on September 18, 2009
The day we chose to visit Graceland was one of the rainiest in Memphis. We figured that since we were going to be inside most of the time, we would still show up for the tour. In fact, since the weather was calling for rain, we figured that we would show up early and see if we could be moved up in the time slots. We were! Bad Move!!! The heaviest rains came in the morning and we took the tour during a deluge.The mansion tour ( inside ) went smoothly. Living room to the right, dining room to the left - a little fancy for the day, but pretty standard setup. The kitchen carpeting brought back memories (bad ones) of scrubbing the indoor/outdoor carpeting and hoping that all the germs were removed. They must not have had the same germaphobic tendencies since the carpeting retained it's coloring (ours was bleached out from all the scrubbing). The waterfall in the Jungle room gives a grotto-like effect to the room. I can see why it was one of Elvis's favorite areas in the house. Back outside to go to Vernon's office. Even though we were under an awning, we still got wet due to the pouring rains and the leaks. I'm sure that if the rain was not so heavy, the awnings would not have leaked as badly. Vernon's office was set up as it had been during his life. The remaining part of the building houses memoriabilia (model of the birthplace in Tupelo and a gun range) with the swing set for Lisa Marie standing outside. From there we ran (in the pouring rain) to the Raquetball building. We were wet, but not drenched when we entered into the lounge area and saw the piano that Elvis played on his last day on earth. From there we went to the building that houses memories and photos from a career that started in the early 1950's.We never got to see the gravesite and the Memorial Garden since the area was fairly well flooded as we ran past. By this time the fields and low lying walkways were flooded. Water flowed over the tops of our shoes as we slogged through to the covered waiting area for the shuttle to take us back to the starting area across the street. We disembarked and went into the Gift shop just in time to hear the announcement "If you parked in the general parking area, you need to move your car to higher ground". We headed to the car, slogging through knee-deep water, to find that we were one of the lucky ones. Water had not yet entered our car (we had a van) and we were able to back out of the parking spot and head back to our hotel to dry off.I really hope to return one day (in the sunshine preferably) and see the areas we missed. It is too bad that the grounds aren't more "guest friendly" in bad weather. The awnings could easily be extended between buildings so that guests could be better protected from both sun and rain. Umbrellas did not - could not - protect us from this forceful rainfall.
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