Pit stop in Tupelo, MS

Tuesday, August 13, 2013 | Stamp in My Passport| |

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Before Graceland, the King lived in a shotgun home in the poorest areas of Tupelo. Did you know that Elvis was a twin, but his brother died during childbirth? Or that his dad went to prison for forging a four dollar check?

After three years of driving through Tupelo , mom and I finally pulled off Highway 78 and went to visit Elvis' birthplace, which has a wonderful museum and park. His home is nothing spectacular at all, unless you compare it to Graceland and see the poverty he came from. They also moved the church that Elvis sang in when he was young to the area. Did you know that the only Grammys Elvis won were for Gospel songs?

While in the gift shop, I asked one of the ladies where the best place to eat in Tupelo was, because there certainly wasn't any options in sight of the highway. She told me of Johnnie's Drive-In, which is practically part of the Elvis tour because he ate there a lot. When in Rome, right?

We even got to eat in the Elvis booth. While the food is not great, even by diner standards, there is memorabilia lining every inch of the small dining area. Also, if you decide to order a hamburger and are asked if you want an all meat or a dough burger, answer all meat. Apparently dough burgers are ground beef mixed with flour and water and then fried. They say it is a specialty there, but I'm not buying the hype. I may have been sucked into the tourist trap, but I am going to stay away from a fried doughy hamburger.

This is the anniversary week of his death and hundreds or thousands of fans make the pilgrimage to Memphis and Tupelo to pay their respects. I was the youngest there by several decades and was severely lacking in Elvis t-shirts and jewelry.

If you find yourself driving from Memphis to Birmingham, I would recommend stopping at least once. The home is only one mile off of the highway and it is a very nice place to stretch your legs. To get in the mood, turn on the Elvis Pandora station and work on your dance moves. Rhinestones and fringe optional, but encouraged.

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