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  • Hello, Eeee-va, no, they can't repair the trail because the whole cliff/ridge deteriorated to the point of erosion and doesn't exist anymore like chunks of it just fell off.

    I used to ride all the roller coasters but I'd say about the last 12 years I started losing my interest in them and now for sure I'm like meh. But I'd still go just to see it probably at some point, Knotts Berry Farm, that is. I haven't been to DisneyLAND in ages (have been there 3 times total) and I've never been to the Wild California park.

    Da bears and I went hiking today in Alabama but it might be a few days before I get the pictures loaded up. Thank you for the tips on the park (smiley),.

    I toured the Queen Mary when I was 12 years old; I didn't know they made it into a hotel now. So can you still tour it or is the whole thing converted? Is it still in Long Beach?
    Last edited by JillT; 04-16-2017, 04:58 AM.

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    • Saturday dawned with a forecast in Alabama of 85F, mostly sunny, and low humidity.

      "Bring on the sleeveless shirts and shorts. Summer is here!" exclaimed da bears happily.

      First we stopped at an overlook in Alabama.



      Then we went to Marshall County park.




      Next it was time for our first planned activity since the other two were spontaneous as we were passing by.

      Cheaha State Park has the highest peak in Alabama, at 2,407 feet above sea level.

      However, da bears and I were hungry even though I had snacks and drinks in the car. Not being into PICKLED eggs in the first place, I declined to try THESE!



      "That's okay, we'll just go see the scenery," they said.





      We got to go up in the tower but the view wasn't as nice here.









      The Bald Rock trail was a boardwalk and handicapped accessible. Even da bears got some exercise because it was only 0.3 miles one way. I carried them back, though.







      Next we went to High Falls park, which was in a REALLY rural (think "supposed" two lane road with plops of pavement thrown down) area.



      The waterfall was 35 feet tall, 300 feet wide, with sections of it because the way it went over the edge curved and there was even a stone arch/natural bridge that the water went through. That was the left side of the waterfall and unfortunately too much foliage was in the way for a photo or a video to turn out. Duffy had looked over the barbed wire fence (the trail is literally a thin piece of dirt right up to the fence which is somehow anchored at the very edge.

      "Oh, look, some thoughtful people cut a hole in the fence where we can get a better view," said Shellie May. I decided to keep her innocence by not informing her that was vandalism.



      Shellie May's head is blocking where I could see the natural bridge but you can see how blocked the view would be.

      We also walked across a pretty bridge.



      Next we visited Lake Guntersville State Park, which was supposed to have a waterfall and a cascade, but the trail map said seasonal depending on water levels. I asked at the lodge and they said you have to see those within hours of rainfall or they're not running, so we skipped that because the ranger said they were "bone dry".

      However, we did get a nice view of the lake from the lodge.



      On the way home we stopped at the Huntsville, Alabama Build-A-Bear store. Shellie May noticed one page of our pawsport was completely blank so she decided to try again (in Kentucky last summer the clerk stamped it upside down and Shellie May was very disappointed and upset).



      "Yay, thank you for getting it right-side up," she told the clerk with a big smile.



      JillT
      Last edited by JillT; 04-16-2017, 03:47 PM.

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      • Thanks, JillT! Yes, the Queen Mary is still in Long Beach. I don't know when they opened it up as a hotel; I know when they brought it to Long Beach in the 1960s they figured to make it a catering venue and gutted so much of the ship! ::sob::

        But there was a lot more history left than I expected, and I think our room was laid out almost exactly like it would have been in the 1930s - 1960s when she was a functioning liner. Oh, it was so wonderful! (Except the thin walls, but for a one-night stay that was almost more funny than annoying.)

        We got a room with 2 twin beds that was in what was first class back in the day. I think they completely destroyed second and third class because the rooms were too small for modern hotelgoers. In some cases, they certainly tore down three third-class rooms to make one standard, modernized room! But she exceeded my (admittedly pretty low) expectations in absolutely every way.

        I'm glad your bears are excited for summer! I don't think mine are and I know I'm not!

        Your photos are lovely and the boardwalk walk looks so convenient….your Shellie May is so sweet! That's too bad nature didn't cooperate with you for that last waterfall…but I'm glad you at least got a Pawsport stamp!
        Daily Duffy Archive! Adventures with Duffy, ShellieMay, or Gelatoni, updated regularly!

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        • Amazing adventures and beautiful pictures, you guys!

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          • Here are my Duffy Pictures

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            • Welcome Prince Zac. I especially like the blue and green striped shirt outfit. Are you in London? My sister is referring someone to this forum to start posting (smiley).

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              • Welcome, Prince Zac! Your Duffy looks wonderful! The boxer photos are cracking me up! My 17" (regular-size) Duffy has a pair of the white ones. He's gone around just wearing those before too; oh dear. Do you take your Duffy fun places? Or is he more of a homebody (home-bear?)?

