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Today in Titanic History - with Searching
Today in
Titanic History

Friday, July 12, 2024
1941 - 1st class survivor Mrs Malvina Helen Cornell died in New York, USA at the age of 84.

1972 - 2nd class survivor Miss Kate Buss died of heart failure / disease in Independence, Oregon, USA at the age of 96.

1892 - 3rd class passenger Mr Peter Andreas Lauritz Andersen Sřholt was born.

1911 - 3rd class survivor Miss Helene Barbara Baclini was born to Solomon Baclini and Latifa Qurban Baclini.

1924 - 3rd class survivor Mr Neshan Krekorian married Persa Vartanian, who was not on the Titanic.

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The Artifact Exhibition (Chicago)


In March I was surfing the web and decided to go back to one of my old favorite sites, Countdown To Titanic. There was a recent update (which suprised me) and I saw that there was plans underway to have a convention in Chicago.

I had already been plotting to see if there was anyway I could drive there, knowing that Chicago wasn't too terribly far from me, about a seven hour drive. Knowing there was going to be a convention perked my interest even more into the prospect of going.

As time went on things began to fall into place. Don Lynch agreed to come, as well as Judy P a Primary Extra from the film. The hotel was set and the dates were confirmed. I began talking to a seamstress to create a dress for me for the Titanic themed dinner that was to take place.

Sadly as time went on the dress was a no go. Colors weren't able to come in and time was running short. In a last attempt to get a dress I begged my seamstress to let me borrow hers so that I would have one to wear. She agreed to send it, as long as I understood it would be a bit big. I didn't care, I was happy to have a dress.

Meanwhile I began talking with a girl that lived nearby whom was going to go to the same conference, Christina. We decided to carpool and one of her friends wanted to come along to meet a friend from the internet. So that eased the pain a bit with the gas, considering it was so high this summer.

So plans were set, time was requested off of work, and money was saved... I was ready for whatever the weekend had in store for me!

Thursday- July 20, 2000

On Thursday I was getting anxious. Trevor [my fiance] brought my dress that Shannon [my seamstress] was allowing me to borrow to work, and it then hit me that I was REALLY going to the convention. After all the questioning if I was going or not, I was REALLY GOING! I was beginning to get butterflies in my stomach, and so forth. But I was keeping my cool... Needless to say I raced home to try on my dress!

I got home and tore into my room and threw my clothes off in a hurry. I pulled the dress up and turned around and saw that although it was a bit big, it fit, and looked simply wonderful. Shannon did an amazing job on this dress, it looked so much like the one from the movie...it even sounded the same when I walked! I walked out to show my dad and of course he had to mention the fact that the dress was a bit too low cut and if someone was standing above me they had a straight shot down the dress. I returned to my room and I rifled through the massive piles of laundry in my room and dug out my black tube top. It was perfect. Couldn't see it, but couldn't see anything else.

Then came the shoes. Which ones to wear. I drug about 4 different pairs out and finally decided on a red pair...only to change it back to the plain black ones an hour later.

Later on that night I got on to check my e mail to discover that the Wyndham hotel had charged Mary [event coordinator] an extra $2100 for the unreserved rooms. Due to this she would need an extra $90 per person to stay afloat. I felt so awful, I had BARELY scraped the money together to go, and I was worried that I couldn't attend if I had to pay the extra $90. But I decided that I would go anyway and I hoped that somehow the charges would be able to be reversed.

My fiance and I ran out to Giant Eagle to pick up some film (on sale for $3 a roll) and he also paid for some munchies for me for the trip (how nice of him). I got back to my house around 3 AM and decided to start packing. I eventually fell asleep around 5 AM...and got a whole 3 hours of sleep!

 

Friday, July 21, 2000

Friday morning comes bright and early when the dog is barking at 6AM because there is a hot air balloon in your backyard... Chewie (my dog) has this thing about hot air balloons... So I got up and packed what small stuff I had left and started reading Don's book to prepare myself for whom I would be meeting. I was already familiar with Judy, so I wasn't as nervous about meeting her. But Don I was a bit leery about... He has a book that basically is the definitive book on the Titanic and he would have every right to be stuffy. Dr. Ballard was, so I guess that is what I expected from Don. I was in for a surprise!

Chris (a girl that Christina (my ride) knew who was bumming a ride to meet a friend from the internet she knew from Chicago) picked me up and the journey began!

