Elevation

Dear All,

Titled so because the U2 song has been played rather a lot in the car. I am warning anyone showing this to a younger viewing audience, you may want to check through it before showing it to them.

Right so the last place that I emailed from was Nashville. Shortly after I emailed we walked down the street and Chloe bumped into an acquaintance which was highly amusing. Such a small world. We then stood on the street chatting to her whilst also watching a country music video being made for some revolting looking country looking music band. We were actually in it which was quite amusing. The worst thing about Nashville was that we never got to record our CD which we were SO hoping to do. The place that it mentioned in the Rough Guide was not there anymore. Oh well probably for the best really as some of the boys SERIOUSLY can’t sing!

We then moved on to Memphis, I drove some more and had no complaints this time, I think that Kevin has well learnt his lesson by now. Thanks Tom for the comment it really made me laugh! Memphis was brilliant. Of course we all did Gracelands which we really enjoyed. It was very cheesy and tacky but it so had to be done. I am certainly not an avid Elvis fan but he has definitely grown on me since visiting Gracelands. Do you know he spent more money on doing up one of his private jets than he did on actually buying the thing in the first place? It had gold buckles on the seats and a gold basin in the guest bathroom. The bloke did give a lot of money away to charity though and I never knew about this side of him before. I have to say he really was a very generous man. It looked like he would have been a really good laugh to be around.

(Elvis was only 22 when he brought Gracelands for $100,000 in 1957. It was then considered one of the most desirable properties in Memphis, now the neighbourhood is slightly less exclusive as the main thoroughfare – Elvis Presley Boulevard is lined with motels and fast food joints but surprisingly only a few Elvis Souvenir shops. You start the tour of Gracelands on the opposite side of the road and then you are ferried across by bus up to the house itself – its LITERALLY across the road?! You go through a musical gate called “The Wall of Love” where fans have scrawled tens of thousands of messages. Throughout the tour there are clips and so on of the king himself and various members of the family and friends. The interior of the house is a frozen tribute to the taste of the Seventies with some choice rooms like the Jungle room which has a waterfall and green shag carpeted ceiling where Elvis recorded “Moody Blue” and some other gems from his latter years. There is the navy and lemon TV room (where I got told off for taking a photo with flash!) which has three screens that now display 1970s talk shows. There is the trophy room which displays all of the gold, silver and platinum records that Elvis received as well as stage costumes, outfits from many of his 31 films and his extensive gun collection. The tour of the interior ends with the racquetball court where he played on the morning that he died. Elvis (Jan 8th 1935 – August 16th 1977), his mother Gladys, father Vernon and his grandmother lie buried beside the swimming pool in the Meditation garden. Their graves are strewn with toys and flowers sent daily from Elvis fans. His body was moved here 2 months after his death after there were security concerns at the cemetery (where he initially lay.)

There are still many personal items of Elvis’s strewn across the house for fans to see such as a TV that was punctured by a bullet fired by Elvis himself (he also shot his fridge, his stereo and even Lisa Marie’s slide), his HaiKarate and Brut aftershave. You can go and see his personal airplanes including the Lisa Marie which I mentioned earlier. The tour ends in the Elvis Presley Automobile Museum which has a Harley Davidson golf cart in it and a powder pink Cadillac and a reconstructed drive-in showing clips of his films.

We went for a night out in Memphis as well which was highly amusing. Thankfully not so much of the country music but mainly blues which reminds me of a band called the Nightloosers that I saw a couple of times in Romania. We spent a large majority of the evening drinking and ended up in a bar called Wet Willies, which just gave us the giggles in the first place so we all felt that we had to go in. It was a karaoke bar and looking back on it we were the only white people in there, had I actually realised that at the time I’d have felt SO uncomfortable. Oh well. It was all rather amusing.

Chloe and I managed to do our washing when we got home, I mean putting it in the machine, nothing more than that. I have no idea how Chloe was managing to walk, all I know was that I was a pretty good support! None of us had bad heads in the morning and so we headed on to New Orleans.

