|The big day was here. As you all know, Madeline is a huge Elvis fan, and has been talking about going to Graceland for as long as I can remember. We met Mrs. Bagwell, Chuck Bagwell's (Warren's Naval Academy roomate)Mom at Graceland. She is a Memphis area native and remembered driving by the house BEFORE Elvis purchased it. We hopped on the tram and crossed through the iron gates (yep, covered in huge musical notes) and up the drive. We all remarked at how "normal" the home seemed....granted, not everyone had a jungle room and green shag carpeting on the walls..but it wasn't HUGE or ostentatious (at least by today's standards). They gave you an audio tour by individual headphone, which was nice...you could go at your own pace. It told a story that most people already know...but in the context of his home and surrounded by his personal effects..it is still a powerful experience (bizarre, I know, but true). It was certainly evident that Elvis was a generous, good hearted person...he took care of his family, he gave huge sums to those less fortunate, he was grateful for what he had. Shame it ended as it did.
We love Elvis....
We asked around for the address to A & R BBQ and the ladies at Graceland sent us on our way, warning us to "mind the neighborhood". Ohoh. We made quite an entrance to A & R BBQ in our rolling RV advertisement. I was convinced there wouldn't be a sticker on it or a window in it when we returned....it was a small business, immaculate, pretty basic menu for EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT BBQ. We had a BBQ beef (served with cole slaw on top, Memphis style), beans, bread. It was really good. Oh, and more sweet tea, which the Schuler family had best learn how to make before Lissie gets home. I lost count of how many glasses she drank. We left holding our bellies and scraping the containers for the last bite. The kitchen crew and counter-staff were extra sweet...I'd go back in a heartbeat to get some of the pie they had on the counter and more BBQ ribs. Yum
On the road to Mammoth Caves, KY. Change of plan/route #1.