I know I’m weird, but when my beautiful mother wanted to go on a trip out of town, I decided to take her to Graceland, despite the fact that she was in the middle-to-late stages of Alzheimer’s.
My sweet daughter agreed to help. We’d take Momma somewhere fun within three hours of home in case we needed to return the same day—a definite possibility. New Orleans seemed a bit much. The month of December made the beach less desirable. So … we headed from Jackson, Mississippi up I55 toward Memphis.
With reservations secured at The Peabody Hotel in Memphis, we headed straight to visit the home of the King of Rock and Roll.
We put on our headsets, and took our time listening to the story of Elvis. Though Momma had visited Graceland in the past, she delighted in the mansion as if the view was all new to her. We soaked in the atmosphere of the jungle room, the shag carpet, the 70s color schemes, the mirrors, and loved the music and history. The only problem in the house were some steep steps, but we managed. Once we’d seen all the mansion, the plethora of cars, and the jet called the Lisa Marie, we headed back to our luxury Southern hotel experience at The Peabody.
In the heart of Memphis, this iconic hotel gave us a grand Southern welcome. We sipped sweet tea in the lobby until time to line up and watch the ducks take their march to the fountain. This is a popular and fun, yet strange, tradition. We rode the elevator to the roof to take in the sweeping view of the city of Memphis. With our trip landing in the Christmas season, festive lights and decorations added to the beauty of the hotel and the city.
Normally, we’d go eat ribs and barbeque at the Rendezvous, but we were pretty tired, so we ate a hamburger at Huey’s across the street.
Night time with Alzheimer’s came as a bit of a surprise. I knew we’d need to make sure we stayed together all day, but not once we’d gone to bed. I didn’t realize Mom would wander in her sleep, but she kept going to the door of the hotel room and trying to open it and go out. I slept with one eye open so I could stop her (over and over), but we made it.
This was the last trip like this we were able to take Mom on, and I treasure the memories. The funny thing was Mom gave my nephew all the credit for planning the trip. Had to laugh.
Peabody+Graceland=Fun Under the Southern Sun
Under the Southern Sun
Janet W. Ferguson