“Pic of the Week”, August 15, 2014: Graceland’s Hall of Gold


It was 37 years ago (August 16, 1977)  that legendary performer Elvis Presley died.  Elvis’ influence on popular culture in the mid 20th century is hard to overstate, and he left a broad range of recorded music that endures.  Like millions of his fans, I remember precisely where I was when I heard the news of Elvis’ death (Geyser basin, Yellowstone National Park).  Elvis’ music has been a blessing in my life; I never grow tired of listening, and it always seems fresh and new.

I’ve twice visited Elvis’ Memphis home, Graceland.  The first visit was just a few years after it opened to the public and the second decades later.  I was surprised to see how Elvis’ fame had not …

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“Pic of the Week”. January 24, 2014. Killer Whales, Vancouver, British Columbia

2014 004 Jan 24a  killer whales

During the past decade or so, I’ve often encountered colorfully painted animal art on the streets of many cities.  The plasticized animal varies from town to town — sometimes a bear, sometimes a moose, sometimes a deer.  But invariably they’re nice works of art making each of these cities a little more beautiful and interesting.

A few years ago, while visiting Vancouver, I discovered dozens of these killer whale statues around downtown.  All were beautifully decorated and each had a unique personality.  The water off Vancouver’s coast harbors large numbers of killer whales, so their choice as animal mascot is a good one for the city.  These few especially appealed to me — a trio in Vancouver Canuck hockey jerseys (so …

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.All Trips / Mississippi / North America / Southeastern USA

Travels with Elvis (Part 4). A visit to Tupelo, Mississippi — birthplace of the King of Rock ‘n Roll.


Tupelo is not on the radar of most travelers.   As it’s the birthplace of Elvis Presley, we felt a visit here was an important component of our “Travels with Elvis” jaunt.   And we’re glad we made the journey to Tupelo, just a few hours south of Memphis via scenic roads; wish we’d had more time to linger and get to know it better.

Tupelo is a small city of only 35,0000, emerged from the poverty that gripped much of the South for so long.  It seems to have evolved into a comfortable middle class community through the hard work and perseverance of its incredibly warm and disarmingly polite citizens.  They’re proud of the role Tupelo played in Elvis’ formative …

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.All Trips / North America / Southeastern USA / Tennessee

Travels with Elvis (Part 3). Memphis — Home of Soul, the Blues, and Rock ‘n’ Roll!!


There’s a lot more to Memphis than Graceland, although Graceland is by far the city’s most popular attraction (and I’ve previously discussed it here).   A city of about 650,000, Memphis has a interesting southern flavored ambiance.  Here you’ll find hard working friendly black and white folks, great food, but especially you’ll hear music — wonderful music!  There’s no other city in North America with as rich a musical heritage as Memphis (and arguably few in the world).  The blues and its offspring, soul and rock and roll, were birthed here.

The purpose of our trip to Memphis was to immerse ourselves in the world of Elvis Presley, long a favorite of your …

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.All Trips / North America / Southeastern USA / Tennessee

Travels with Elvis (Part 2). A visit to Graceland


3764 Elvis Presley Blvd.  It’s an address many Elvis fans know by heart because, as you’ve certainly guessed by now, that’s where you’ll find Graceland.  Graceland is THE place every Elvis must visit at least once in their lifetime.  Not only was it Elvis’ home for 20 years, it has more artifacts and memories of his life and career than any other place on the planet.  It’s important to Memphis’ economy as Graceland is the second most visited home in the United States, second only to the White House.  With the constant flow of Elvis fans, there’s a lot of tourist dollars coming to this fairly poor region….and always having been supportive of Memphis, Elvis would …

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.All Trips / Nevada / North America / Southwestern USA

Travels with Elvis. (Part 1) Viva Las Vegas! Viva Elvis!!

Las Vegas 015b – Copy-1

Every year my younger brother and I go on a trip together; this time is precious as it allows us to reconnect while sharing our love of travel. This year we decided to center our travels on places that were monumental in the life of Elvis Presley. Elvis and his wonderful musical legacy are very important to us and we’ve both been fans for over 40 years. Our journey will lead us to Memphis, Nashville and Tupelo, but the first step was a visit to Las Vegas.

Las Vegas was at the center of Elvis’ entertainment life during his final years. After spending most of the 1960s making movies, it was in Las Vegas that Elvis began performing …

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