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It was announced yesterday, May 1, 2011, that Osama Bin Laden is dead.

My heart goes out to the many lives affected by the tragedy of 9/11.

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Not the most exciting day of the trip.
Day 8 consisted of driving the last leg of the trip.  Home.
As excited as I was to see Chris, Leia, Artoo, Gambit, Wolverine, my family and friends, I couldn’t help but feel sad.  I already missed Memphis so much.  The spring air.  The warm breeze.  The trees & flowers in full bloom.  Graceland for christ’s sake!

The further north we drove the less pretty everything got.  The trees slowly became naked again.  The grass was a little less green with every state we drove through.  We even hit a gnarly thunder & lightning storm the night before in Cincinnati…as if even Mother Nature wanted us to stay south.  The storm even slowed our trip.  We were hoping to make it further north…possibly stay just north of Columbus.  But the weather & traffic turned sour and we had to get off the highway in Cincinnati to stay the night.  The hotel was nice, but more expensive than we were planning on.  We even had to take out some more money for accommodations and  gas lol.  Even as nice as the hotel room itself was, our room overlooked the highway.  It’s all we could hear all night.  Right near a turn in the road as well, so all the trucks had to use their air brakes.  Sleep didn’t come easy…that’s for sure.  Dad probably only got a few hours.  I slept better, but was woken up intermittently.

The last of the drive on day 8 sucked from the moment we woke up lol.  We were both very tired…and Dad didn’t want me to sleep in the car so that he has someone to talk to…to keep HIM awake! ….God forbid he started to doze. Luckily the storm that lasted through the night was working its way west to east, so it only took a couple of hours of northern driving to get out of it.  Most of the morning was still pretty grey though.

We stopped at Perkins for brunch around 9:30-10:00am.  We ate all we could possibly stomach in hopes of not having to stop for lunch.  There was a Grandpa’s Cheesebarn beside Perkins so we thought it might be fun to check out.  We bought some fudge for Mom & Grammy, and some white cheddar cheese for Grammy too.   I even picked up a little pink & white polka dot easter bunny for Liz. lol

The rest of the trip consisted of country music and more driving.  The best part of the drive was just talking to my dad.  We haven’t really even had time to talk like that before.  It was kind of weird talking about my parents eventual retirement, my relationship with Chris, and our eventual family…my dad and I usually only talk about Elvis, work, photography & cars.  To talk to him about more personal stuff was really, really awesome.  A bit awkward at first, but really awesome 🙂

In the end the trip was a monumental success!  I had high hopes of it being the most fantastically amazing trip of my life, but it somehow even managed to surpass that.  It really is hard to put into words just how great it was.  Not only did I get to experience so much of Elvis’ life, but I got to experience so much of my own as well.  I will never forget all of the time I got to spend with my dad.  Bonding over something as silly as Elvis Presley.  Not that its silly to us of course….but for the rest of our family it probably seems stupid lol.  Both me and my Dad are overly emotional…anyone who knows us, knows that.  But as much as it sucks sometimes, I’m glad I’ve inherited that part of him.  If there’s one thing you can always count on with us its 1. We’ll always be there in a loved ones time of need.  2. We WILL sit and talk about Elvis Presley like he was part of our family, and 3. We’ll start crying at the drop of a hat when expressing something even remotely important to us.

Thank you Dad, for giving me the best 25th birthday (or ANY birthday) a girl could ask for.  I love you very much.  You’re the best dad in the world! ….and yes, I’m crying as I write this 😛

As long as I'm living, my Daddy you'll be.

Last night, after our trip to Tupelo we stayed at a crappy Econo Lodge in Jackson, TN.  It was less than spectacular…definitely the crummiest of the hotels we’ve stayed at.  BUT it was only one night, and we took off this morning to continue our trip home.  I was pretty stoked about getting to eat at the Waffle House again for breakfast though…YUM!

