I wish I had more detailed memories of our stay aboard The Queen Mary, the historic ship/hotel docked in Long Beach. I remember being quite small, I would say six or under. Knowing my dad’s loves of ships, this must have been a dream getaway for him. Dad would tolerate the amusement parks for my sake, but to get to stay aboard a real ship was the way to vacation in his book. With dad’s love of history, it must have been a real treat to get to see and touch in person what he had only read about in books.
I’m sure I saw a great deal of fascinating things, with the variety of ship tours offered, but sadly I have little recollection of being aboard the ship. What I do remember clearly from the trip is the souvenir I picked out. It was this little round plastic purse, which had a tiny comb, brush and hand mirror inside. The purse had a handle so you could carry it around easily. It had a clear front cover, with a detailed image of The Queen Mary ship printed on it and the back cover was red. It had a zipper in the center to access the contents.
I remember this purse so clearly, the way the new plastic smelled and squishing the soft, flexible shell of the case after emptying its contents. I was very proud of that little purse and held on to it tightly on the ship, while giving my other hand to my dad as we navigated the crowd. That’s the only brief memory I have from aboard the ship. The purse, however, I kept for years and years. I think I finally donated it with a bunch of other kids’ stuff when I was a teenager.
I’m glad to see that The Queen Mary is still operating. I know it was a special vacation for my dad and therefore, it will always hold a special place in my heart.