June 5, 2012

The Titanic In San Diego

This past Sunday we drove an hour south to San Diego's Balboa Park, specifically to take in the Titanic artifact exhibit at the Natural History museum.  (The show opened in April and closes in September.) 

Lily had already been a minor Titanic history buff prior to all the hoopla commemorating the 100-year anniversary of its sinking.  Her interest reached its peak the anniversary weekend of April 15th, when I took her for a girl's day out viewing of the movie, re-released in 3D.  (It's PG-13 in ways I never noticed back when it came out in 1997, but were very apparent when viewing with an impressionable 10-year-old.)

So needless to say, she was thrilled when she learned of Sunday's plans. 

Unfortunately, there are strict rules about taking any photos inside the special exhibit (much like when we went to the Tim Burton show at LACMA last October). But I can tell you it was pretty cool to see actual items that were onboard the ship, retrieved from the debris field on the ocean floor, and restored and set under glass for all to see.  I think my favorites were the dinner plates, some with the "White Star Line" logo still visible, along with the gold-trimmed china used by the first class passengers.  Lily's favorite was the green champagne bottle that still had half its contents preserved. (Was the cork popped to celebrate the bon voyage, or some other happy milestone for its owner?) We both agreed that looking at these things gave us goosebumps.

When you enter the exhibit, you're given a "boarding pass" with information on the back about an actual Titanic passenger. At the end, you pass by a wall where you can see if your person lived or died.  Myk was Mr. Allison, and I was Mrs. Elizabeth Nye. I'm not going to say which, but only one of us made it out alive. (It's not who you might assume.)

There was also a recreation of the boiler room, and a great big white hunk of frozen ice that you were encouraged to touch, to get a feel of just how cold the water in the north Atlantic was that fateful night. (This helped Tucker, who couldn't understand why the passengers couldn't just swim to safety.)

It was a great afternoon, but especially for this one: 
Some other shots of lovely Balboa Park:

It's a huge, beautiful park, and we usually just stick to exploring the museum areas. (They have a great railroad musuem that's fun for anyone who like trains, history, or just looking at miniature models.) Next time, I want to pack a lunch and explore all the walking/hiking trails on the property.  According to their trail website, there are 65 miles of trails to explore! I'll be thrilled if we can cover just one or two.

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