When a landmark lights eighty candles on a cake shaped like the landmark, you oftentimes must pause, scrunch your eyes, and try and picture what the location must have been like eight decades earlier, before time and fashion and trends gently changed its style, feel, and character.
One does not need to do much face-scrunching on the Queen Mary, as the Long Beach-based ocean-liner looks remarkably similar to how it did when it first took to the oceans back in 1934. True, there are modern touches throughout the permanently-in-place ship, but stand in the First-Class Swimming Pool and convince yourself it isn't the 1930s.
What is easy? Raising a toast to the queen, the grandest floating conveyance of her day, a luxe passenger ship that also served time in World War II as the Grey Ghost. The Queen Mary marks her 80th birthday on Friday, Sept. 26, and shall waive admission that day to anyone who wants to swing by, admire those storied hulls and deck, and maybe have some cake.
Which, as mentioned, is shaped like the Queen Mary, a marvelously meta choice. Also marvelous? The cake, which will be created by Chef Jose Barajas, will weigh in at nearly a quarter ton, and shall be fifteen feet in length.
When you're not snacking upon ship-shaped sweets, you can listen to "the reading of letters by King George V at the ship's launch on Sept. 26, 1934." Queen Elizabeth has also sent a message that shall be read in honor of the Queen Mary's 80th.
The ship, which was built in Clydebank, Scotland, arrived in Long Beach in 1967 after "more than 1,100 transatlantic voyages."
As mentioned, admission is free, and parking? That's discounted. Swing by on Sept. 26 to with SoCal's famous queen a happy 80th.
One final thought: Does the Queen Mary cake taste like the Queen Mary? And what's the flavor of a famous ocean-liner? We're thinking shortbread and whiskey, in honor of its homeland, but whatever the cake's taste, call it a fittingly festive way to fete the ship.