Travel Thoughts by Kim

Posted 2 September 2023 at 3:00 pm

My very first bucket list item checked off after 44 years on the list! Welcome to Graceland, Kim!

This write up is a little later than planned. I was planning to do it the weekend closest to August 16th – the anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death, but I wrote the one on my recent Chicago trip that weekend. So, here it is, now – my amazing adventure covering “All Things Elvis”!

“Cry on Elvis’ Grave” has been at the top of my bucket list since before I even HAD a bucket list. In fact, from the time I heard of his passing, I vowed to visit his grave and once they opened Graceland to the public in 1982, I knew I had to go. In the years that passed after Elvis’ death in 1977, a lot of items were added to the list and crossed off the list – it evolved into an official “Bucket List” and it is ever growing and ever changing. But, that very first item had remained on the list….just waiting for me to accomplish it…..and, then, 44 years after his death, during a wonderful trip to Memphis in October 2021 – one of my first trips after the Covid travel restrictions were lifted – I finally crossed it off the list! Yes, folks……Kim Pritt has finally cried on Elvis’ grave!!!

Me in front of Elvis Presley’s mansion – Graceland – in Memphis, TN.

Although I did see and do other things while in Memphis, my main goal was to see Graceland and anything else I could find related to Elvis. I stayed at the Guest House at Graceland – that was an amazing experience beginning right from the time I was picked up at the airport by the Graceland shuttle and listened to Elvis music all the way to the hotel and continuing on through my entire stay. If you are planning a trip to Graceland – or even just to Memphis – check out the Guest House at Graceland. If it suits your needs, it’s a great place to stay!

My first full day, I did the Graceland tour. I had purchased the Ultimate VIP Tour – the best of the ticket options available. It made no sense to me to go all that way and just get a ticket that only allows a self-guided tour of the mansion – or even one of the intermediate tour packages. I was going to see it ALL – and I DID! The Ultimate VIP Tour is an expert guided tour that includes several parts of the property that is not included in the other packages. I got to tour the mansion, of course – WOW – incredible, the meditation garden where Elvis and several of his family members are buried, both of his private airplanes, the building with all his vehicles, several themed museums….AND…..a stop in a room that has personal items that no other tour package has access to – including being allowed to touch and have our photo taken with one of his guitars! Oh, yeah – it was so worth the price of admission!!! What a thrilling and emotional day.

Sitting on the porch swing at the tiny home where Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, MS.

I took the shuttle across to the complex several times while I was in Memphis to do things that didn’t require additional tour ticket purchases. I had a couple meals in the restaurants in the complex and visited the famous gates at the front of Graceland where I took a selfie and wrote my name on the bricks to prove I was there (don’t worry – everyone does it).

My last full day in Memphis was, again, filled with Elvis and an evening at the Graceland Complex. I got up early and got on a Graceland Excursions bus for a day trip to Tupelo, Mississippi to visit Elvis’ birthplace. That was really interesting! We toured the house he was born in, where he went to school, the hardware store where Gladys bought him his first guitar, the church he attended, and heard lots of wonderful stories about his childhood years. I really enjoyed that a lot! We also visited the fairgrounds where Elvis returned to his home town in 1957 to perform. The proceeds of that concert was donated to the town for the purchase the home he was born in and the surrounding property to make a park for fans to visit his birthplace – his childhood church was relocated to the property as part of this project.

The church the Presley’s attended in Tupelo, MS was moved to the property where his birth home is and restored to how it looked in the early 1940s. The preacher at the church taught Elvis to play guitar and encouraged him to sing in the choir.

That night, I attended a concert at the complex – they have concerts every Friday night and I discovered that the last night I was going to be there, The Monkees were performing! YES – those Monkees! Well, actually only Mickey Dolenz and Mike Nesmith – Davy and Peter were no longer with us. Shortly after that concert, Mike Nesmith also passed. I’m so glad I got to see them before he died. It was sooooo awesome!!!

It was a trip of a lifetime…my entire trip to Memphis was amazing – one that will stand out as an emotionally charged, fun, and exciting memory. But, the time I spent in Graceland and Tupelo and getting to see The Monkees was by far the highlight and something that meant more to me than I can possibly ever express! Read the full story and see all the photos by clicking these two links:



Happy Adventuring,
Kim Pritt