I had sooo been looking forward to going to New Orleans after hearing so much about it and being so highly recommended by Jim, my neighbour at No 55 (Faulkland Road – Farts). Well, all I can say is that we went on a weekend and so everything was pretty packed. That was not so much the bother but I think that we must have gone to the worst part of town as we ended up in Larry Flynt’s Hustler Bar (on Bourbon Street). Enough said I think. Chloe and I were none too impressed with the lads to put it mildly. I don’t think that they seemed to understand that we see enough of our own everyday, we certainly don’t need to pay to look at other people’s. I think that they thought that it was funny. I can laugh about it now, but I CERTAINLY couldn’t then. We were waiting to go and the boys promised me that we would go on to a proper club, not that that is really my scene either really but DEFINITLY more so than the Hustler club. We never made it; they wanted to go into a place called Big Daddies which was even more tasteless than the Hustler, if you could get much worse. I put my foot down and walked away as I really felt that they were being more than a little selfish. They also had the audacity to say that they would never take their girlfriends or sisters (if they had them) to a place like that – made us even more angry I have to say. They had said at the beginning of the evening that we should all stick together and not to worry as they would look after us as it was really crowded I was concerned about loosing Chlo in the crowds etc. To me it is just one of those things but it is really hurting Chloe as she has paid for the car pretty much and they are totally taking advantage of her. She spent a lot of time in tears when we made it back to the hotel and I was ready to go hell for leather at them. I was also severely gutted not to have experienced anymore of the city that I had spent such a long time looking forward to visiting. My lasting memory of New Orleans will never be how I had wanted and even better was that the following morning we were on the hunt for the bloody trainers for Simon so there really was no other side to New Orleans that we saw at all sadly. AND thinking about it I let them go to a fish restaurant & they all had seafood & I was really sick in the loos from the smell/ possibility of having something that shouldn’t have been in my battered & fried courgettes (pretty much the only thing on the menu that I could eat/stomache).

Anyway. We didn’t get to the NASA Space Station in Huston like we planned as it bucketed down with rain, a nightmare to drive in. Also we spent a lot of the day driving around town trying to find shopping malls where the boys could get some trainers that they wanted. When we found it they had not even got them! It was whilst trying to find the blessed shops here that Simon’s now classic line of ‘where is your establishment located?’ was said which had us in fits and I’m sure will do so for sometime! But a serious, you had to be there moment.

Now we are in Austin staying with Audrey, Terry and Hannah. Audrey used to baby-sit for me when I was younger. The others were hoping that she was going to have a few embarrassing stories about me. I am pleased to say that she had none and she also said that I was really good. Tee hee hee! The weather is still bad and we are now on to our second night as they invited us to stay another night which we gratefully accepted. I have to say it is lovely to stay in a proper house rather than an Econolodge! Catching up and so on has been great fun and we have been taken to a few places. We are going to a good steak house tonight for supper; the boys have all been dying for that! I went shopping with them this afternoon (the blokes) and managed to find some good bargains of things that I need back in the UK anyway. I was pretty impressed with my buys.

We move off tomorrow to El Paso for a night or so and that should be good and then we are heading to Vegas for the weekend, it will be mad because it is Labour Day weekend, like last day of the summer holidays and so everyone will be out. The 2 boys go back on Sunday (Bob and Simon). They keep trying to convince Chloe and I that we will miss them, I think not lads! Seeing as we are constantly being called their bitches and gypsies and Barlow’s (as if in Ken from Coronation Street, so boring – it took me a while to cotton on to that one!). I have been given one compliment; well I think that it is, coming from them anyway closest thing to I guess – but that doesn’t say much for me really thinking about it?! That is that I am a geezer bird. Only because I drink beer and follow sports and take about 10 min to get ready for going out.

Right I am off now, I had better go for a run to make some room for my massive steak that I will be having this evening. 3 weeks left now nearly. Golly that feels like a hell of a long time. I am still missing you all madly. Keep in touch. Loads of love and hugs to one and all,

Em

xxx

Em – fab news about the house, it will be quite a hike if I have the location right. It will be ok though. Glad that that is all sorted. I am back at the end of next month.

Row – I am not sure if I will be able to make the party as I have a wedding up in Scotland the weekend before your birthday. I will try though.

Hels – Please pass a message on to Phil – CONGRATS! Have fun. Glad that all is well with you. Update on Eastenders please, you are getting VERY slack!

Farts – I am still not brown – you horrible girl!

Ile – I hope that you are starting to pack, Ani should have given you a message that I tried to call last weekend but that you were not there.

Anca, Lili and Mara – I hope that the Christening went well. I look forward to seeing photos of her, miss you.

Matt – Happy birthday for the first.

Laura – I hope that everything is ok I am still thinking and worrying about you until I hear form you.

That’s all folks.20110918-165738.jpg20110918-165751.jpg20110918-165805.jpg20110918-165817.jpg

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Posted on August 29, 2001, in The Big Trip 2001. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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