Friday, August 21, 2009

Elvis Week 2009

but now i shall do my first post about our trip to memphis! i took over 700 pictures, and it took me two days to go through them. haha, i need to get a hold of myself. so here we go, this is last friday, and saturday:

we were staying with my aunt in memphis so i wanted to take her something as a "hostess gift." i made these cookies and dana helped me decorate them. this is the first time i've gotten to use these cookie cutters. they are martha stewart (of course) and for some reason it's called the noah's ark set. even though it's really just a random assortment of animals.

i wanted to leave really early, but knew it wouldn't happen. at about 10:30 we went to Utopia Coffee, a really cute little cafe in an old house that we have been meaning to stop at for a long time. they have abita root beer (my favorite!). i got an italian soda though. it was delicious.

so i tried to take us on a "short cut" that would get us to memphis in 3.5 hours, instead of the 4 it would take if we went up through nashville. but we went the wrong way and didn't notice for an hour and a half (when i noticed the welcome to alabama signs) so then it took us 3.5 hours from that point. UGH. i was so embarrassed. but we had a lot of fun in the car. and stopped for a delicious mexican lunch. yummo, my favorite.

finally there! we went to my aunt's house to drop our stuff off. then we decided to go down to beale street. it's a super tourist area. we started at elvis presley plaza. travis planted a letterbox here. pretty exciting.

we found these new agey crystals in a tree by the plaza. that is what is glowing in travis' hand. i like to think some elvis fan maybe put them there. it is elvis week by the way. the anniversary of his death. so fans from all over the world flock there. this was a slow year, as it was the 32nd anniversary, and not the 40th or something big. there is an elvis week in january too, for his birthday, but it's not as big.

travis got that cute belt buckle for five bucks. they were selling them at graceland for 26.50!! (graceland is elvis' house. i should not assume everyone is a dork like me and knows that)

we saw lots of elvis tattoos. after we were done one beale street (after about five seconds) we walked around forever trying to find somewhere to eat. anything that looked good, also looked really expensive, so we just ended up at the flying saucer. my cousins had talked about meeting us downtown later, but we are nerds and went back to my aunt's house at 8:30 and watched harry potter and the goblet of fire. haha.

the next morning we got up and went to the botanical garden with my aunt. she volunteers there in the iris garden. they just opened a big children's garden and she thought we would like it. she was right!
travis doing a bee dance. that is my aunt barbara in the red.

there were all kinds of fun things in the garden. perfect for kids.
the gardens were really extensive, but it was tooooo hot and humid for much exploring. i wanted to see the koi pond though. so away we went:

they were so huge and gross!! there were some little kids crouching down sticking their fingers in the fishes mouths. yuck! i kept imagining what it would be like to fall in on top of them.
we went to lunch at india palace. now, i am a historically picky eater. but i have been feeling adventurous lately, and wanted to try indian food. this place was a buffet. and omg i loved it! LOVED IT. even the rice pudding. dang. i didn't take pictures inside because i was feeling really self conscious for some reason. which is dumb because barbara wouldn't care, and my cousin blake (who ate with us) reads this journal sometimes. but anyway, the indian food taste test was a success. 

this is my aunt's cat, patches. she is so cute, and she will come up to you like she wants to be petted. then two seconds later she changes her mind. haha, look at that pissed face. she liked dana though. sometimes.

my aunt has two dachshunds, that is the old lady one, scarlet. what a sweet little thing. everyone in my family has dachshunds for some reason, except my parents who have a border collie. actually, when we move to nashville travis and i are getting a dachshund! i can't wait!!!!!! her name is going to be phyllis. 

i had wanted to go to the zoo saturday afternoon, but we would have had to hurry to get out of there in time to get to the vigil for the opening ceremony. so we went downtown to find a few letterboxes. we started at the memphis tourist center. there was a box with 11 stamps there!

elvis is everywhere. so hott. oh, and just to clarify, i really like elvis, but i'm not a crazy fan. for some reason a few people have made out like i'm weird and obsessed because we have been to the vigil twice. really, i like memphis, i have a place to stay for free, and i like to do weird cheesy things. i not actually so sad about elvis dying that i need to go cry at his grave. just in case you were wondering.

