Monday, April 17, 2006


The one thing that surprised me the most about Graceland was that the actual size of the house itself wasn't very large. It's not the humongous mansion you'd think it would be.

And sure, Graceland hasn't been redecorated since the late 70's when Elvis died, but Elvis really filled that place to the brim with tacky and bizarre stuff. It was amusing to watch the other tourists recoil in shock at Elvis's poor decorating taste. With the shag carpeted ceilings and walls, floor to ceiling mirrored walls, an entire room covered in multicolored cloth, and nausea-inducing paint schemes, his house is a shoe-in for any of those home redecorating shows on TLC. And don't let me get started on his furniture.

Another thing about Graceland I didn't really understand was the proliferative number of gift shops within the little complex. There must have been nearly 8 or 9 gift shops at the Graceland complex, but their arrangement failed to demonstrate any logic. Not only were 6 of these gift shops all within the same building, they sold identical tacky crap. You could literally walk out the door of one souvenier shop, walk 2 feet, and then enter the next shop, which sold the exact same thing as the last store.

You then walk out of the second gift shop scratching your head and walk into the third gift shop, only to find that you're in some bizarre Twilight Zone of gift shops. Although each store had a different name, a different layout, and supposedly a different theme, they all sold the same thing.

So Nathalie and I made this 1 block walk to another gift shop run by the Graceland estate, thinking that since this one is far away from the conglomerate of the other gift shops, it must sell better/different things. But that wasn't true either.

We must have spent at least 2 full hours wandering around the multiple gift shops, but we couldn't be lured by any of the cheesey plastic crap. So we left Graceland without a single souvenier, save for the pictures we took.

Regardless, I'm happy I visited Graceland. It was like watching a bad car accident. Nauseating, yet entertaining.