Saturday, October 26, 2013
"Dark Harbor" at The Queen Mary
It's basically a bunch of "Spook Houses" with a food court, trinket sales, and a bandstand where some head banger band was playing all night.
I took my wife there several years ago when we were dating (What? Old people date?), and I got a special offer email, so I bought the tickets, and we went again.
We got there shortly before the gates opened so we could get home early (there's that "old people" thing again....), and paid the extra $5 for "preferred" parking ($25 total) so we could park MUCH closer, what with my walking ability being impaired and all.
WELL....my wife's friend who came along had "forgotten" to print her ticket after she bought it and received the email, so we spent about 20 minutes at Customer Service where they were able to look it up, and give her a replacement ticket.
We then proceeded to the entrance, where EVERYBODY who came into the event had their picture taken.
AND a right-facing profile.
While this was ostensibly to provide you with a souvenir (which you had to BUY for another $20), I was pretty steamed about it, as they would NOT let you pass without it.
Or so the guy taking the pictures told me.
Hmmmm....so now I'm probably in another database somewhere, in the name of stopping "terrorism" or something.
The Spook Houses were pretty good, although you get pretty tired of somebody popping out of a dark corner trying to scare you, people banging on the walls, and the ever present thick clouds of good old Rosco Fog Juice, but the ladies enjoyed it.
One thing I'd never seen before was pretty neat. At the entrance to two of the "mazes", there was a large canvas "bag" on each side, filled with low-pressure air, and you had to force your way through very small gap between the two bags to get into the maze.
There were seven mazes (three of them took you on the ship to some spaces not normally open to the public) throughout the site to navigate, but at number five, I had to take a break, as my right hip was acting up, and I just couldn't comfortable navigate several more flights of stairs at the time, so I sat that one out while the gals walked through the "Hellfire" maze.
The next to last one was called "Submerged", and took you through the swimming pool/spa area on The Queen. I'd never seen that part of the ship before, and it was amazing. The original swimming pool is there, in very bad repair, but all the ceramic tile walls and floor of the area around the pool, as well as all the Art Deco lights, are still there, along with some signs on the wall explaining how the pool area operated, and what the cost was back in the 1930's.
As an aside, a British Pound was worth $5US back then, and I think it's something like $1.80 now. I don't know whether that says more about the Pound, the Dollar, or both!
SO...after stumbling around the entire site for about 3~3-1/2 hours, we'd seen everything, and the crowds were really starting to build up (along with an astounding assortment of female eye-candy out on the prowl for the night), so we left.
The extra $5 for the preferred parking was well worth the money, as we had parked within 100 feet of the park entrance/exit, and very close to the road leading out to the freeway, and we were out of there, and on the freeway, within 10 minutes, watching a huge line of cars from the other parking areas wind their way through the parking lot to even get close to the exit.
And I'm still pissed about being forced to have my picture taken......