We went to Chris's house and transferred everything to Christina's car and off we went! I was so nervous; I am with two people that I virtually don't know for 8 hours... This could get hairy you know!? I am also somewhat shy when it comes to people I don't know...so I was extra nervous.

The trip was a non-stop Titanic talk. Christina and I talked about everything from the music to what we would do if we met Leo (her, stand next to him at the bar, me? buy him a drink - LOL) to what we were expecting from the trip. It was really awesome to be able to converse with someone that was as obsessed as I was. I was completely in a Titanic heaven.

We finally got into our hotel (after making a stop at the wrong Wyndham) around 4 o'clock. Chris met her friend and they left fairly quickly (we were a few hours behind schedule). We got checked in, and met a couple people that were with the conference. Christina and I went up to our room (318) and got settled in, then it occurred to us that we were STARVING and only had a small amount of time to get ready.

We went down the hall to the elevators, and were stopped at the couches in front of them by Mary and Judy (Christina recongized Judy). We all hugged, before we really knew who were hugging. Mary was nothing like I expected, I thought she had brown hair and she was flaming red. And Judy was so SHORT! But they were both so incredibly nice, that I immediately KNEW that this trip was going to be something to remember for the rest of my life.

Christina and I went to the bar and got ourselves a drink and some grub, but by the time it came out we literally had to SCARF our food down and beat feet up to the conference so that we wouldn't run late. We ended up ordering two different appetizers and splitting them, because one hamburger cost over $10. We still paid out the wazoo, but such is the price for an empty stomach.

We got up to the conference room the Hampton (how cool) and we were one of the first people in there. So we signed our names and picked up our nametags. Judy was setting up her items that she brought, so we conversed with her a bit about her trip and so forth. Judy had drove all the way here from California. Her and her son, Jeff, had decided to make a road trip out of the conference, which I think is totally cool.

Slowly other people began to trickle in and we began to meet people that had been on the C2T board, and it was really neat to be able to start placing names and faces together -- from what few I knew. I come and go fairly often on the board. A lot of people recognized me due to my site, which was kinda bizarre, but neat.

Then we got started and Judy and Mary introduced themselves, explained the overcharging to those who didn't know, and we got on with our conference. Judy had finally finished putting her Titanic items up all over the rooms, and we began to watch the video that Judy brought that was chock full of awesome Titanic rarities. Judy had a montage full of things from the news, her personal videos, as well as the crew video (which was so awesome). The crew video started out with Kate moving her eyes back and forth, and shaking her shoulders in a sexy move while sitting at the dinner table. Quite amusing. The highlights were: Billy almost kissing Frances, Leo mocking the head guy wile he was giving orders (Kate had to turn around to refrain from laughing), Leo doing this amusing boogie on deck (this was when Kate and Leo were up on deck after the steerage dance, he also was singing a song to go along with it), the love boat theme with Billy, Frances and a few others singing in these little fans from the dinner room (Billy is quite the ham), the talking heads song "Once in a Lifetime" - there was a part in it where they show Murdoch on the deck of the Titanic, right before the iceberg hits, and the song goes "you may say to yourself..." the berg hits, "WHAT HAVE I DONE!" I was laughing so hard, When Bernard turns the wheel and they played the "Posidon Adventure" when the ship turns over, the Gilbert Grape King of the World (Leo as Gilbert Grape climbing to the top of the water tower with the "King of the World" dialogue playing along with it), "you know what I mean" montage with Jim Cameron [he said this a lot!] (and Leo the impersonator saying it as well), the "eye" when Kathy Bates asks for more ice, the Posidon adventure farce, the gone with the wind press release with GWTW taped over with Titanic, the Titanic Shh-sh-sh-shuffle...Billy Zane in Dead Calm... Too much to remember! I would kill for a copy of this tape...

After the video, we had a break, and I ran to the room and grabbed my pics that I had brought, and a pillow for the hard as a rock chairs that I was sitting in. I came back down just in time for the movie to start. Judy said that someone had mentioned that we should go around and introduce ourselves, so we did. We had quite a group! Judy and Mary mentioned that they would be leaving soon, since they had to pick Don Lynch up from the airport around 11, and it was already about 10 o'clock.

We got into the movie, and my butt finally could NOT take those chairs anymore! So I got nice and comfy on the floor with my pillow and watched Jack and Rose fall in love all over again. But man, comfort can be a bitch. I ended up getting so exhausted as the days excitement that I just HAD to go back to the room and go to bed.