we went to mud island next. we didn't take the monorail, we walked on this long ass bridge instead. i bet we walked 5 miles this day.

checking out the mighty mississippi river.

looking down on the riverwalk. it's basically a scale model of the mississippi river. the water in it rises and falls along with the water level of the real river. we used to come here when i was little and i have some really vivid memories of it.

dana and i took our shoes off and wadded in. it felt so good on the hot day. travis gets really single minded when hunting a letterbox so he kept getting ahead of us looking for "panel 28". 
we get the box and i get to use the questing hat that dana has made for me! look at how perfect it is!! 

i am a dork. don't i look natural, reading my stamp book? it was dana's first day letterboxing!

at the end there were these cute little swan boats! only 2 dollars and travis wouldnt let me ride in one!!! i was so pissed. he is all "i'm not paying two dollars for you to get a sunburn." stupid. it would have been fun. they had dragon boats too.

we saw a huge barge. it was very exciting for some reason. we also saw a bride and groom. they were very unhappy. apparently he was late. and it really was too hot to be tromping around in a long dress getting your picture taken.

we went to martyr park to get the last box of the trip. there are a lot more in memphis i want to get, but they had long hikes and it was too hot. we are going to look for them when we go to memphis again in the winter. we planted 5 boxes while we were there though.

it's about 6:30 at this time so we head over to graceland plaza. the opening ceremony for the vigil is at eight thirty, but i want to be sure we get to park their. we did! that is my sunshade. i bought it last time we came to the vigil, which was in 2006. i should try to find that post. found it! i can't believe i only got one comment on it! haha.

elvis' face is on EVERYTHING. that last cutie picture is for an elvis credit card. so weird when you think about how he was just a regular person. he would probably be freaked out by all the stuff going on across the street from his house today.

i want one of these pictures! so it looks like i got to go on a hot date with elvis.

i wanted that spice rack pretty bad. but it was way to expensive. i would have paid ten bucks. not thirty.

elvis bathing suit!

elvis tights! dana is regretting not buying these. travis was like, " don't, look..." then stretched the tights out SO MUCH, as if dana was way to fat to consider it because elvis would be stretched out. it wasn't what he meant at all, but it looked like it. hahahaha, it was so funny.

3,000 dollar jump suits! they had some really cute turquoise leather jackets that i wanted travis to wear.

see, they have elvis everything. well, almost everything. i bought fingernail clippers last time, and they didn't have those.

we bought cute sun studio belts and matching buckles. they were cheap. and i got a magnet, and a new elvis decal for me car. that was really it, which is good for me. because i love to buy tons of junk.

we milled around waiting for the service to start. people were starting to set up their shrines and things. they close off the street for this event. there were about 8,500 people for the ceremony, and estimates of 10,000 total throughout the night. apparently that is a "slow year."

we lit our candles and held them up for the opening ceremony. members of the fan club did some hilarious readings ("elvis, your sultry voice forever changed my world!") and they played songs and we all sang "can't help falling in love with you." it was pretty awesome. people were already in line for the vigil (people get in line 48 hours in advance!) so we went inside for a bathroom break, and some snacks before we got in line.

we go to rockabilly's and get some ice cream. the girl really packed it on there! a really cute older british man talked to us. and a weird girl talked to dana. then we went to get in line. i feel like it was 10:30 at this point. how did it take us two hours to get ice cream and go to the bathroom? weird.

i tried to take a picture of the line of candles going up the driveway. but i failed. elvis' grave is in the "meditation garden" by the house. so you walk up there, and pay your respects. people throw flowers and leave notes and gifts.

you think they would really spell check these things before getting thousands printed. it said "the 32th" anniversary. stupid.

trying to look grave, and serious. not very cute.

signing the wall of course. they scrub that thing off every year. and it quickly gets filled again. look at that perfect drawing. haha.

there are floral arangements from fan clubs all over the world up there. it was about 1:30 when we got there. so we waited over three hours! hahaha, dana, i hope you had fun! 

we slumped along home and collapsed into bed. a full day of walking in the sun really exhausts you. 

allright, that's it for now. i have to work the next five days in a row! wah. i'm so used to not working. i want to work one day, then be off for two.

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