Monday, April 16, 2012

The Pilgrimage: Part II Graceland

            I think it’s great when a place you’ve just visited shows up unexpectedly in a book you’re reading. I get so excited I have to go find someone to listen to me read the passage. Then I proceed to tell that someone all about my trip and whether or not the author thought the same things I did while I was visiting. It’s a bonus score, with all the cherries lined up, the bells dinging, the lights flashing, and quarters pouring out into my plastic cup! I know you’re laughing at my exuberance, but if you’re a reader, you totally understand what I mean.

            A couple weeks ago, Chris and I made a pilgrimage to Graceland. It was awesome. I communed with the spirit of Elvis Presley; I almost feel that I got to know him personally. So you can imagine my delighted surprise when I reached the halfway mark in Rick Riordan’s The Red Pyramid to find the main characters, Carter and Sadie, at Graceland!

            One of the strangest rooms at Graceland is a den called The Jungle Room. I recall standing there, mouth dropped open, eyes wide in disbelief, as I tried to take in the ambiance of one of Elvis’s favorite rooms. The word tacky doesn’t even begin to do the room justice. Sadie explains her reaction:
            “The back wall was made of vine-covered bricks, with a waterfall trickling down the side. The carpet was green shag (floor and ceiling, mind you) and the furniture was carved with creepy animal shapes. Just in case all that wasn’t dreadful enough, plaster monkeys and stuffed lions had been strategically placed around the room. Despite the danger we were in, the place was so horrid, I just had to stop and marvel.
             ‘God,’ I said. ‘Did Elvis have no taste?’
            ‘The Jungle Room,’ Carter said. ‘He decorated it like this to annoy his dad.’
            ‘I can respect that.’”

            All I can say is that Rick Riordan’s Sadie and I were “on the same page,” if you’ll forgive the pun. The Jungle Room tells us a lot about Elvis. You have to see it to believe it!

            I highly recommend reading The Red Pyramid, even if you’ve never been to Graceland and Memphis, TN. The book is interesting, action-packed, and some of the characters are Egyptian gods and goddesses come to life! It’s an awesome read. Thanks for loaning the book to me, Veronica!