Saturday, August 23, 2008

Elvis Week - Day 1 - August 14, 2008

I flew out of Jacksonville Thursday morning and everything went smoothly getting to the airport, kissing Dave and the kids goodbye, and the flight to Charlotte. When we boarded the plan in Charlotte, I saw that they had the nose of the plain raised and were working on it. That should have sent up red flags right there. Once we all boarded and got settled and buckled in, the pilot came out and announced that this was the least favorite part of his job. The radar on the plain was broken and we were going to have to deplane. They had tried to fix it but were unable to do so. He said we would be told more when we got back inside the gate. So, we all filed off the plane and all I could think about was getting to Memphis in time to go shopping at the Elvis Insiders Expo. At the gate we were told that they didn't know anything but to sit tight and they would tell us something soon. We were never told anything but finally an announcement came over the loud speaker that the flight I was on was now leaving out of Gate so and so (a different gate than where I was). I was the first one to get up and start walking to the gate. I think everyone else thought that it was a mistake. Anyway, eventually everyone from my flight ended up at that gate and we were still not told anything. A guy sitting behind me said that he had gotten a call from Orbitz and they told him that we had a different plane and would be boarding in about 30 minutes or so. It amazed me that Orbitz could tell us what was happening but the ticket agent right there in the airport could not tell us. We finally boarded the plane and had an uneventful flight to Memphis, TN.

My parents picked me up from the airport. They waited on me for about an hour I think and we were all ready to get going by the time I landed and got my luggage. We drove straight to the convention center where the conference and Expo were (after missing a few turns - just teasing Daddy!). My sister, Kerry, and friend, Karen, met us at the Expo. They had driven in and had gotten there about 45 minutes earlier. There was an Elvis Insiders Conference taking place on Wednesday and Thursday but since we all were not getting in until Thursday, we didn't go to the conference. But we immediately all started shopping, except for Karen and she was being very good.

One of the first things we noticed were the different exhibits - Elvis's limousine and different articles of clothing.

After viewing the exhibits, we shopped and stopped at all the different booths. I got to meet Sandi Pichon, a lady who met Elvis as a young girl and then again later in her life. She had written a book titled Raised on Elvis! Elvis! Elvis! I was able to get her book and get her autograph. Here is a picture of us together.

I also met Joe Petruccio who is the licensed EPE artist. He autographed one of his pictures for me. Here is our picture.

This is one of his latest paintings, Baby Let's Play House.

I also met DJ Fontana, Elvis's first drummer, and my parents bought his book to give me for my birthday and I was able to get him to autograph it.

Before we knew it, it was 6:00 and we had closed the Expo down. So, we all headed to Southaven to check into our hotel and grab some dinner. After dinner, we went to Graceland to hang out at the Plaza and shop there. We saw Joe Kent's show at the Rock 'n Roll Cafe - he was not really an Elvis impersonator but he did sing Elvis songs. The biggest thing that he had going for him was that he was really funny so Kerry, Karen and I had lots of good laughs. The show didn't end till about 12:45 a.m. so we headed back to the hotel after that.

Of course, once we got back to our room, we laughed and talked and looked at all of our new Elvis goodies!

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