Road Trip: Day Twenty

Our time in Dallas went a bit longer than we had thought it would. We were thinking, “Eh, we’ll be at the museum for maybe 2 hours and then head off to Memphis!” Wrong. We spent at least 5 hours in Dallas, and when we were finally done sight-seeing, we had the pleasure of driving through rush hour traffic. Such a treat.

Our next destination was Memphis, TN, but that was oh, about 7 hours away. We were in rush hour traffic at 6pm, so to add 7 hours of driving on top of that, well, it ain’t gonna happen. We picked a spot just short of our goal and stayed in Hope, AR. This was a leisurely drive of only 3 or so hours from Dallas, so we arrived to our hotel somewhere around 9 pm. I think we stayed at a Super 8 or something. Nothing fancy, just a place to crash and I’m just fine with that on a long day like today.


Road trips can be a bit deceiving at times. Inside your car you’re nice and cool, comfortable...snacking. But as soon as you open the door, say, in Memphis, it’s 99 degrees and humid. That’s not fun. And that happened pretty much every day, every time we stopped, on this road trip. Comfort followed by misery. The road to Graceland was about 4 hours long. After a 4 hour drive you’re ready for a nap, at least I am. Note: No naps were taken on this trip. Totally blew my routine.

First and only stop: Graceland. Home of Elvis Presley. We bought our tickets and jumped on the tour bus as it drove us across the street. Across. The. Street. The exterior of Graceland, the home itself, looks pretty much like a nice, normal house. It’s when you get inside that the magic happens. Like shag carpet. Yes, this house is a time warp in original condition, right out of the 70’s. At every turn, you are greeted with incredibly tacky decor, most notably the kitchen, the living room, and the basement.

We toured the house and saw Elvis’ amazing trophy room which also contained his many famous jumpsuits that he wore during his performances. What an amazing collection of gold records! Out behind the main house was an office of sorts, a nice horse farm in the backyard, and then the graves of the Presley family. Near the grave site was a relaxing area that Elvis used for meditation. After the house tour, we jumped back onto the tour bus and back…across the street.

Next up was Elvis’ car collection. Here his taste was fairly tame, nothing too crazy (like his basement). He had some Stutz Blackhawks, a Rolls-Royce and a beautiful Lincoln, to name a few. We went to look at the planes, next.

The airplanes. One was kinda big, dubbed “Lisa Marie.” I don’t recall the model designation, but it was a medium-sized jet. Inside there were some couches, a conference table and chairs, and a bed for…naps. The other plane was more of a personal jet. Just a few chairs and a table…finished in a terrible color scheme. Everything was wrapped in a thick, clear plastic to protect the fabrics. Kinda like Grandma’s house, back in the day.

It seems that around every corner we turned at Graceland, was a gift shop. Elvis shirts, socks, pins, magnets, etc. You could buy 45’s (records), which I thought was pretty cool. They also had some expensive guitars in the $15,000 range for you big spenders. 

Bye, Elvis!

Bye, Elvis!

That’s about it for Graceland. The weather made for an uncomfortable day, for me at least. I’m not a fan of high temps and high humidity, both of which were present on this day.

Our hotel for the evening was going to be the home of Brian’s sister who lives near Columbia, TN, so we got to the car and started the 4 hour drive to get there. When we arrived we were greeted by a large, brown Doberman. No barking, just sniffing of my hand. Within minutes, I was diligently petting this dog, “Lady,” as she would not leave my side. On the stove was dinner…sloppy joe. We were both starving and polished off 3 joe’s each, washed down with some fruit punch. Mmm. About 17 minutes later I was crashed out on the bed, eagerly awaiting the 9+ hour drive home tomorrow.

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Thom BriggsComment