We also got to spend time with my 2 uncles and aunts that live in California. Drove up into the mountains in Wrightwood where one of my uncles still lives. Beautiful up there and the best Mexican food outside of Texas. :D We were able to spend all day and a great deal of the evening with them before heading back down to the Queen. I have a marvelous family.
We got together with our sweet friends Cathie Filian and Steve Piacenza of Creative Juice/Craft Wars/Hot Glue Gun Helpers/Plaid Podgeables. They have also authored several books. They went to Dark Harbor with us and Steve's friend Kelly came along as well. Then on Wednesday they called me to let me know that had a huge surprise planned for me. When we got to the Filian's they whisked us away in a car for an "Underbelly of Hollywood" true crime/scandal tour, LOL. Their friend Jimmy who owns Glitterati Tours was our gracious and kind host and Mike and I were taken amazing places where true crime and scandals have occurred and I was in true crime heaven. We solemnly visited the cemetery where Natalie Wood (my fav), Marilyn Monroe and several other celebrities are buried. This afternoon was topped off by dinner at the infamous El Coyote where Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring et al had their last meal the night they were murdered by the Charles Manson gang. Steve made sure I got to sit in Sharon's "spot". The case has fascinated me, in not too morbid of a way, ever since it happened in 1969 and I was 14. I became engrossed in true crime at a much earlier age although I am sure that seemed strange to my Mom and Dad. It's the victims that draw me in. I can't begin to imagine for their families what it must be like to lose a loved one to a violent crime. I highly suggest if you are out in LA or Hollywood any time soon you contact Jimmy at Glitterati Tours. They have a Facebook page as well. Thanks again Jimmy for a once in a lifetime adventure.
We finished out the week with sight seeing, having lunch at an Armenian restaurant with Cathie and Eddie Filian, a moment of jealousy in Cathie's craft room and a great doggie bag to bring back. I enjoyed meeting little Maxie, their dog. Dogs figured in big this week, LOL. Such sweet friends.
After we got back to the ship on Friday I went to the Princess Diana Tour that featured many of the Royal family's personal items but featured Diana's wardrobe as well as a few pieces of Katherine's outfits. There was a negligee that belonged to "that Simpson woman" and Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson's back up wedding gown which was breath taking. It was a lovely way to cap off a perfect day, our last full day and I was glad I had the opportunity to see these priceless items.
Our room, the Eisenhower Suite, was a step back in time in every single way you can imagine. The Queen Mary was launched in 1936 and is a palace of gorgeous Art Deco architecture and decorating. Mike's father H.L. Brod sailed her to Europe as a troop transport during WW2. He was in the Navy and it just made it all so personal and comforting to know he was once where we were then. Our room was vintage and I could have stayed there for the rest of my life and been lost in the history and majesty of that beautiful ship and her interiors. She is a haunted ship and strange things did occur. Listed as one of the 10 most haunted places in the world she was a gem to explore and I closed my eyes and we were on the ocean crossing the Atlantic. Time stood still in our beautiful room and I hope before I go someday to spend more time with her. At least once more because she is just so special. I wish more liners had been saved rather than scrapped. In Philadelphia many people are at work trying to save and restore the SS United States. I urge you if you are a buff of the great liners, not these silly cruise boats, to see how you can be a help to either of these grand ladies and keep that part of the past alive for generations to enjoy and marvel at.
It was a perfect vacation, even though we flew into severe storms last night as we came in to Dallas but our pilot was good, we were safe and got some much needed rain. It was just the most wonderful week ever. Thanks and love to Rosie and Cinnamon, Uncle Bob, Aunt Ilene and Uncle Dale, Cathie, Steve, Eddie and JIMMY! Thank you for the time you gave us and the gift of your love and friendship. Mike's and my socks are officially rocked! God bless....