                The Queen Mary was so beautiful! This is the main shopping area.



                Looking out at the parking lot from the enclosed promenade.


                There were plenty of lifeboats (I think 0-1 were seaworthy, though).


                The Queen Mary does technically float!


                "It is almost time for our tour."





                Now we are waiting for our tour.





                The Haunted Encounters tour gave some history about the ship but wasn't very scary. OK descending an extremely steep staircase down into the dark bow was a little scary.


                And looking down that hatch was pretty scary, OK. I had to hold tight to Shellie May. (MOSTLY for her safety and not my own...MOSTLY)



                This was inside what is supposedly the most haunted room, per some YouTube video. (It was three third-class rooms that they gutted and now it's not even a room you can stay in...no furniture or anything.)



                Our guide did tell us that the giant teddy bear back there comes to life after 10 PM to eat any children who are out of bed!


                Waiting for the other tour, "Glory Days," which had an incredibly quirky guide.


                The tour was worth it for the long look into what was formerly the first-class lounge, though. (He said a lot of movies and TV shows were filmed here, like part of The Poseidon Adventure. The X-Files episode "Triangle" was also largely filmed on the Queen Mary, with a long scene in this very room. (I'm not an X-Files fan but that episode was excellent television, period.)










                Just a bit more exploring.





                We ate dinner at Chelsea Chowder House. It was fine...pricey but it's a tourist area.


                Nice view, though.




                We ran out real quick at sunset because I'd forgotten to get photos of Shellie May with the ship!



                Daily Duffy Archive! Adventures with Duffy, ShellieMay, or Gelatoni, updated regularly!

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                • Posting problem fixed yay
                  Last edited by Eeee-va; 04-22-2017, 08:35 PM.
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                  • Eeee-va, I enjoyed the information about the tour. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Your Shellie May's outfit is nautical. She is such a stylish bear and is lucky to have a seamstress like you for her tender.

                    If you ever go to Oahu, there are two haunted tours. I did the longer one, 5 hours, called Orbs of Oahu. It was really interesting, a little creepy, but mostly just really interesting and culturally informative.

                    Also, in Charleston there is a pirate's walking tour that is amazing.

                    I know those aren't anywhere near where you live, but it's "food for thought" (momism, my sister and I adopted our parents' sayings).

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                    • Thanks, JillT! I'm not really into "ghost tours" but not adverse if they get you a ton of history and relatively little "ghost" stuff. The "Haunted Encounters" tour was pretty much just relaying stories that they had heard from guests and employees, with no effort to convince anyone they were real. I think ghost hunters would have honestly been disappointed, but I'm not a ghost hunter so it was fine by me. They had a very fine line to walk because they re also a hotel, so they don't want to scare off any potential guests.

                      Charleston, eh? I think my next big trip will be to Pennsylvania, but I do like pirates so I'll add Charleston to the list of possibilities! Thank you! (Oahu isn't off the list entirely but it's a bit less likely.)

                      Back on the Queen Mary, they had a display devoted to the first-class playroom, I believe near or at where it used to be. Though the original first-class playroom had an indoor slide that was about a story long so this doesn't reflect its splendor.




                      Still neat, though!



                      This shows off most (all?) of the different types of wood used on the Queen Mary.



                      Looking out at sunset. It was so pretty, we didn't even think much about posing to get cute Shellie May pics.







                      Binnacle!



                      The bow was frankly kind of spooky at night, and we could easily see Long Beach off the starboard side. I can hardly imagine how it would feel to be out in the middle of the ocean. (Though I guess it would be a bit less quiet if she were underway and sailors were about.)



                      For scale...!


                      This little delightful bit of history greeted us in our wanderings.


                      And this creepy looking old floor. (I assume it dates to the 1940s...after she was used as a troop ship in World War II, they re-named the decks a bit.)





                      The promenade deck!




                      Then we stopped at the Observation Bar. Shellie May and I split a ginger ale!





                      Nearly impossible to photograph but it was kind of neat.


                      And we got room service! Brownie sundae!!!!





                      The red line is where our room was on this vintage map. I found another room map and the layout of our room was pretty much like it was back in the day, too.

                      Daily Duffy Archive! Adventures with Duffy, ShellieMay, or Gelatoni, updated regularly!

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                      • My reply with more photos seems to be lost in moderator wasteland; hopefully it will post soon. (In which case it'll pop up BEFORE this.)

                        But I think I forgot to thank you for your kind words in that vanished-for-now post, so thank you! Shellie May has brought me a lot of joy, so I think we are lucky to have each other.
                        Daily Duffy Archive! Adventures with Duffy, ShellieMay, or Gelatoni, updated regularly!

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