Travel

The Guesthouse at Graceland

Josh surprised me with a 40th birthday weekend to Memphis with a memorable stay at the Guesthouse at Graceland! Best trip ever!! 

26 years ago, my family and I went on an unforgettable road trip across the U.S. We started in Connecticut, drove through the northern states until we arrived in California, then made our way back home driving through the southern states. During our drive back to Connecticut, we stopped at the infamous Graceland (a life changing moment for me).

I will never forget this road trip because it was the first time I entered the gates of Graceland and completely fell in love with Elvis. I was only 14 but Elvis became a complete passion of mine! I remember bits and pieces of walking through his mansion and viewing his cars and airplanes (of course my mom can’t find the photos from this vacation…but if she finds them, I will definitely show you). My dad was an Elvis fan so I grew up listening to his music and watching his movies but it wasn’t until I visited Graceland that I became a HUGE fan. I won’t go into telling you about my obsession with Elvis because it’s a long story and if you know me at all, you’ve probably heard it a million times.

I can still close my eyes and remember the jungle room, grand staircase and the photo of blonde Elvis hanging at the foot of the staircase (yes, Elvis was a natural blonde. Crazy right?!?). Even though I remember my tour of Graceland, I had always wanted to go back and see it as an adult but could never seem to find the right time…should I go with my kids? Visit during Elvis Week? Girls trip?

Well, Josh came to me a few weeks ago and said he wanted to do something very special for my 40th birthday and surprised me with a trip to Graceland! This was Blue Suede music to my ears! I was thrilled to say the least!! Especially because we were going to stay at the brand new Guest House at Graceland! I had been reading (and following) the hotel on social media and hoped I would make it there some day! It finally happened!!!

Well here we are 26 years later, back at Graceland, my happy place! The kids wanted to come with us but I decided it would be best to take them another time so Josh and I could enjoy ourselves. When I told Kingsley we were going to Memphis to see Elvis she said “ I thought Elvis lived in Vegas” haha! Josh and I were so excited to stay at the brand new Guest House at Graceland, which is an Elvis themed property and absolutely gorgeous hotel. As soon as we arrived, I was in HEAVEN! The Guest House is absolutely stunning and as we entered the hotel, I could hear Elvis music playing in the background. The hotel is spectacular and every last detail represents Elvis or some aspect of his life. The details are truly impeccable!

The lobby is exquisite and had a mirrored ceiling with a custom pattern that mimicked one of the jumpsuits Elvis wore in the 70’s. The lobby furniture had really cool slick curves that were designed to look like the curves of Elvis’s crisp jumpsuit collars. The hotel was absolutely exquisite!

The 3 restaurants located at the Guest House at Graceland are fantastic! I am a huge foodie and ordered a delicious pulled pork sandwich the moment we walked inside our gorgeous suite. Not many people know this but no one is allowed “upstairs” at Graceland. To date, it’s rumored that only 20 people have been up there. On the 7th floor of The Guest House at Graceland, there is a room personally decorated my Priscilla Presley that is known as the “Upstairs”. The entire concept of the hotel is incredible; many of their suites are modeled after Elvis’s homes. There was one suite that looked like his Palm Springs home, another one that resembled his LA home but we stayed in his Vegas suite! Just the thought that I was sleeping in a room modeled exactly after Elvis’s bedroom was so damn cool and such an honor.

This was truly a perfect way to spend my 4oth birthday. I enjoyed every minute of staying at the fantastic guesthouse! The food, live music , beautiful pool, southern hospitality , themed suites, music and video footage of concerts on the in room Tv’s , Graceland being only being next door was just thrilling!  The only thing I can leave you with is until we meet again! I am already planning my next trip to the Guesthouse this time with my kids!

 

There is so much to do in Memphis! Here is a bit more of what I did during my stay in Memphis:

Graceland 

Of course, the first place I had to run too was Graceland! They have really made so many incredible changes in the museum since the last time I was there. The museum moved into a new larger building it which has much more space and allows for more exhibits than ever!! They even had a whole room of archived items that had never been seen before! Josh treated me to the Ultimate VIP tour; this was a one on one tour with a guide through the house and museums and we got to go into a special room and touch some of his memorabilia (wearing white gloves of course)!! Ahhh it was amazing!!!!!

 

The Lorraine Motel and National Civil Rights Museam 

We decided to head down to check out Beale Street but on our way  there, we stopped at The Lorraine Motel and National Civil Rights Museum. It was surreal to see the balcony of the hotel where Dr. Martin Luther King  passed. The museum was powerful and very eye opening. I look forward to having the kids come back and experience this hotel!

 

BBQ-

There are so many different places in town to have a great BBQ but we decided to go to Central BBQ across the street form the Lorraine hotel and a short walk to Beale street.  I love PULLED PORK so I was in complete heaven!!!

Sun Records

This tour was such a thrill !!! It was amazing to be at THE Sun Studios!  I had been reading about Sun for years and know just about everything there is to know about Sam Phillips. The new show on AMC  Sun Records is based all around the early days of Sun records. The best part about this tour was standing in the center of the actual studio and holding the original microphone that Elvis, Johnny Cash and even Jerry Lee Lewis used!

 

Memphis Graffiti – 

I Love me some graffiti  and was excited when my Uber driver was willing to go on a graffiti hunt with me! Below is what we found!

Peabody Hotel

I had heard lots about the the Peabody Hotel and the marching Ducks so decided that this had to be a stop on my Memphis tour along with brunch at the famous Hotel. I learned that Elvis often frequented the Peabody and had business meeting in the lobby and even signed his original RCA contract there. The Ducks were pretty disappointing… hate to burst your bubble!  I loved the idea of watching lovely ducklings walking out of an elevator across the lobby and into a fountain but it wasn’t all that exciting. The prep of the crowd and the history of the ducks was really cute but the actual marching was about 2 seconds and there were only 4 little duckeys 🙁  It’s a cute part of history.. but it gets super crowded so head to the bar early to grab a seat and a drink. All i’m going to say is the brunch was the most exciting part; the bacon dipped in chocolate and peanut butter was the best thing I have ever tasted!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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