My mom has loved Elvis forever so she and I and Dad went on a tour of Graceland. I had heard that some people were disappointed with it because you just look at his house and that's it. But there was so much more and it was all so interesting. The house is really neat. It's like stepping back in time, only people usually think of going back centuries when you do that. Because it was only decades, it didn't feel so far removed. You could easily imagine the people that moved in and out of the house and it felt like Elvis could have walked through the door at any moment.
From shag carpet on the ceiling to a room that was covered in thousands of yards of fabric, there were so many details that were fascinating. On top of his house, we toured a trophy building with a chronological history of his hits and his movies and his charitable works. We went to a lot of extra little exhibits on our tickets as well and I have to say that I would definitely take anyone else who came into town to visit Graceland again.
We also spent an afternoon in Memphis. We went on our annual Christmas ice skating adventure. There is a rink set up at the zoo so went to that one. Casey was on skates for the first time this year. She was very excited but she has a little work to do on her balance. Jack has been playing hockey since November and he was a little show-off. He zoomed around the ice faster than any kid out there (and he knew it.) We had a great time until Casey had enough of the falling and Jack took a couple of rough spills too.
We wandered through the zoo on our way out and I've never seen the animals so active. It was like going to the zoo for the first time. The pandas were out and were even moving around and eating. All the cats were pacing and moving around. It's one of my favorite trips to the zoo and we weren't even looking at animals for all that long.
A quick tour of downtown Memphis one evening took us to the Peabody Hotel. The hotel is known for its ducks. In the morning, the ducks come down the elevator and hop into the fountain in the middle of the lobby. They spend the day there, enjoying the people while getting shooed back into the water as soon as they make a move to escape. (I think someone is payed to be on duck watch every day.) In the evenings, there's another big ceremony as the ducks march back to the elevator and back to their evening residence.
On this trip, we did not watch the march of the ducks. I've seen it twice and it is very misleading. The ducks do not in any way march. They get out of the pond and waddle to the elevator. There is really no where else for them to go because people are lined up on either side of them from the fountain to the elevator. But there is a bit of pomp and circumstance and a fun little story behind it and the kids like it, even though they have to sit and wait for 45 minutes if they want to get anywhere near where the red carpet.
So we saw no duck marching but we just enjoyed the gorgeous Christmas decorations in the lobby and the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. There was a huge gingerbread village with a train that travels around it that entertains the kids. There was live piano music. And it was gorgeous!
Finally, we went to get some traditional Memphis BBQ. I've been to a place in downtown Memphis which is renowned for it's bar-b-que and it's atmosphere but I was not impressed. Pat took us to another place this time and it was just right - great bar-b-que and a great atmosphere. We'll definitely go there again too!