Thursday, January 19, 2012

that time we were on a large ship

Buying a Christmas gift for your spouse or significant other can be a stressful thing. What size do the need? Will they actually use this? What color suits them? Will they even like this or will they have to pretend to like it in front of me? Many Christmases ago my husband and I sorta solved this problem for ourselves. We both decided that we don't really need any more stuff. What we really want to spend money on is adventure.
We would much rather come out of Christmas with a bunch of pictures, some new experiences and a collection of wonderful memories.

This year my wonderful Mister surprised me with a couple nights on board the lovely Queen Mary.

I am not sure where everyone else was. For the most part we felt like we had the entire ship to ourselves. It was the perfect getaway. We actually live in Long Beach so it took only about 10 minutes to get there. I love vacations that don't involve any weariness from traveling. 
 We spent hours exploring the ship. They sure do give you a lot of freedom on board. It was fun finding little twisty staircases and wondering down LONG narrow hallways.

first class swimming pool

the port hole in the most haunted room

We took the ghost tour our second day. It sure was creepy. We got to go in the room of the first class swimming pool, the boiler rooms, and the most haunted room that they won't let guests stay in anymore because they got too many reports of hauntings. Creepy.

 The long hallways sorta reminded me of the movie The Shinning and one night we saw a pair of twin girls with long straight hair. Just like the movie. I told Blake that if we ever saw them down a hallway we would have to turn and run the other direction. No questions asked.
speed scrabble at congregation

We took a free shuttle over to downtown Long Beach a couple times. We have two favorite places to eat there and we visited them both. Congregation one day and Beachwood BBQ the other. 

My husband sure is handsome.

One night we went for drinks at Sir Winston's. This was a schmancy place with a dress code and everything. We sat in the lounge area which was empty except for a very friendly bar tender.

This is where the Queen Mary swallowed my iPhone.

And by swallowed I, of course, mean that this is where my phone slipped into a crack in the seats and it took two bartenders and a bent hanger to get it back.

Amid the laughter from me, Blake and the wonderful bartenders, I was told that it was the first time that had happened there. I like to think that I am now apart of the splendid history of the Queen Mary. :).

After that they let us out a side door that was marked as an emergency exit and we enjoyed our drinks on a deck that passengers were not usually allowed on. It was beautiful and right next to one of the iconic smokestacks.

 On our last morning we got up nice and early. We visited the on board coffee shop and then went to the very back of the ship. It was completely empty. We didn't see anybody once we left the main deck. We wiped the condensation from two deck chairs and enjoyed our coffee and breakfast while the sun rose.

It was prefect. Cold. But still perfect.

 After breakfast we found a table on the main deck and enjoyed the sunshine while Blake sketched and I crocheted.

We went to our room several hours before checkout so we could pack and maximize our time before we had to take leave.

We made sure we were on deck at the very front of the ship to hear the Queen Mary blast her horn. Even though I knew it was coming I was still quite startled by it.

When it was time to say goodbye we were both not quite ready to return to normal life and all of the stresses that come along with it. But we left confident in the fact that we had fully taken advantage of our time on board and that we had stored up quite a collection of wonderful memories... not to mention about 700 pictures between the two of us (I know... we're insane).

So when asked what I got for Christmas I don't tell them anything about books or scarves, movies or jewelry... I tell them I got an adventure for Christmas.

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