I went up to our room, holding my pillow close and somewhat shuffling along. I passed a few people in the hallway who giggled as I walked by. I would have said something, but I was entirely too exhausted to care. I got into our room, and crawled beneath the covers and was out in a matter of minutes.

Christina came back about an hour later, woke me up (actually I am a light sleeper, as soon as her card hit the lock I was awake), and told me that they had came back with Don. I wanted to throw myself overboard, but she insisted that it wasnt anything big and I would be able to meet him in the morning. I finally shut myself up and went to sleep by the mini light of Christinas light as she was working frantically on the final touches of her swim dress for the next night.

Saturday-- July 22, 2000 (probably the best day of my whole life)

The stupid phone was ringing at 7:30 (ugh) and Christina picked up the phone and slammed it down as two other alarms were ringing. What a way to wake up, LOL. We got up and somewhat hurried along to get ready. I finally got in and did a rush jon on my make-up and we ran down to the lobby where we were to meet everyone. In my haste to get there in time, I left my wallet in the hotel room, but I wouldn't discover that until later.

We got to the lobby and met everyone, a few stragglers were slowly trickling down the elevator and finally Don came down. I really wasn't paying much attention so Christina had to point him out to me, since I had *sniff* slept through meeting him the night before. He seemed pretty quiet and hung back from the crowd. I began to wonder if he was going to be that quiet the whole time. I also figured that we were a bit intimidating...a crowd of Titanic Fanatics... =) I took a picture of Don as he posed with Judy and Jeff and I really thought he wasn't paying the least bit of attention, for I was on the opposite side of the lobby. I just wanted to snap a picture so I would remember the moment forever, but I didn't want to make a scene, or make Don any more uncomfortable than he already appeared to be. Of course when I get my pictures back he is staring right into the camera. Gee I am slick...

We then began to take a more few posed pictures, Don with Judy and her son Jeff first, then the majority of the group we were with. It was really our first picture session and it was pretty neat. Then we decided to break off into our caravans that were going into Chicago. Judy was taking Don, Mary, and her son with her, and Christina (the driver who was petrified to drive in Chicago!) offered to drive her minivan and Craig was going to ride along with us.

We pile into the van and pull around to follow Dan (AKA Axel). Then it seemed like something was a miss; Don, Judy, Jeff and Mary were still walking around the parking lot. I then rolled down the window and find out that Judy's Suburban will not start. So since there are four of them and four empty seats in our van...

Christina grabbed my leg and her eyes were THIS BIG. Poor girl. She was bugging out about just driving us, now she was responsible for Don and Judy as well. I am proud; she kept her cool and drove really well. I feel like such a dork, but that was simply amazing to have him in the car with us... I know he is a normal person like you and me, but yet he isn't. To us he is someone really special. And the poor guy was squished on the back bench in the van and he is a TALL guy. I made a mental note to make him sit up front on the way home.

On the way there he really opened up more and I really got to thinking that this trip was going to be more unbelievable than I thought. Don and Judy were talking about their experiences on the set, and he also told us the story about the lady that was a daughter of a survivor whom was a comedian and was taller than he was. She is still alive he said and smart as a whip. She was on the Lost Liners show, that was just aired recently. I remembered her from the show, so it was neat to be able to picture whom he was speaking about as well.

After a slight sightseeing detour led by Axel, we arrived at the Museum safe and sound. We walked into the museum and were greeted with the sounds of people laughing and the melody of Blue Danube playing overhead. Since I was a slacker and did not purchase my conference early, I had to go to the other entrance and wait my turn. Luckily Jeff was with me so I wasn't the loner that I thought I was going to be. We stopped and looked at a big piece of the engines that was brought up and was in the process of being preserved, as well as some egg plates. I snapped a few pictures of both items, since I knew that picture taking would be forbidden in the exhibit. Then Jeff and I danced our way over to the area where we picked up our pre-purchased tickets and proceeded upstairs to enter the exhibit.

Jeff and I stood in line outside of the exibit and watched the overhead screen as various Titanic items played across mostly various quotes and so forth from survivors and the such. Finally we were moving and we "boarded." We got boarding passes as we walked up the gangplank. I had Annie Jermyn...and Jeff had a gentleman that I simply can't remember.

