The Most Perfect Day at My Happiest Place on Earth … GRACELAND ~ by Deena Dietrich

This was THE MOST PERFECT DAY! I spent the entire day (eight hours) at The Happiest Place on Earth, Graceland. After on my drive back to Tunica, I was smiling ear to ear because I had the best time at Graceland and at the same time almost crying because I already missed it. I was at Graceland by 9:30am taking the VIP tour. I had a few minutes by myself in the foyer /  living room (my favorite room in Graceland) before tours started coming in and crowding the place. (Note – if you want to tour Graceland, go in the late afternoon when it’s not crowded – mornings are packed.) I spent time in my other favorite spots: Vernon’s office, the racquetball court and the Meditation Garden. In fact, I was relaxing in the Meditation Garden when I started talking to some folks and had to school them on what a great artist Lisa Marie is. I went to Vernon’s Smokehouse for lunch and had my usual five veggie plate (2 mac n cheeses, collard greens, mashed potatoes, bbq spaghetti) with sweet tea in the free refills souvenir cup and banana pudding for dessert. This year the souvenir cup is the 50th Anniversary ’68 Comeback Special. It costs about $12, but it is worth it because I can use it while I am at Graceland this week and when I come back in August for Elvis Week, so it really is a great deal. There are now TVs in Vernon’s playing Elvis performances. I stayed there and posted my photos from Graceland and around 12:30 toured all the museums in Elvis Presley’s Memphis.

First, I went to the new expanded Private Presley exhibit for the 60th Anniversary of Elvis’ Army Induction. The only real difference I saw were four big screen TVs playing four army related videos including Elvis’ pre and post army press conferences and the Welcome Home Elvis Frank Sinatra Special. I quickly walked through the Sam Phillips, Sun Studio, Presley Motors and Presley Cycles exhibits. New since I was there in January was the Cadillac Table from the old Chrome Grille. I spent about an hour in my favorite museum, Elvis the Entertainer. I enjoy spending time in the movies exhibit, in the ’69 Vegas exhibit and watching the 10 Outstanding Young Men video. Part of The Searcher is now playing in the theater. I spent about an hour and a half in the VIP lounge posting photos, relaxing and listening to the Ultimate VIP tour guide talk about some of the items from the archives. The lady in the VIP lounge recognized me from January. I learned they are playing Elvis movies in the Soundstage every day, but the same movie. It was Blue Hawaii all day that Monday. They may have been doing this in January, but I didn’t realize it.

Around 4pm, I went back up to mansion and it was empty. I got to stand alone in the foyer and living room as long as I wanted – I stayed for about a half hour. (Again if you’re a big Elvis fan, you must get the VIP tour at Graceland so you can go back up to the mansion as many times as you want that day – and go at the end of the day when it’s empty.) I leisurely walked through the rest of Graceland not taking photos, but just enjoying being there.  To see ALL of my photos (and there are LOT more) from my most perfect day at Graceland, please click here. This was Day 3 of my 10 Day Road Trip through Tennessee (and Mississippi). To read about what else I did on my trip, please click here. I will be back at Graceland for Elvis Week in August attending all the EPE events and staying at the Guest House, so look for my live tweets and posts @DeenasDays on Twitter and Facebook.

About the author: Check out our full bio page for Deena Dietrich HERE