The Queen Mary. After living in the US for several years, my parents decided to return to England. This was the mid 60s—the early days of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. We journeyed from New York to Southampton on the Queen Mary. In those days the Queen was for getting from one place to another. At least in the cheap seats that we were traveling in.
Sadly, I don’t remember much about the experience. A handful of years previously I had not wanted to leave England for the US when we were aboard the Queen Elizabeth. And now I didn’t want to leave the US for England. As a teenager I wanted roots and not to live the nomadic life I was forced into by my parents, moving from city to city and country to country every few months.
But now I am a thousand years older, at least I can boast that I was a passenger on both the Queens.
Since docking in Long Beach in the late 60s, RMS Queen Mary has seen a turbulent history of ownership with closures and bankruptcies. I love the ship, have been on several tours over the years and hope she will have a long and useful life as a tourist attraction.
There was a great selection of food even for someone like myself who is gluten-free and doesn’t eat meat or sugar. I found plenty of fruit, cheeses, egg dishes and vegetables. It was all yummy.
The brunch came with champagne which I really dislike… just don’t get the appeal of that bubbly stuff. I am a red wine drinker. Why can’t that be a choice? However, I was driving so I didn’t want alcohol anyway. I used up all my coupons for drinking and driving a long time ago.
Our merry group of tour guides with the Commodore of the Queen Mary in the back row.
Our lovely harpist graciously posed for her photo.
Although I have a great circle of friends who tolerate my eccentricities, a good part of my social life involves the various groups I belong to for the disparate areas of my life. The ITMI SoCal network is just one of them.
The beautiful flag… the Union Jack.
Thanks to our President we have an interesting activity just about every month. It is a chance to socialize with other tour guides and visit places around southern California that we may not do on our own.
Networking is difficult for me but the more I force myself to do it, the easier it is. To paraphrase Woody Allen badly, 85% of life is just showing up.
The other beautiful flag.
Looking back at the Queen Mary with a cruise ship in port and the Cruise Center, the dome where the Spruce Goose was once housed.
After the brunch I wandered around the area. I am taking my new camera out and around to get used to it. I am still thinking perhaps I should have merely upgraded to a better point and shoot. But I am going to persevere. Part of avoiding dementia and Alzheimer’s is challenging the brain. So, okay, I accept this challenge!
There is a nice path to walk along with a spectacular view of the city of Long Beach across the water. I took a bunch of photos.
Driving out of the Queen Mary parking lot my car didn’t feel right. Just before I got on the 710 freeway a taxicab pulled up next to me with the driver waving at me. Okay, it wasn’t my imagination. I had a flat tire. I made an immediate right from the middle lane. The only place I could find to park was at a bus stop. Of course, right away a bus arrived and the driver gave me a dirty look. I got out of the car and saw that the rear tire was a gonner.
I called AAA and within 15 minutes the tow truck was there. A relief as a white sedan had pulled up behind me in the red zone and the man and woman in the car stared at me until AAA arrived when they took off. What was in their minds?
I was sincerely grateful that the flat occurred before I got on the freeway. Been there, done that and it is not pretty. Traffic was awful going north on the 405. But all in all I had a great day and I was not about to complain.
(Photos copyright roslyn m wilkins)