Friday, March 29, 2019

Where Elvis Was Born, Tupelo Town Tour, Looking for Free WiFi? Collage Crazy

Waking up on Tuesday, Mar. 26th was another new experience. I peeked out my blind. It was 6:15 and I could see more tall trees and a few rv’s. Then it dawned on me where we are this morning. At 6:30 we got up and I knew time would be short this morning so I had my shower right away. Once dressed, I dressed further in my wind breaker (although the trees weren’t really moving) and vest and out the door I went at 7.
My morning walk
 It is cloudy and 50f but according to our weatherman (aka Rob) there should be some sunny skies later on today. Our plan is to head into Tupelo this morning and grab some breakfast (a treat for me to have someone else cook it!) and then go to visit Elvis’s birthplace. I’m prepared to be saddened, if my mind wanders, but I’m very happy to have something else to cross off my bucket list. Bill was here many moons ago, in the 70’s, but never inside the home so we are both looking forward to it.

On my walk, I noticed the cabins for rent. They are so cleverly placed in amongst the trees with a long, paved drive for privacy. I like that a lot. I spooked a couple of white-tailed deer that were eating down in the valley but they also spooked me so I wasn’t fast enough for a photo. I knew then to watch for them on the rest of my walk. Sure enough, there they were, further down so I’m hoping my pictures turned out.

Yay! I-Hop
Rob and I are happy campers now!

Back home, Bill had his shower and we hopped in Black Beauty to go. We each drove so the boys could fill up the trucks with fuel and in case we found a good wifi connection somewhere, I wouldn’t be holding anyone other than Bill up while I posted my blog posts. First, IHop. Yay! I ordered the Colorado Omelette this time since the Southwest was not on the menu……..for perhaps obvious reasons. We are in Mississippi, after all.

Downtown Tupelo, I love the Elvis murals and guitars all along the sidewalks
No matter, I skipped the free pancakes, that come on Tuesdays, and opted for hash browns instead. The waitress was good, the coffee was better and the omelette was the best! Such a lot of food for under $10. We were stuffed and with the exception of Bill, had doggie bags. He left some omelette on his plate but not enough to worry about bringing home. We followed Rob to Kroger where they ran in for something and then back to Historic Tupelo where we found Elvis’s first home.

When I first saw the house, my jaw dropped. OMG that IS tiny! I knew it was small from the pictures but seeing it in person is like looking at 1/3 of a park model trailer. It was the width that got me. Well, how big would a 2-room house be? We purchased tickets to do the 3 ‘tours’, all self-guided and set off to see his childhood church first.  A small clapboard building where the Presley’s attended church services. It has been moved to this site from the original location so we can all see and enjoy it.

Virnons car - exterior and interior
I remember my first car having that manual choke
Sitting in the church, a video is played depicting actors taking the place of Virnon (actual correct spelling of his name), Gladys and Elvis as well as a full congregation. It was well done and because the huge screens were on 3 sides of where we sat on the benches, it felt like you were actually enjoying the service in person. I had to catch myself from clapping and standing when they did. LOL, again, I’ll say it “that was well done”, in my humble opinion. 

From there we went into the story wall inside and outside the museum and read testimonials and portrayals of Elvis as a young boy for the first 13 years of his life. There is a lot of reading, if you care to take the time, and we did. I could feel myself getting drawn into the circumstances of a poor existence and how they reached hard for everything they got. The story of Virnon being imprisoned for writing bad checks alone is a heart-wrenching story of one of their struggles.

Statue of Elvis as a young boy walking with his guitar
A familiar sight in Tupelo at that time
Inside their humble abode, I envisioned their life and it wasn’t until after we left, I wondered ‘where did Elvis sleep?’ The story goes that other than the kitchen wood stove, the furniture is NOT original. However, when trying to bring back the truest replica of that time period, Virnon offered his assistance by picking out the pieces to furnish the home. He directed Museum staff how to place the furniture to make it as ‘real’ as possible. We saw the bed where Elvis came into existence. Cool!

