Several years ago I made the pilgrimage to The Holy Land. I don’t mean Graceland. I don’t mean Liverpool. I mean The Holy Land…Israel. Amazing trip. Problem was that Tony, our guide, refused to talk to women. On several occasions, Tony had a chance to wax theologically in response to a question from myself or another woman…he always pretended he didn’t hear. Irritating. Our last day in Jerusalem on the bus from the Dead Sea to our hotel and our last supper, my priest friend asked me to get on the microphone and thank Tony for his guidance. Since I didn’t have anything good to say honestly about him, I opted for humor. I thanked him and said if he want to lead our next pilgrimage he had to read the Book Of Elvis, because we were going to Graceland. The bus full of fellow goofs broke into a rousing chorus of the Paul Simon song. I knew I could count on them! I returned to my seat glad to get through that in the most graceful way possible. Tony followed me and plopped himself down next to me. I could have fainted! Turns out our guide was a major Elvis fan. He visited Memphis twice…from Bethlehem! He engaged me in conversation all the way back to the hotel. He even gave me his address just in case I could find a rare Elvis recording he was looking for. I told my priest that Jesus didn’t bring us together…it was Elvis. A miracle!

Well, after dinner, a group of us went to a disco in Jerusalem. That’s a story for another time, but remind me. It involves a priest, lots of scotch, Abba, dancing and an Uzi. Again, we’ll discuss later. But the choice was sleeping three hours or going out clubbing. Of course I went out. We had to board the bus for the airport in Tel Aviv at 3 AM. The nappers were crabby. The rest of us were loud and round up. We were on the highway for our flight home, and Tony, our guide, had the bus driver take a detour. Tony got on the PA to tell us we were one of the most unique groups ever, and he was going to take us to a special shrine. We arrived, in the middle of the night, at the Elvis Inn Restaurant, a massive shrine to the King. And I don’t mean King David. I was one of the loonies to exit to bus so people could take dark pictures of us in front of the massive statues of Elvis.

So why bring this up now? Israel Theme Tours is offering the Elvis Presley Holy Land Tour, May 12th through the 21st, to the Western Wall, the Sea Of Galilee, the Dead Sea, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Abu Ghosh, home of the Elvis Inn Restaurant. And that won’t be at 3 AM. The restaurant and souvenir shop will actually be open for business. Some of the musicians who backed Elvis on his gospel albums will be there to discuss. Look for Tony. Bet he’ll be there.

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