So no guesses required for where I get my Elvis fandom from. My parents first date was an Elvis movie, and today I got to take them down to Elvisland.
When traveling I try to visualize if other friends and family would like/dislike the place, and this one was a no brainer. Went down to Memphis before I was married (technically last century!!), and so for this trip I wanted to add an extra experience.
Inspiration came from the wonderful blog 97thingstodobeforeiturn97. And so this morning (with a business class upgrade in hand), we headed down south. Landing in hot and humid Memphis, we rented a car (well a Sebring) with satellite radio, cranked up the Elvis channel and sped down to Tupelo, Mississippi aka Elvis birthplace.
We were lucky to avoid a State trooper speed trap, which in a small way was unfortunate. Who wouldn't want a southern cop aiming his gun at the folks with weird accents as they tried to open the rental car glove compartment.
The good people at Garmin have even mapped out the parts between the Coasts of America, and so in the late afternoon, with shadows getting longer by the minute, we pulled up by the 2 room house where the King of Rock 'n' Roll was born.
sparkleneely at 97 things (and a way better writer than me), does an excellent job of capturing the almost ad verbatim stuff you get to hear when you walk through the house. The house is real tiny and it's hard to take photos without the guide getting her big old Southern hair in the shot. I did manage to make her blush when I said "She must be the most photographed woman in America".
Afterwards we had our picture snapped with the bronze Elvis and then headed for the gift shop. Plenty of tat to buy (I went with a pair of EP shades and sideburns).
The cardboard Elvi behind the seating are too good an opportunity to miss, so here's me and my mum going Police Squad stylee.
All that was left to do was sign the register book, which I did, while my parents mistakenly signed the petition to re-name the Tupelo airport.
We made a quick detour to Tupelo Central, and to the hardware store where Elvis got his first guitar. It still looks like a 50's style hardware store, and they keep a picture of Elvis in the window.
Mississippi was great. I saw no proof of their recent infamous obesity record, and was disappointed to not use the phrase Tupelo Honeyz. I was picturing larger sized African American ladies with a penchant for miserable bastard Irishman Van Morrison. And driving between Tupelo and Memphis you get to cross the Tallahatchie Bridge, made famous in the Ode to Billie Joe.
At night we hit the city for BBQ. Good times!