Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Los Angeles

We are now in the City of Angels, Los Angeles and the weather is absolutely fantastic. The days are in the 80s and the nights in the 60s which makes for good sleeping weather.
Our first day here we went to the Fullerton Arboretum with a lot of endangered plants. We did not stay too long because that day was very hot and with very low humidity.

In amongst the cactus was a heron and he had just caught a rather large lizard. As I watched him, he turned the lizard around in his beak and swallowed the lizard whole head first.

There were several nice flowers, some of which I did not know the name.

Prior to leaving the arboretum I came across this turtle sunning himself on the side of the pond.

Friday night, we attended the rehearsal dinner of David's friend, Art and his soon to be wife, Ashley. It was a really lovely evening and we got to meet relatives from both sides of their families. The wedding was Saturday at 6:30pm and was a really lovely affair. Ashley looked stunning and Art looked proud and handsome. The following day, Sunday we were invited to a brunch by Ashley's parents. It made for a lovely finish to a wonderful weekend.
After the brunch, Gary and I took a trip to Long Beach to see the Queen Mary and have lunch on board her. I visited the Queen Mary when I was 8 when my Aunt Dolly worked on her. Needless to say, I could not remember anything about the ship so everything was new to me.

The ship sailed on her maiden voyage on May 27th, 1936 and was at one time the fastest trans Atlantic ship. She held that honour for 14 years, I believe. In fact, she was bigger, faster and more powerful than the Titanic. During WWII she was used as a troop carrier and painted grey all over to avoid detection by the enemy and was given the title of "The Grey Ghost". With the coming of the airplane and trans Atlantic flights, the need for a trans Atlantic Liner became less and less and she   completed her 1000th and last crossing in September of 1967.
I remember as a child crossing the Humber on the Winfield Castle and visiting the engine rooms. The smell and the sight of the pistons going up and down created a love of engine rooms for me. So, I went below and hoped to see the huge pistons of the Queen Mary but, alas she was driven by oil and not coal so had no lovely smell or pistons.

 Gary stood next to one of the wrenches used on the engines to give you a perspective of the huge size of some of the nuts and bolts.

I took photos of the inside of the ship but it was a little dark and they are not worth publishing. The only photo that turned out was of the bar on the observation deck.

We did get to see one of the original propellers under the water. Apparently, she was originally equipped with 4 propellers but two were replaced with one huge propeller making a total of 3.

The ship had 3 classes and each class had a library, nursery and lounge. There was a place on board to carry cars and pets. Two swimming pools were also on board. The price of a first class ticket in 1937 was 100 pounds which is about 5,000 pounds in today's money so you had to be quite wealthy to travel first class.
Yesterday, we visited the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach and it was packed. There were people and screaming children everywhere and you had to wait in turn to see the different aquariums. I got several nice photos though.

Today, July 3rd we are off to the Hollywood Bowl for a concert by the Gogo Girls followed by fireworks. I will tell you more about it in my next blog.

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