This time last week…

… I finished reading my book on the red roads of the western desert in W.A.

It took me about 4-5 days to read.

I haven’t read a book cover to cover in 4-5 days since David Beckhams autobiography.

True story.

I think the guys would find it a bit boring, but the girls will lap it up. Ree from The Pioneer Woman has not just written her sappy love-story, but has exposed her search for identity, purpose, and how it all flipped after getting married.

This is a really good read and I recommend it highly.

Packages in the mail

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had a few packages arrive I’m the mail.

Shoes… dresses… shoes…

and now this:

20110926-091039.jpg

Talk about exciting!

This is the real love story of Pioneer Woman and Marlboro Man – how her life was tipped upside down when she went from a black heel-wearing slick L.A. lawyer to tractor wheels as a farmer’s wife in Oklahoma. If you don’t have a clue who these people are and what I’m talking about, you need to check out her blog.

PW’s love story has been signed to be made into a feature film and Reese Witherspoon has been asked to play Ree. I read the first 40-odd pages back last year which is available on her blog, and I couldn’t put it down. That girl has talent – she will suck you into her world and will have you laughing and crying at the same time.

This is in perfect timing for our Western Australian adventure beginning in the morning.

Hi, we’re here to see Elvis – Memphis, Tennessee

Below is a post I have seriously been working on for 3-4 weeks. I’m definitely not the world’s best blogger. That’s a given.      

This week Pioneer Woman blogged about Elvis which kicked me up the butt to finish my Elvis post. Hope you like it….      

Do we?      

Don’t we?      

8 hours drive up there, 8 hours drive home.      

This was the million dollar question which faced Darren, Ruth and myself. It was a long way, and of course, were we actually that desperate to see Elvis?      

Well…. Yeah we were.      

Hello 4:07am!

 So we set our alarms for 3:40am and met in the basement at 4am. We jumped in our appropriately hired Cadillac and hit the road with the Sirius Elvis radio station – the WHOLE WAY! Yep, we sang Elvis from Atlanta to Memphis, 8 hours straight. It was hilarious.      

See here is proof

 We drove and drove and drove. Well Darren drove and drove and drove. What a legend.      

Pity it wasn't pink like Elvis' Moms Caddy

We didn’t even have a navigator. This for me was like trying to walk with 1 leg. We said goodbye to Georgia…      

How many states is that now?

 Hello Mississippi!      

Where is this bridge taking us?

 Doh! Yeah, we didn’t want to go to Arkansas… but we did. Eh! It was an adventure.      

Mississippi River, Memphis, Tennessee

 And then… Hello Tennessee!!! Can you hear what we are saying beneath our smiles “Thank the Lord we are finally here!”      

First up was food!      

We attempted to find some amazing so-called grill which has been around since Adam and Eve near Beale Street where all the Blues bars are.  One of the Bellboys at the Omni in Atlanta said we HAD to go there. It turned it out only served pork ribs.      

The famous Rendezvous - Circa 1948

 I don’t dig swine, and neither did my comrades. So we ditched it.      

We could have had German...

 Then we asked one of the locals and they pointed us in the direction of a tiny little grill place which served beef. Yay! These Americans and their pork ribs… sheesh!      

We wandered the streets for a while and then remembered we had a date with Elvis.      

Beale Street - BB Kings Blues Club

But before we shot off to see Elvis we took a detour to the Lorraine Motel where Dr Martin Luther King was shot, and killed. This museum deserves its own post, so I’ll do it next.      

So we cruised on down to Elvis Presley Blvd (google it, it’s legit) and found the car park for Graceland.      

So here are all the photos with my glued memories .     

Get ready for a trillion pictures.     

Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.     

I told you it existed

      

Darren at the Pearly White gates

      

People have signed on every spare inch of the stone walls

      

This lady was in the que for the bus which would take us across to the Graceland property. Only in America! Although... I do remember a certain Miss T carrying 8-week old Rusty in her handbag around the Food Court at Westfield Hornsby!

Darren are you talking to Elvis?

I've got my Golden Ticket!

Standing on the front porch

Elvis' Lounge room

Upstairs... where we couldn't go...of course I totally asked... is where Elvis died.

 

     

Anyone for pool?

The Jungle room.... are you bored yet?

The Jungle room.... are you bored yet?

Don't mess with Vernon - Elvis' Dads home-made sign

The Office

      

There were SOOOO many awards

    

    

    

    

    

    

Visiting Graceland was definately worth the trip. However, at the end of the tour I couldn’t help but feel a bit sad for poor Elvis and his family. I think he may have died an unhappy man. It was just a feeling that I got while I walked around. The house was smaller than I was expecting, and extremely gaudy.  

   

The big question though, while we were in Memphis, did we see Elvis?   

Well…   

I think I saw him in a souvenir shop.   

  

And then he drove me back to Atlanta!  

  

  

Oh and Pioneer Woman, FYI, your 3rd point about Elvis is wrong… 

“3. When Elvis received a guitar for his eleventh birthday, he was disappointed; he was hoping for a bike.” 

WRONG!!!! But I’ll forgive you.

According to the Mississippi Freebie Tourist Map, he wanted a shot-gun.   

I love The Pioneer Woman

On the first day of official “Church Business”, I explored the big wide world of the CNN Center.

Apart from your classic American fast food joints, like Dunkin Doughnuts, Starbucks and Chick-fil-A, there are a few gift stores downstairs for us tourists to spend our dollars. One of these stores is a book store. As I wandered in looking for a $3.86 trashie mag, there she was smiling at me.

“Pioneer Woman! What are you doing here?”

I couldn’t believe my eyes! Inside I did a little squeal, and a jig, and grabbed her with both hands and didn’t let her go. I almost raised the book up to my cheek to rub it against my face like you do with newborns.

“I love you, I love you, where have you been all my life!?!”

This cookbook was at the top of the “Things I want to buy in the USA” list which I established before we left Sydney. I was excited.

Dear Pioneer Woman,

Here are 10 reasons why I love you:

  1. You have a similar “I can’t believe I’m here, married to you” experience like me. Two city girls marrying country boys. We both would never have imagined we would fall head over heels for these lads. (Read Pioneer Woman & Marlboro Man’s Love Story here – it’s the best! I read 40 chapters in 1 weekend. I haven’t done that much reading since David Beckham’s autobiography. Their story is going to be made into a movie.)
  2. You are soooooo unbelievably funny
  3. You have fabulous photos and you like helping other people take/photoshop fabulous photos
  4. You don’t take yourself or your situation seriously – you know how to have a good laugh at yourself and your surroundings.
  5. You are an active and committed Christian and you are consciously raising your children to be as well.
  6. I heard about you from a Tweet from Dr Phil’s wife (RANDOM!) on Twitter. It went something like “Hi Ree, my girlfriend has just got me onto your blog. You’re hilarious and I love you!”  (DOUBLE RANDOM!)
  7. You are stuck on a monster-big ranch with lots of cattle in the middle of America far away from any kind of civilization and sushi-trains and I secretly want to have an oasis like that.
  8. Your blog is never-ever-ever-ever boring. I like hearing about how messy your home is and that your kids like to wrestle and that you prefer to send the kids to work out on the ranch with their father so they don’t annoy you.
  9. You have a cook-book which is more than a cookbook, but an insight to your life with your family on that monster-big ranch.
  10. You inspired me to blog.

With love and many more happy posts,

The Pastor’s Wife