Memphis Moments

We pulled out of Two Rivers Campground at 8:43 a.m. CST headed to Memphis. Our itinerary has changed because we can’t get on to Ft. Leonard Wood Army base. Ron lived there during 3rd through 5th grades and really wanted to show it to me. When he called yesterday to see if we would be able to get on base, he was told no. Since 9/11 you are no longer allowed on the base unless you have a purpose for being there. Visiting your old childhood home is not considered a purpose. Ron was extremely disappointed. After overcoming his disappointment, we decided to change our trip. We’re no longer going to Branson, the Four Corners or the Ghost Ranch. Instead, we are traveling to Arkansas to visit friends, then Oklahoma City, OK. We’re stopping in Amarillo, TX for me to conquer my fear of horses (we shall see), before landing in Santa Fe, NM for a couple of nights. Less driving for Ron, more exploring for us.

We crossed the Mississippi River into Arkansas just after 1:30 p.m. CST on our way to the Memphis KOA in Marion, AR.

The Bass Pro shop that sits on the right before the Memphis-Arkansas Memorial bridge in Memphis, TN, definitely a sight to behold. We were going to check it out, there’s a restaurant at the top of the pyramid. But you have to pay $10 to ride the elevator up and we thought that was ridiculous. One thing Ron and I are finally starting to learn in our old age, the myriad of ways people take advantage of tourists. In Nashville at the campground, when I checked in she offered me their shuttle to downtown, just $10/person per ride. Our Uber was $11…for two.

We learned about one the oldest Civil Rights cold cases in the country when we passed the billboard below. Isadore Banks was brutally murdered in June 1954. Journalists put up the billboard, hoping to solve this unthinkable crime. More details on the case can be found here. I definitely will be researching this more when we get home.

We were escorted to site 42 at 12:57 p.m. CST. Treats were waiting for our pups at check-in. The area we’re camping in reminds me of the Delaware I know, flat and country. The land isn’t as flat as Delaware, but close.

We headed straight to Graceland once we set up camp, it was our purpose for adding Memphis to the trip. When we arrived we decided to go for the full Elvis experience which was $61 per person. John Stamos narrated our tour. The tour included earphones and an Ipad. mini. I think Elvis would like that, putting the latest technology to use, he was all about keeping up with the times. Of course, if you’re truly going to keep up, these days you need wireless earphones and an Android. I’m only saying that because I switched to the Google Pix 3 because of the camera. I haven’t had the problems with this phone I had with my Iphone. I was never a huge Elvis fan, but you have to give respect where respect is due. Already the impact he had on rock and roll, movies, life is evident and we haven’t even got on the shuttle to the house yet.

Honestly, Graceland was a blur. The house looked like what now would be considered an average home from the outside. For the time period, he had all of the latest toys. The tour was very well done, the racquetball court and viewing room were our favorite. I did not know he was a twin, I did not know his parents out lived them (meaning Elvis and his twin brother Jesse who was stillborn). How sad for Elvis’s parents to lose both of their sons. I can only imagine how painful Elvis’s death was for them, especially with all of the press. They had to have a deep faith, which Elvis inherited.

The books beside the bed in the airplane were spiritual books. He won 3 Inspirational/Spiritual Grammy Awards, one of which was just a few years before his death. He really was a wonderful person, it is sad so many people only think of him because of how he died. Elvis’s death shouldn’t define him, he had a bad moment in life, who hasn’t? I just pray my bad moments don’t kill me, like they did him. But he did a lot of good too, more than people even know. You could see it in the remnants of his life. I understand why he had that gorgeous smile, the boy knew how to play. He knew how to live. Obviously, moderation wasn’t his strong suit, if it was maybe he wouldn’t have died as young as he did. My favorite shots are below.

When I was researching something for this post, I came across this quote from Elvis; it really struck home with me:

“Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t goin’ away.”

By the way, I’m sitting in the Walmart parking lot, literally in Arkansas, typing. Ron and I just left Graceland, we’re picking up groceries for the next few days. I don’t have to grocery shop. I truly am on vacation! In all transparency, Ron is the cook in our household, today isn’t the only day I don’t shop. Also, it’s 94 degrees and feels like a 104. I thought the temps would be cooler out west.

Two shout outs to Elvis’s hallways. The mirrored hallway was fun for taking pictures while descending to the media room. The carpeted green hallway, couldn’t help but get a selfie on our way to the Jungle Room.

We lucked out and got to see two extra exhibits. One of Muhammad Ali; one on the First Century of Motorcycles. I loved the Doodlebug from the motorcycle exhibit. I thought if we used all of Ali’s exercise equipment, it wouldn’t hurt either one of us.

We had a drink at the Jungle Room bar at Graceland, where I got to send one of the coolest text’s I think I’ve ever sent. I left a Scatter card with some cash under the pineapple. I love wondering about who finds it? What will they think? How will it affect their day? If I found some cash with a card asking me to be kind, it would make me smile. Hopefully I am making someone smile at the exact time they need one. We also learned during the tour, Elvis didn’t like the taste of alcohol.

Here is the inside joke of the day for Ron and I:

On the way here, Ron and I spent about 2 hours re-planning our entire trip, as I said earlier. At one point I was making a reservation at a campground, talking to a new friend on the phone. She asked me what kind of truck we were driving. This is not a common question when making a reservation. My response, “Chevy!” The truth is I have no idea what kind of truck we have. The truck is completely Ron’s thing, I stay so far out of it I don’t even know it exists. Ron, however does know and is listening. He immediately yells, “We’re in a Dodge Ram!’ We have driven thousands of miles in this truck and that is how dumb I am. Ron was happy I didn’t say Ford;-). I will never be able to live this one down, I can guarantee you that.

Spending the evening at the campground watching Rafa hopefully make it to the final of the U.S. Open. Pretty sunset here in Marion, AR.