I have another helping of Haggis please!!!

Long Beach Travel Blog

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Today has been a busy day.  After a 6 mile hike, I went home and packed for a weekend trip up to LA.  The main objective of this trip was to go to the Queen Mary Scottish Games. This is not my favorite Highland Games (that would be the Scottish Society Games at the Orange County Fairgrounds in May), but it usually has an event that I think is just to cool. A band I like called Bad Haggis does a show they call Plaidapalooza. It features Bad Haggis and members of the LA Scotts, a pipe and drum corp based here in Los Angeles.  The show was composed of many of my favorite songs from the band, with the bagpipe sections of a couple of songs reinforced by members of the LA Scotts. It is as Eric Rigler the lead of the band calls it, “A Scottish wall of sound!” It was an incredible show.

 

This trip got off to a bad start. I had taken pictures during this mornings hike, and then downloaded them onto my desktop computer. I then set my camera aside to pack for the second half of my weekend.  I then took a shower and started packing. Yes, in typical guy fashion I did not pack my bag until about 30 minutes before I left. And as a result, I forgot my camera on my bed.  Oh well!  I know what everything looked like.

 

I made the 2 hour drive from San Diego to Long Beach with little difficulty. There was traffic, but it was reasonable. Which is good…I hate making this drive!!!  I arrived at the Queen Mary only to find that they were redirecting traffic to an offsite parking lot. I asked if one of the traffic control drones if I could park closer, as I was staying at the Queen Mary Hotel, and I did not want to drag my suitcase a long distance.  Well that was the secret password. I was allowed to park in the main parking lot, a reasonable distance from the hotel. I checked in and found my room.  Someday I am going to not be a cheap bastard and I am going to pay for one of the outside rooms so I can have the overpriced porthole view. J But the room is nice. It is large, has a huge bathroom, and all the regular accessories. I like the little refrigerator in the room. I was able to buy some drinks to chill to drink later.

 

After checking in and leaving my stuff in my room, I went exploring. The festival is set up a bit different this year, with many of the booths set up outside in the area around the ship. I did a little bit of shopping (have to keep the monsters satisfied) and walked down and checked out some of the physical events like the caber toss. Think grown men throwing telephone poles. You have to see it done to understand it.  Then back to my room to relax a bit before the show.

 

In the past there has been a dinner available with the show, but for some reason they did things differently this year. I was a bit confused on how the set up was to work, and the staff onboard was not the brightest. And to top off my displeasure in their not being able to answer my questions, the staff I was talking to at the restaurant that was suppose to be doing the dinner, were speaking to each other in Spanish. I find this to be very rude when done right in front of a customer. Well, I decided to pass on the dinner portion of the event and just had some food from the main festival. Shepard’s Pie and veggies and some mashed potatoes. Simple fare, but hot and good. I just had a liquid diet while watching the show!  J

 

After the show my date and I decided to have another drink so we headed for the Observation Lounge at the front of the ship.  After a while it started to get pretty noisy, so we went for a nice stroll around the decks of the Queen Mary. It was a nice evening, and nobody else was out, so we had an enjoyable time catching up with each other.  Soon it was quite late and was time to say good evening. All in all, it was a very enjoyable evening.

 

Side note:  About my room at the Queen Mary Hotel. I had a very nice room…but there must have been a gym or something nearby, I was woken up at 0700 by what sounded like somebody running on a treadmill.  If you stay at the hotel, try to stay away from the B deck, port side, at the very end of the hall. My room was room B506.

 

Side side note:  Just before checking out I went to find the "gym". There was none, so I am not sure what was causing the noise. It was not overly loud in my room, but it was noticeable. I walked around my deck, checking both sides, and then walked up to the deck above my room. The sound seemed to be coming from higher up than that, but I was unable to identify what it was or exactally where it was coming from. So if you can, try not to be place at the very stern of the ship when staying in the hotel.

tvillingmarit says:
Sounds as you had a nice time but remember to bring your camera next year.
Posted on: Feb 18, 2008
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12 km (7 miles) traveled
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photo by: X_Drive