Monday, November 2, 2009

Looooong Beach

I have a lot to cover so forgive me for slacking last week.

I guess I’ll start with my trip to Long Beach. My company sent me to the Society of Women Engineers Conference this year and it was a total blast. I had been before a few times in college and I was super excited to see it from a professional perspective instead of the desperate college student please give me a job perspective. The professional side did not disappoint.

We opted to stay at the Queen Mary Hotel. This alone was an adventure. For those of you that don’t know, the Queen Mary is a luxury cruise liner built in the 1920’s and cruised around the world for a few decades. After being retired, the city of Long Beach, CA purchased the ship, made it into a hotel and permanently docked it at the Long Beach Port.

Okay now that we all know what we’re talking about, let’s think about what I just told you. A luxury cruise liner…from 1920. The luxuries of 1920 are nowhere near the luxuries of today. It was like staying at your grandma’s house. Sure it’s clean, but it still kind of smells funny because it’s old and nothing works quite right. Another wonderful feature was the colony of ants that lived in the bathroom. Every morning I battled with them. Several lost their lives. Neither one of us won. Another funny thing about the ship was that after talking to the other ladies staying there, none of our rooms were even remotely similar. Okay they all had a bed and scary extension cords for wiring (is that up to code?) but other than that, completely different. Bathrooms were in different spots, there were desks in weird places, some had sitting rooms, some nothing. I guess standardization wasn’t invented before 1920.

Now for my favorite part about the Queen Mary, it’s supposedly haunted and other than being a hotel, it’s kind of a tourist attraction. So what do you do with a haunted tourist attraction in the middle of October? That’s right, you turn it into a haunted house. And not just one haunted house, several haunted houses. That overtake half of the levels on the ship and allow people to scream at the top of their lungs outside your guests windows until 3 AM.

In summary, all of my previous observations about cruise ships were validated regardless of the decade the ship was manufactured in and whether you are actually sailing on said ship or just enjoying your time. I’m so glad this time around it was my company footing the bill because I would have seriously been mad if I was paying $300 a night to not sleep and get attacked by ants.

Other than the Queen Mary from Hell (Good name for next year’s haunted house?), Long Beach was fun. The conference was wonderful, I collected lots of great swag at the career fair, and learned a lot in our sessions, actually got to meet a few ladies from other locations (I even met one I talk on the phone with on a weekly basis but have never met because she’s in South Carolina. She’s a delight in person by the way J). I’m glad I only opted to go to a few of the networking opportunities though. It was fun playing Jenga in the Irish pub across the street with the other ladies and it was great to have lunch with the company big wigs that were in town but for the most part, I like exploring alone.

I found a Z Gallerie and picked up some great pieces for the master bedroom makeover I’m undertaking this week and I had some awesome meals (see giant pot pie picture below) while people watching the drinkers at the bar. I even got to meet up with my Sister and brother in-law to play at the lake and eat some delicious frozen yogurt. It was a fantastic week and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to go.


  1. K, I promise I'm not blog stocking, but...YOU WENT TO THE SWE CONFERENCE WITHOUT ME!?! So jealous. :)


  2. I think they should call it The Bloody Mary at Halloween. I'm sure that there are plenty of them consumed on board, after all.