We were hoping we could take the Natchez Trace Parkway (goes directly from Tupelo to Nashville) but we had spent too much (not enough! lol) time in Tupelo and we didn’t have time to take the direct route.  Turns out its just a small paved highway…kind of like Brant Street.  And it doesn’t have any stops along the way. No gas stations, no hotels…zip. Zero.  Nadda. Nothin’ but trees. Which, if we had left earlier on in the day, would have been a beautiful drive! But nearing 4:00pm and losing daylight by 7:00pm we didn’t really have a choice.  We had to take the same way back towards Memphis that we had came from.  So we jumped BACK on the highway and took off towards Memphis.  Retracing our steps kinda sucked, but it was nice to go through Memphis one last time and wave goodbye.

We stopped at another Denny’s Diner for lunch (always cool!) and carried on towards Nashville….yeah, I’m sorry…today and tomorrow’s posts aren’t going to be very exciting.

We hit super crappy weather by the time we reached Cincinnati.  The rain was so heavy we couldn’t see well.  We also hit rush hour traffic and the highway pretty well came to a stop….oh, AND our tank was pretty much on empty.  So we got off just outside of the metropolitan area, filled up our tank and decided it was just easier to stay here.  We were hoping to make it another couple of hours down the highway, but seeing as the storm made it pitch black by 4:00pm, it just seemed safer to stay put.

So here I am now…full from a salad & appetizer dinner at TGI Fridays, trying to make a drive home sound interesting.  I already miss Memphis, but I AM excited to see my husband, my puppies & my cats…not to mention I don’t plan on eating at a restaurant for a loooooong time.  I’m SO looking forward to Easter dinner with family & friends.  Home cooked food! HECK YES!

I don’t even have photos to post today. lol. that’s how uninteresting it’s been.
I think I’m just bummed that this is kind of all over.  We still have another whole day of driving ahead of us, but it just doesn’t seem as exciting.  This whole trip has seemed like a dream.  An incredibly perfect dream.  I don’t want it to end!

What can I say about day 6? ….Like Day 4 (Graceland day!) it was more amazing than words can say.

Day 6 was the day we were supposed to start heading home (by ways of heading South first to Tupelo! lol) but instead we decided we couldn’t leave Memphis without touring Sun Studios.  And thank God we did! What an experience!  The tour was about an hour and a half long.  It started through the gift shop now to the right of the actual studio.  It takes you upstairs to what used to be an apartment, and is now a little museum.  It displays some of Sam’s old recording devices and memorabilia from the musicians who recorded there.  Everyone from  Rocket 88, to Howlin’ Wolf right and right up to The Million Dollar Quartet!  Our tour guide’s name was Cora. She was really funny and SUCH a great guide.  If you ever go ask if she’s working…she was a lot of fun!

After the museum part they take you downstairs to the actual studio…that has NOT CHANGED since Sam opened it on January 3, 1950.  Marion Keisker’s reception area still looks like she kept it.  The studio itself is 100% untouched.  Of course they upkeep it, but the floors, walls & ceilings have not been changed.  It was totally surreal to be standing in that studio!!  I stood on the exact spot where Elvis recorded “That’s Alright”.  I held his freaking microphone that he used to record it too!!! Fucking AWESOME.  I even played the piano that was used by Elvis, Johnny & Jerry Lee Lewis (amongst others!).  Seriously…just…wow.  In 2003 Sun Studios was named a National Historical Landmark and will remain there forever!  Meaning they’re doing evening/night recordings again!  Makes me wish I had some musical talent…lol

After Sun Studios the day just got better.  We drove the 2 hours down to Tupelo to visit Elvis’ birth house.  I was totally overwhelmed by the whole experience.  First to be in the house he passed away in, and then to be in the exact location, in the exact house, in the exact ROOM where he was born!? WOW.  We first went into his childhood church.  It was used as a 2 bedroom house for awhile but was bought & brought to the park and rebuilt to look exactly as Elvis & his family would have remembered it.  They showed us a little movie/recreation of what a mass would have been like.  Complete with a little Elvis singing a hymn.  So cute!

