Another 6am departure, but this time there’s no frost on my windows and I’ve traded in my boots for flip-flops. We leave Nashville and head to Memphis for a visit to Graceland. Troy’s idea. He says his mom is a huge fan and wants a picture of him standing next to Elvis Presley. Secretly, I think he really wants to go, anyway. We debate whether or not to take the $31 tour because we’re tight on cash…and it seems that nobody in this foursome can ever make a goddamned decision. We finally opt to just do it. I’m glad we did.
A tour of Graceland would hold absolutely no interest for me if Elvis didn’t take me back to a very specific moment in my life. But because of sophomore year of college at Monmouth University, I’m kind of fond of the man.
It was preseason for the Hawks’ field hockey team. Instead of rooming with the girls in my class, my coach decided to have me share an apartment with three girls in the class ahead of me – Katie, Kelly, and Susan. I had some issues on the field with Kelly the previous season, so I was extremely nervous to live with her and her two best friends for two long weeks. Thanks a lot, Coach.
It turned out to not be so bad. Actually, it was kind of awesome. We got to know each other as people instead of players. I had a ride to every practice when usually I would have to walk across campus. Living with Katie, Kelly, and Susan made me a part of their group in some small way for a small amount of time. We even had inside jokes. On our car rides, we’d jam out to Avril Lavigne, but back in the apartment it was all Elvis all the time. I can’t remember which one of them had the CD, but we blared it constantly. My personal favorite was Suspicious Minds. I’d just put it on repeat while I was in the shower. It was a great preseason. Guess my coach knew what she was doing after all.
So Graceland is a pretty cool place. A shuttle herds us to his mansion, which is full of expensive 1960’s decor. The furniture is laughable and awesome at the same time. Best of all is a massive sign on the front lawn that reads, “Merry Christmas to All, Elvis”. Gotta love his Christmas spirit!
Onward we go, through Arkansas and Oklahoma, making sure to do as Dad asked and text him every time we enter a new state. Pretty boring drive, but I have an unexpectedly delicious snack of peppered beef jerky accompanied by fierce grape gatorade. We arrive in Oklahoma City at the Hilton Garden Inn. Another beautiful hotel. No cookies this time. And it’s cold and rainy. We planned to go to a nearby brewery but we’re so sick of driving and there’s a bar in the hotel, so we just head downstairs.
After some dinner and drinks, we head back up to our room. We should go out, but we’re being lame and cheap. Everyone’s tired and complaining about how fat we all are (yes, it’s three guys and only one girl). Mike starts to get especially weird. The sleepy ha-ha’s, we like to call it. Troy laughs at every stupid thing he says. Sonny sits in the corner on his phone, and I get annoyed as I try to blog. It’s definitely time for bed.