The first of two rooms in their home

The second - the original wood stove Gladys cooked on
We eventually made our way around the ‘Walk of Life’, a concrete circle surrounding his birth home. Dated granite blocks display each year of his life from 1935 to his death in 1977. There is just too much to comment on and some of you have already visited this attraction. The family story changed when in 1948 they took up roots and moved to Memphis for a new start.

Personally, I think this is the back entrance as it leads directly into the bedroom
but it is facing the street

This to me would be the front entrance with the garden and picket fence
Lastly, we walked into the place where Elvis’s dream of a meditation chapel became real. Designed and erected in 1979 with multiple fan club donations, and a bench from Charlie Hodge, this is where Elvis’s bible sits, on the original pulpit from the first church. This chapel is available for personal meditation and rented as a venue for weddings and special services. It was a beautiful little place with gorgeous stained-glass windows surrounding the opposing walls.

Up on the hill, behind the museum and gift shop, was The Overlook. This is where, as a boy, Elvis would take his guitar at the end of a day and play looking west towards the lights of Tupelo. Now, it is a beautiful spot for his friends to visit and admire the 2 statues of Elvis as a young boy and a successful entertainer. Together, they are called simply ‘Becoming’. 

A view to the Outlook before we walked there
Hey! I know these two!
A closer view of the statue and memory wall
And I got to pose with Elvis as a boy and a star
And an even closer view
The detail was amazing
In the gift shop, we all wandered for a bit. I found and brought a souvenir home with me, one that I wasn’t expecting to get. I’m not real big on purses but sometimes when you see something special, it ends up coming home with you. This was one of them and the price was right. I also found a stick pin to add to our collection.

This beautiful area was actually called 'Reflection'
but I didn't get a picture of the plaque
We parted ways there and Bill and I returned home to Clemson. This tour ‘day’ took about 2 hours longer than we expected, no regrets, and he was home alone for 5 hours. You can guess what that meant. No hunt for wifi today. No big deal. Y’all know we’re okay, thanks to George, and we can manage just fine with connections to our family by phone and texting availability.

My authentic Elvis purse
And I didn't pay anywhere near the $40 price because the handles are fraying
I'll replace them and be just as happy

Back home, Bill read for a while and I wrote, Clemson slept. At 3, I took him out for his walk. Not only does the little bum enjoy our 3 pm walks but once I get out there, I enjoy them just as much. I just have to keep the half hour free and then it isn’t an interruption for me. When we returned, I was quite warm and found it even warmer inside the Suite. Rather than opening windows I took my book and water outside and sat at the picnic table to read. This helped me cool down.
My morning discovery is watching me too
And a cardinal watches Clemson and I on our walk
I came inside around 4:30 and took my book upstairs. It is a different story this time by James Patterson called Cradle and All. Different or not, it has me turning the pages very quickly. Bill had the tv on downstairs and if I can avoid the distraction, I do. At 6 I started supper while Bill put some fresh water into our tank for the road. We’ll be on the road for 3 nights. Supper was small pork sausages but if I’d thought about how small they were, I would have cooked the whole pack.

Yum yum
They tasted good all the same with my brussel sprouts and Bill’s corn. After such a big breakfast, we didn’t need a huge supper anyway. This was a great day, seeing Elvis’s birthplace was very touching for me. I won’t forget it. I hope you enjoyed your day.

Goodnight after a fantastic day

Thanks for stopping by.


  1. Your Welcome Patsy.
    Glad you enjoyed Tupelo bring back memories of all the things we lacked at there over a dozen years ago. Keep enjoying your time there and on the road, safe travels.

    1. Tupelo is a neat place. I like the Historic section as well as the modern area with lots of stores.
      I sure loved his birthplace though.

  2. Fun tour. I agree with you about the front of Elvis’ house. I’ll admit, I bought an Elvis watch!!! Lol

    1. Good! It doesn't make sense to walk into the bedroom first but who knows? :)
      I'm glad I'm not the only one to buy a souvenir.