The church was pretty cool, but what floored me was his home.  His actual house….unmoved from it’s original location.  Elvis always drove past his birth house when he came through Tupelo.  When he came to Tupelo for a concert and drove past it he noticed the house and 15 acres of land around it was for sale.  He talked to city and asked that all money made from the concert go towards purchasing that land & his house.  He wanted to turn it into a park where everyone could come together and enjoy the space.  And they did just that.  They fixed up his house to how it would have looked when he lived there (until he was 3 years old) and decorated the inside to look like what it might have looked like back then.  Eventually they moved the church there and added a memorial chapel and a statue of 13 year old Elvis.

The house is so small.  It’s only 2 rooms.  The front bedroom area is about 10×10.  The back kitchen area is about the same.  Talk about humble beginnings… Elvis and his twin brother Jesse (still born) were born right there in that front room.  I stood in that room….and wept like a little girl.  I know it sounds so silly, but Elvis has been a huge part of my life…for ALL my life.  To be there made me feel like I was a part of his life too….and it was all so overwhelming and moving.  I was so happy, but so sad at the same time.  There will never be another Elvis Presley.

Sun Studios (not part of the original building...this side is a gift & malt shop now)

There she is! 😀 look how leetle.

Sam Phillips Drive ❤

Daddy @ Sun Studios!

Woohoo!

in the Sun Studios Museum

The Elvis section of the museum

Elvis' guitar & cowhide case

Marion's reception office

Photos inside the studio! The Million Dollar Quartet!!

Daddy in the studio!

Sam Phillips, Elvis & Marion 🙂

Dad paying our parking ticket (oops! lol)

The Presley family's church

Inside the church - the pulpit is the actual one from the original church!!

13 year old Elvis statue - dedicated to all Elvis fans worldwide ❤

He held my hand 🙂

the house Elvis was born in ❤

Dad on Elvis' front porch

Me on Elvis' front porch 🙂

Happy 🙂

The room Elvis & Jesse were born in

The back half of the Presley house.

Cute little baby Elvis (and Gladys & Vernon-his parents)

Day 5, like the days before it, kicked serious ass!  It was busy as all hell too!

We started off souvenir shopping on Elvis Presley Blvd.  I fucking love Graceland!  All of the souvenir shops are so kick ass!  I bought some super awesome stuff for myself of course, but we also managed to get gifts for our family too!

After souvenirs we skipped over to the gates of Graceland!! We signed out names on the wall and took pictures in front of the gates (duh!)  Some super nice Graceland employee even offered to take a photo of both of us, so that was awesome too!

For lunch we headed over to Beale St! My first time there! It was cooler at night (went back for dinner) but it was still pretty cool.  We went to Silky O’Sullivans for lunch….BEST BURGER EVER! Seriously. It was heaven in my mouth.  After lunch we went to B.B. King’s Blues Club for a couple more beers.  The bartender there was cool and we talked about how he lived in Alaska for 4 years.  He showed us some photos from there and I was blown away! Very beautiful!  We also talked about accents and Canada vs. USA. lol He said we weren’t as Canadian as he expected us to be…in his words “Not enough ‘ya knows’ and ‘ehs'” lol  He on the other hand was very, very much so from Memphis.   I’ve also noticed that the southern American accent is very catchy….I’ve caught myself pronouncing things with a twang every now and then haha it’s pretty funny

After B.B. King beers we hopped on the trolly for a tour around downtown.  Turns out the driver was the same man who drove my dad around Beale St FIVE YEARS AGO when he and his friend visited last!  He is a man from Iran who’s been living in Memphis for a long time now.  It was so cute so see a very Iranian looking man speak with a thick southern American accent.  He made me smile 🙂  He was SO cool and actually gave us a real tour!  He told us all about all the cool places as we passed by them.  The abandoned pyramid sports centre.  The building that was used as Sun Studios in Walk The Line.  The restaurant where Elvis and his friends hung out at all the time!

