You can't go upstairs at Graceland. Elvis said so. Instead, you can only peek up the three different staircases that lead upstairs and wonder where Elvis really is and, if you did in fact jump the velvet rope and run up there, would you meet him, or a 70s-decorated bedroom? Or maybe they're using the upstairs for storage. We may never know.
Anyhoodle, you have to take a shuttle to Graceland, which makes sense since the house itself is right across the street from where the shuttles leave. It's always best to drive a short distance. That way you don't do anything weird, like exercise.
Maybe you think Elvis is the fat guy who sang in Vegas. Or the nutter who wore beaded jumpsuits. Maybe when you think of him, you think of peanut butter and banana sandwiches and lots of fried food. Maybe I thought this, too.
Except he's not. Or, he wasn't. Like, maybe the house itself is a little wacky--I mean, a lemon yellow TV room, a pool room with walls covered in wild-patterned fabric that makes your eyeballs go cross-eyed, THE JUNGLE ROOM WITH WATERFALL. Perhaps that's wacky. But it was the 70s. In case you didn't already know, Alert Power Love Reader, the 70s were wacky. No one should've been decorating anything back then. Avocado is a food item, not a color, m'kay?
Graceland is small, for a mansion. There's a lot of land. There's space for a horse. I thought this horse was hanging out having a rest, but after staring at him for about 3 hours, it occurred to me that maybe he wasn't really alive. Maybe he was just a stuffed horse, there for show. Or maybe he was just taking a really, really long rest. Who knows. Anyway, I got a picture because in 3 hours, I fell in love with that horse.
There are a bunch of other buildings on the Graceland's land. But not really buildings like office buildings, more like buildings like, garages. There was a business room with file cabinets, and the raquetball court/exercise building that was turned into the trophy room, and another building with all kinds of newspapers articles framed on the walls and all the costumes Elvis wore in all his movies.
And then there was the meditation garden. With graves. And a pool, which was tiny. But still, it's a pool. I don't have a pool, so any pool works for me. And then you can stand there in the meditation garden, and see that Elvis's mom died when he was in his early 20s, and he died before his dad and grandma, and you know what you realize? Elvis was not a fat Vegas singer, he was not a caricature, he was not a punch line to a joke. He was a man who worked his ass off all his life. And he was a son and a husband. And a dad. And that made touring Graceland less a kitschy Americana joke trip, and more a walk through someone else's home. And that made me realize how easy it is to judge others. And that made me shut up.