sauce selection was pretty cool, never seen a white BBQ sauce before..
We got back on the road and headed to Stone Mountain State Park while jamming to Courtbouillon. They’re a side project staring Wayne Toups, Steve Riley, and Wilson Savoy. These are the top cajun musicians of today. They recently won a grammy for their album, check it out its on Itunes.
We arrived in Stone Mountain with plenty of day light left. We set up the camper and put on our hiking gear and we headed to Wolf Cove Trail and Cedar Creek Trail. We made the loop up to the top of the summit and had some unbelievable views.
On the trail, we saw this huge snake. Aimee was walking up a head of me and all of sudden I heard a snakes rattle. I turned to my right and saw a 6 ft black snake coiled up about 3 feet away from me. If you know me, you know I can’t stand snakes, I probably screamed like a little girl. Thank goodness the snake slithered away!
On the Cedar Creek Trail, we were able to view Stone Mountain, check out the pictures, you can see why they call it Stone Mountain. It’s a popular place for rock climbers, but there were none today..
And we took a detour to the Moon, here’s a picture of Aimee walking on it without her astronaut helmet..
At the bottom of the trail, there was a homestead from the 1800s. There was a butcher shack, corn storage building, house with detached outhouse! We self-toured the community and the park did a really good job telling the story of life in the 1800s..

Tired and sore from the 3.5 mile hike, we went back to our campsight. We had an easy dinner, left over jambalaya and hot dog salad (aimee’s creation). We lit a fire from some wood we collected from inside of the park and had a run-in with the park ranger. Yeah, didn’t realize you weren’t supposed to collect wood from inside the park, we actually had to return it to it’s original location! Pretty crazy rules up here in Stone Mountain.


Well that’s all for now, until tomorrow, Bon Soir!