For dinner we went to King’s Palace Cafe.  The food was awesome….I tried Catfish! COOL! it was actually delicious 🙂  There was a kick ass jazz guy singing and playing guitar that night too…so we has some wicked entertainment.  It was such a nice relaxing end to a busy day!

After dinner we just wandered up and down Beale St.  Taking in all the neon lights and amazing architecture.  I LOVED that they have walk up bars and you can drink in the streets.  It wasn’t super busy either, so it was a nice calm, warm, relaxing night!

Heartbreak Hotel in the AM.

We found ANOTHER Piggly Wiggly!!!

Down at the end of Lonely Street...

HURRAY!!! p.s. Ghostbuster shirt cost me $1 at walmart! lol go Memphis!

Signing the wall of Graceland ❤

Dad signing the wall!

Find our names!! 😀

❤ ❤ ❤

Dream come true ❤ ❤ 😀

Happy daddy!

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Well lawdy, lawdy, lawdy Ms. Clawdy.

Inside Silky O'Sullivans - Best burger ever!!

Ol' Daisy - Beale St.

New Daisy - Beale St.

Another Red Rooster! (on Beale St.) we didn't eat there...not even sure it's open lol

Asking for a beer... "We don't open 'til tomorra" ...damn.

The Orpheum theatre - where Walk The Line performances were filmed!

Waiting for the trolly!

Dad <3's the trolly!

Our trolly driver! LOL "Take this shot!" hahahaha

Dad loves this trolly driver. I wish I knew his name. Such an awesome trolly ride!

Fun on the trolly!

The Arcade Restaurant! Where Elvis & his friends hung out all the time! ❤

The building that was used as Sun Studios for filming Walk The Line!

Beale Street at Night

Beale Street at night

B.B. King's at night!

Here’s photos from yesterday!!  Wifi’s finally working here at The Heartbreak Hotel ❤

I never want to leave!

Leaving Nashville-Headed for Memphis!

Elvis' living room!!!!!

Lisa Marie & Priscilla

Dad in Elvis' kitchen!

Elvis' Basement TV Room!

Elvis' Basement Pool Room!

Me in the Jungle Room!!!!

❤ ❤ ❤ Elvis' Trophy Room...one of them.

and here's where I bawled my eyes out. yup. i was THAT girl.

Got my photo taken with Elvis! 😀

Yay!! The Lisa Marie! We got to go IN it!!

Dad in Elvis' Automobile Museum

Elvis' Pink Cadillac!!

Me loungin' at The Heartbreak Hotel!

Our room at The Heartbreak Hotel!

Pink Cadillac Limo that took us for dinner!

Hugging The Peeg @ Marlowe's - bday dinner!

This waitress was so excited about my tattoos that she literally ripped my boot off my foot to see them! LOL so funny!

Dad & I after dinner....and a few beers lol

Dad & a leetle peeg! hahaha

GRACELAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

that is about all I can say about today.

There are no words to describe how absolutely perfect today was.
The weather was amazing (30 degrees celsius!), the people were amazing (I want to work at Graceland!), the food was amazing (Pizza Hut lunch! lol)….

Seriously though…today was a dream come true.  Just walking into Graceland brought tears to my eyes.  Yes. I was that girl….but I don’t even care.  I could have stayed there forever.  I am so incredibly blessed to have a dad as awesome as mine.  Pinch me! I must be dreaming!

….I don’t even know what else to say.  I’m tongue tied…It’s impossible to describe how elated I am right now 😀

For dinner we simply picked up the fuzzy pink phone in the lobby of THE HEARTBREAK HOTEL (where we’re staying tonight by the way), and Marlowe’s sent over their pink cadillac limo to pick us up!  Yup. Awesome.

The wifi network here at the Heartbreak SUCKS though… So i’m not able to upload any pictures yet.  It took me all afternoon just to upload a new facebook profile pic.  I’m going to leave my macbook on overnight in hopes that the upload finishes and maybe I can post a photo update in the morning.

Fingers crossed people! I know you’re stoked to see how awesome today was!

This is the only one that has finished uploading! ❤ ❤ I WAS THERE!!!!!