New York to Graceland summer 2005
This summer my best friend and I are driving from Ithaca, NY to Memphis, TN to go to Graceland. Being extremely enthusiastic Elvis fans this trip has been in the works for years now and although some have been disappointed, I dont' think we will be. Anyway, I'm from California and have never been anywhere on the East side or the South. Does anyone have any suggestions things we should do along the way and places to stay away from? I have never in my life taken a big road trip so any suggestions would be welcome. thanks!
First, go down to Elmira, and see the exhibits on Mark Twain at Elmira College. Twain did most of his famous novel writing in a "gazebo" on his brother-in-law's "Quarry Farm" near there. He left many of his belongings, and the gazebo, to the college (it sits beside a city street on the campus, and Lit students will tell you all about it). Sam Clemens and his family (wife "Livie" and daughters) are buried in the cemetery nearby. The inscription on daughter Susie's stone (Olivia Susan) will break your heart. He outlived almost all of them, and it made him a bitter man, as his family was everything to him.
After Elmira, go on along the shore of Lake Erie, down through Columbus, Ohio and to Nashville -- there's plenty to do in Nashville -- Music Row, Tootsie's, The Opry, also the Hermitage (Andrew Jackson's home).
Then, and ONLY then, will it be time to proceed in a stately manner on to Graceland, with a proper sense of history, reverence and humility. Worship there for a time, then head home via the Blue Ridge Parkway through Virginia. You might also visit the Great Smoky Mountains -- I sure would.
The trip down will take two days plus sightseeing time. To get home along those ridges, valleys and hills will take a bit longer, but take your time and enjoy summertime in the cradle of America's westward expansion. Stop and see a Civil War monument or two. Walk where Daniel Boone walked. Soak it up, these things are our heritage.