Friday, June 29, 2018

RonnieAdventure #0314 - Long Beach, California 2018

The Pike in Long Beach (California) was originally an amusement park founded in 1902 and home of the Cyclone Racer, a large wooden dual-track roller coaster built on pilings over the water. I did not ever ride the roller coaster, but I recall hearing my mother tell stories about how scary it was to ride.

In 1979 the Long Beach City Council refused to renew the Pike's land lease, so the roller coaster and almost all of the other structures were demolished. The site has now been developed with a retail center and the only thing remaining is a Ferris wheel.

Since I was not interested in shopping, I walked around the area to take pictures and left the shopping to Ashley and her friend.

I do not know if it is officially part of The Pike, but the Stand-Up Comedy Hall of Fame Museum is located in the same downtown block. For some reason the museum was not open, but in front of the building there was an interesting art piece that said "TATTOO." A nearby sign stated: "During WWII Long Beach was the Port of Call for thousands of service men and women. Many for the first time in their young lives were far from home, thrust into a global conflict with only their courage, honor and commitment to defend the ideals of constitution, freedom and democracy. Each found strength in the communal bond of service to their country. Livelong friendships were forged with tattoos as indelible memories. In the midst of uncertainty, an R & R at the Pike provided a break from the stress, boredom and loneliness. The excitement bonded individuals into an extended family of brothers and sisters experiencing a rekindled childhood shortened by war. The Pike experience was like a Carnival, and from this perspective the road home seemed less distant and the reasons to serve our nation maginfied."

Across the street from The Pike is the Aquarium of the Pacific. I did not tour the aquarium on this trip, but I have visited it in the past.

The ten-story tall Lions Lighthouse for Sight is located a short distance from the aquarium and is a permanent reminder of Lions Clubs International's dedication to ending world blindness. 

The Queen Mary is located across Rainbow Bay from the lighthouse and now serves as a hotel. Several years ago I stayed on the Queen Mary one night, but I can not locate the pictures. Our room rate included a tour of the ship that was very interesting. I remember the docent explaining how the handrails throughout the ship were made of plastic, which was an upgrade over the brass handrails found on other ships. The brass was always cold, while the plastic was typically room temperature. We were also able to view the engine room, which did not contain any engines! Apparently, when the ship was sold one of the stipulations was that the engines had to be removed and the ship would never be put to sea again. Sleeping on the ship was something that you do once so that you can say you slept on the Queen Mary, but you would never do it again - the rooms were very small and noisy (Apparently there was a lack of insulation in the walls.). We had a much nicer room in the Marriott the next time we stayed in Long Beach. And, after the fog lifted in the morning, we had a nice view of the Queen Mary.

Throughout the area there is a profusion of beautiful flowers.

When we are in California we always try to make it down to the beach to watch the sunset at least once. Unfortunately, this time the weather did not cooperate and it was very cloudy and dark; so I'm including some historic beach pictures, which include some cute grandchildren.

I'm not certain what is wrong with the sun in Belmont Shores, but the refracted light casts some of the strangest shadows!

On Father's Day Ashley played in a basketball tournament and they won both games. Looking back as some historic pictures, Ashley still has the same shooting form now as she had when she was younger!