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all aboard the RMS Titanic

Happy Thursday! You’re nearly to the weekend! How have you been? Are you taking time to check-in with yourself and give yourself the care, love, and attention you need? If not, it’s perfectly okay to set aside time for yourself to do whatever you want/need to do during ‘me time.’ Maybe it’s yoga, meditation, running, reading, tending to a pallet garden you built, sewing some pillowcases for your home decor, making a dress to match your homemade mask, or even playing animal crossing with family and friends. Whatever you want to do during your assigned ‘me time,’ make sure you’re doing it and giving yourself a break.

If you didn’t get a chance to read yesterday’s post - “all aboard the HMS Caroline”— you can click here to read about how much fun I had exploring a retired WWI and WWII Royal Army boat! Also, if you didn’t get the chance to cast your free daily vote for me to be the next #MaximCoverGirl, you can click here to vote or click here to read about why it’s important to me (and then vote!). You can vote once every twenty-four hours for free, and I am so grateful for your support! Voting for the Quarter-Finals round ends July 16th, so I’d appreciate any and all support I can get to make my way to first before the 16th! Thank you for everything so far!! If you’re all caught up on the adventures thus far and Maxim Cover Girl voting, then sit tight, strap in, buckle up - whatever you choose! We’re continuing our tour in Belfast at a spot I briefly mentioned in yesterday’s post - the Titanic Museum!

I got to visit the Titanic Museum a couple times while I lived in Ireland. The first time I was on my own, so I spent a lot of time stopping to read various blurbs about the construction of the Titanic and just how much effort went into constructing a luxury ship so large. The second time I visited was with my dad, and we spent our time reading new blurbs I hadn’t previously seen while I gave the quick highlights of what I’d read on my previous trip. We also stopped and enjoyed the museum’s Disneyland-esque ride called The Shipyard in which we sat in a "floating" car that took us through the process of building the ship from bottom to top! It turned out that the ride operator was actually originally from New Jersey and that he had moved to Belfast decades prior to live with his wife and be near her family, so we chatted with him for a little while since my dad and I are both originally from New Jersey, as well!

One of my favorite things about the Titanic Museum was seeing the recreation of the various cabins, as well as the homage to the number of films made about the luxury ocean liner. I’m pretty sure most - if not all - of us have seen the movie Titanic, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. There was a wonderful section of the museum dedicated to the film given remarkable recreation and depiction of what the various rooms on the ship looked like, which should not come as a surprise given how much research went into the making of that film. There was also a section of the museum dedicated to the underwater science and research of the sunken ship. (Also, as a sidenote, as someone who was working daily with Kate on HBO's Mare of Easttown before the Coronavirus shut everything down, she is just as lovely and wonderful in person as you’d hope for her to be; she deserves every wonderful thing that comes her way.)

Being able to stand and physically see what the cabins looked like based on whether a passenger was first, second, or third class added a whole new element to (re)watching the movie Titanic. Does anyone remember that heartbreaking scene where the Irish mother tucks her children into bed as the ship's sinking because she knows there's no way they make in into a lifeboat? I honestly get choked up whenever I think about it... including right now. It gets me every time - even moreso than when older Rose drops her necklace into the ocean. I know that part is supposed to get me, but after the Irish mother with her children, saying goodbye to the sinking quartet, knowing that Mr. Andrews is going down with the ship, and Jack sinking down to the depths of the sea from the floating door, grown Rose dropping a necklace into the ocean doesn't do it for me emotionally. I hope I'm not the only one who feels that way because although I do really think it's a beautiful sentiment, I just don't think it emotionally hits home for me after everything the audience goes through as a somewhat active participant in the film transaction. Also, I'm willing to say that I haven't watched Titanic in a year, so maybe I'll feel differently now. Do you ever notice how your favorite films or books reveal new meanings to you as you grow older?

I did, however, make a point (before leaving the museum) of stopping in the gift shop to purchase myself one Heart of the Ocean keychain because it made me laugh. It was also a good laugh when to forget that I had it on my keychain until someone pointed it out to me on set one morning before filming. I immediately laughed, still a bit slap-happy from the 6 AM call, and hid my keys away in my bag so Kate wouldn't see the shiny blue heart-shaped "diamond" next to my RAV4 key. Having spent so much time detailing much of the museum's interior, I do have to admit that the museum looks really cool on the outside, too (picture at the top of the page). The museum’s structure was built to scale to look like four separate bows joined together (.. and by bow, I mean the front of the ship), so it has a very shiny, modern look to it. The museum also has an area sectioned off outside where you can stand, which is the original area from which the Titanic was launched in the Titanic Quarter (formerly known as Queen’s Island) and Belfast Harbour. The first time I visited the Titanic Museum was in December just before Christmas, so the sun set a bit earlier than when I took my dad to see it a few months later. My photo of where the ship was built and took off is a bit dark, being it was dusk, but it provides a nice reminder that the ship, which took 26 months to build, was constructed during some pretty brutal months.

Have you seen the movie Titanic? Do you remember the absolute craze it caused in the US? Or, aside from the Titanic-based questions, have you ever run into someone from your home state in a new country? Let me know! Subscribe in the e-mail submission box below and reach out, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and reach out to me on the “contact” page. I’m so happy you're here and that I’ve been receiving a lot of really incredible stories, questions, and feedback from a community all over the globe! Other people’s stories that I’ve gotten to read via e-mail, text, tweet, DM, etc. recently bring me such smiles, and I am so grateful for all of it! I hope I get to hear all about whatever stories you’ve been thinking about as we’ve been on this virtual journey together! Also, I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you have any restaurants/eateries/pubs/coffee shops/ice cream joints/theatres/lookout spots you would recommend in other countries or even in your current home town or city, I'm absolutely 100% all ears!! I couldn’t do this without you! So THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart, truly, thank you.



P.S. - If you want to catch up from the beginning on this series of travel adventures, here's a cheat sheet to the posts (in order in which they were published):

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