My favorite adventures are the ones unexpected…
My roommate and I headed to Long Beach for a quick day trip. I wanted to test out a new camera and enjoy my last day off before entering a nine day work week. We had brunch at The Grain Cafe, which is a great little spot with excellent traditional breakfast food done vegan style. I ordered The Grain Pancake plate which was a full feast of pancakes, hash browns, vegan sausage and tofu scramble. It was my first time trying tofu scramble and given my track record with tofu hasn’t been so promising, I was pleasantly surprised. I am glad there’s a location here in L.A. because I know where I am heading the next time I crave traditional breakfast comfort food.
After brunch we headed toward the coast for a couple photo-ops on the water but that’s where the adventure really began. We missed a turn on a one way road and there was nowhere to turn around.We were faced with the choice of Carnival cruise ship port or Queen Mary parking lot, we chose the latter figuring they would let us turn around so we could continue on our way. They didn’t. The automated kiosk dispensed a parking ticket and we were officially in. Since we already were being charged for parking, we decided to see what our options were.
Before we knew it we were walking up the steps toward the ship and tickets for the 1pm “Ghosts and Legends” haunted tour in hand. I don’t even know how it happened… one thing just led to another, the happiest of accidents. With an hour to explore before the official tour began we wandered around the ship and got lost in the beauty and history of what was the best ocean liner of its time. Larger than the Titanic, known for hosting high-profile guests like Clark Gable and British royalty and retaining the glamour of the 30’s, it’s not hard to see why the Queen Mary is such a popular destination. All except for one minor detail…
The Queen Mary is #6 on Time’s most haunted list of places in. the. world.
While no longer making waves across the transatlantic, this ship was the fastest and most elite back in the “glory days.” With so many passengers over the 89 years of service, the ship experienced natural deaths, accidental deaths, suicides, and murder. It’s no wonder there’s numerous reports of hauntings and paranormal activity! After hearing the personal accounts of the staff and various paranormal professionals, even a skeptic’s interest would be piqued.
Now the ship serves as a stationary hotel, attraction and event center drawing in thousands of guests each year, just don’t stay in room B340… or do, if you’re into that haunted type of amenity.
Next stop was Signal Hill for a scenic spot to take it all in. At the top you have full panoramic views of downtown Long Beach and can see the ship ports and the Queen Mary in the distance. It would also be a great spot for a picnic and afternoon reading in the grass.
Of course, no adventure is complete without a stop at a local ice cream parlor. We tried Long Beach Creamery as they have rotating vegan ice cream options. I had PB Chip which was peanut butter and chocolate chip made in house from a coconut milk base. The texture was icy, as most coconut milk ice creams are, but exactly what I was craving. So refreshing after a day of highways and hauntings.
It’s days like these where you wake up thinking you know how the day will go and what you will do when life surprises you with something even better. The unexpected is what makes the adventure. I almost suggested we just stay home as I had a lot on my to-do list but I am so glad we didn’t. I mean, honestly, no good story ever started with someone doing laundry…