25 Miles to Graceland

 25 Miles to Graceland

2010 marks the 75th anniversary of Elvis’ birthday and Travel Tunica thought what better time to experience Graceland.  With Tunica MS being just 30 minutes away, we headed up Hwy. 61 to first have lunch at one of Elvis’ favorites, Arcade Restaurant.

Elvis’ booth at The Arcade.

Founded in 1919, the Arcade is Memphis’ oldest café, and Elvis frequented so often that a booth is dedicated to him. Not only is the food great . . . The Downtowner pizza is a must try, but the atmosphere and design is what moviemakers hope to find in a location.  Click here for the complete story on the Arcade.
Next we headed to Graceland and were amazed at the number of people we saw on a Wednesday afternoon.  There was a steady flow of tour buses driving through the Graceland gates.

After the self-guided audio tour, we decided that our favorite rooms included the yellow Media/TV den, the cloth covered Pool Table hang out, and the Trophy/Raquetball Court exhibit.  Our tour made us realize that everyone has a story about Elvis.  Whether you just love his music or can relate something in your life back to him, his influence has made an impact on the world.  You can tell this just from seeing and hearing all the different nationalities that come to visit Graceland.
My story begins in the summer of 1977, when I was born in Covington, TN, and lived in Millington, just 30 minutes from the King of Rock N’ Roll.  My parents had no idea that on my one-month birthday that Elvis would be rushed to a Memphis hospital, and the world would lose an icon.  I think my Dad was quite proud of the random trivial fact that related back to his first-born (even though it seems a little morbid).
My mom recounted the day Elvis died to me recently.  She had taken me to see my dad at Wal-Mart, where he worked in the shoe department.  Elvis’ death was announced over the intercom, and my mom told me that she picked me up that day and said, “It’s so sad that you’ll never get to see Elvis.”
Growing up my parents told me of their time living in Millington and their random Elvis sightings in Memphis.  So it’s no surprise that my whole life I’ve wanted to see Graceland.  But for one reason or another, I’ve never visited until now, and I’m so glad I did!  I’m already planning another trip with family and friends who are true Elvis fans.  We may even head over to Tupelo to see his birthplace and childhood home.  For information on Graceland, click here.  For information on Tupelo, Mississippi, click here.
Even though their stories aren’t as elaborate as mine, Travel Tunica’s Claire and Lisa also have their own stories about Elvis.  Claire visited Graceland for the first time at the age of 10 and had never really been exposed to his music prior to that time.  She didn’t truly appreciate Elvis’ influence until she was actually living in the Memphis/North Mississippi area and visited again as an adult.
Travel Tunica’s Lisa was not named for the Elvis heir, but does share the same first and middle name.  Living in the Memphis/North Mississippi area, she is often asked about the namesake relation.
Next week begins Elvis Week scheduled for Tuesday, August 10 – Wednesday, August 16 (the anniversary of Elvis’ death). Elvis Week celebrates the music, memories, and legacy that surround Elvis Presley.  Events include Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, Conversations on Elvis, Candlelight Vigil at Graceland, and new for 2010, a screening of the newly-restored and remastered “Elvis on Tour.”  For more information on Elvis Week, go to ElvisWeek.com.
Need a place to stay and want to add even more fun to your trip, check out TunicaTravel.com.  Who knows – you might just catch a glimpse of Elvis at one of Tunica’s nine casinos?!
To see more photos from our Graceland tour, click here.  Since Elvis Week is all about telling His story, we’d love to hear your Elvis story!

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