The Elvis Presley Birthplace in Tupelo, Miss., has a pretty good slogan on its website that reads, in part, “We all know about the mansion called Graceland. We all know how it ended. This is how it began.” As an Elvis fan, long-ago part-time employee at Graceland and full-time Memphis resident, I know about the story of the king of rock ‘n’ roll. I traveled an hour and a half south of Memphis to Tupelo to learn more about how the story began.
Yes, the ceremony is booked! It’s hard to believe, but finally after all these years we’re getting married by Elvis in Las Vegas. At 7 p.m. sharp on a quickly approaching Friday in The Little Vegas Chapel on the Strip we’ll stand in front of Elvis to say I do … with four friends doing the same. What else would you expect from a group of friends from Memphis all visiting Las Vegas for the first time? I think a triple vow renewal with Elvis at a little chapel on the Strip sounds about right.
Our recent weekend stay in Downtown Memphis was centered on attending a Memphis Grizzlies game as part of the third installment of our NBA Road Trip Series. But we discovered so much more than just NBA fun during our 48 hours in Memphis experience. And on the surface, that might seem hard to believe, considering we’re residents of the Memphis area. But staying in a downtown hotel helped us enjoy 48 hours in Memphis like we’ve never done before.
Jan. 8 marks one of my favorite days of the year, and I’m happy so many visitors from around the world travel to Memphis every year to celebrate with me on my birthday. What, people travel to Memphis to celebrate a former resident’s birthday instead of mine? OK, OK, I get it. I was born on Elvis’ last living birthday in 1977 so I’m pretty used to sharing my big day with the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. If you’re traveling to Memphis this week to celebrate Elvis’ birthday, I have a few places you should visit this week. As a former employee of Graceland, I feel I have some insight that will make your Elvis birthday celebration in Memphis a little more meaningful.
Men’s and women’s hats, children’s toys, candy, albums from some of the world’s most important musicians, Elvis sideburns, cool T-shirts and a museum celebrating the famous street the historic general store calls home. This and much more can be found on the two levels of A Schwab’s General Store, a landmark destination on Memphis’ Beale Street that has been in continuous business since 1876. It’s home to a bit of the Memphis quirkiness.