After we walked up the gangplank and entered the "Titanic" we went down a short dark hallway and entered a room that was circular. A bell was suspended from the middle over sand and water ripples were playing against the walls. Various quotes were also painted on the walls. The bell is the bell that was on the Titanic... It gave me goosebumps instantly.

After exiting the "Bell Room" you pass a office of sorts with a desk that someone had worked at while drafting the Titanic and a window from the Smoking room I believe. Then the room opened up into a large space full of things dedicated to the creation of the Titanic. In the middle of the room was a large scale Titanic model. Surrounding the walls were various artifacts and such. Jeff and I decided to kill time here while waiting for the rest of the group to catch up. Ten minutes later the group finally caught up and we all sorta split up. As luck may have it I ended up traveling with Don Lynch for most of the tour.

The first room was a circular room with a water reflection playing against the walls. Quotes from various passengers were on the walls, and the bell hung from the center of the room, suspended above a pit of sand.

The second room was dedicated to the construction of Titanic. In it they had a miniature version of the engines, some tools that were used on the ship, a video of real footage from the construction on the ship. Also in this room was a 10 or so foot model of Titanic to scale. Also here was a stained glass window from the smoking room, and a few other artifacts including a boot.

The next room was dedicated to the passengers. In it was another video about the passengers as well as a wall that was dedicated to the passengers' pictures. Also here were letters and postcards that were recovered from the wreck, a safe, along with some money. There were SO many people against the Photo Wall though that I didn't really take the time to pour over it as much as I would have liked to. Jeff found a Boarding Pass lying on the ground and presented it to me. It was a gentleman - I forget HIS name!

The following room was the "first class" room, complete with a replica stateroom. This room contained a jewelry box which had been recovered, along with this teeny-tiny fox head pin that was perfectly intact. Some other jewelry was also there, a emerald bracelet and necklace as well as a beautiful heart pendant. It was so amazing to see how perfectly preserved many of these artifacts were in this room.

Also in this room was some of the dining ware that had been recovered. I was disappointed to see that only one of the royal blue teacups had made it into the exhibit, for it is my favorite out of all of the first class dining ware. Third class plates were here though, along with more egg dishes(!).

The next room was the boiler room, complete with coal and a watertight door. It looked pretty authentic. I kept expecting the door to drop on us at any moment. Once you walk through the door you enter the cargo hold, which had boxes and so forth.

I was with Axel, Lisa and Don when we came to the big piece. It was suspended from the ceiling, over a pit of sand. We were behind it, and I was seriously considering snapping a quick shot with my camera. A worker came around from in front of it, and I decided not to. One of my main fears was of bringing attension to Don and I thought that getting railed by a worker just may do that! So I stowed away my camera and got into line to touch the "big piece."

I have to admit, even though I am against the salvaging; the piece was pretty neat to see and touch. What was even cooler was watching Don experience this. I had thought he had touched the Titanic piece before. I found out later that I was wrong. He said later on he did get a charge from touching it, so that was very cool to be there (oh my am I a Titanic Freak or what?!). It was an awesome experience. There was also what was left of a bench in that room and it bothered me a lot because that is the first artifact I saw when I started my Titanic obsession at the wee age of 5. I know it wasn't the SAME bench, but to me it belonged in the sea like the picture I remember.

Then we went into the Grand Staircase, and I was still beside Don. It was hilarious listening to him correct everything. Not your average Joe could walk into a museum and correct 50% of what is labeled. We were going to have him grill the "passenger" they had on the stairs, but this lady wasn't taking questions like the one a few days back. We thought that could be really great, but of course that would draw attention to Don, and that could have formed a mob. I was actually quite worried that this would happen. Although I was pretty much positive that Don would take this graciously, I wasn't sure how he would feel being asked ten thousand questions by a million Titanic fans. I quietly hoped that his picture wouldn't be anywhere in the exhibit, just in case. It would be instant insanity if he was...

Then came the iceberg room. Everything in this room was lit with fiber optics. Whether this was for effects or due to the fragility of the artifacts I am not quite sure. I looked at the artifacts (a really neat pearl necklace) and went straight to the iceberg. The "iceberg" was actually a wall of ice where you were asked to put you hand on it and hold it there as long as possible. I put my hand on it and immediately was awestruck. The water was actually colder than this 'burg that I couldn't keep my hand on longer than three seconds without yanking it away. I also got hives (I am allergic to cold temperatures) so it made me appreciate what the survivors of the sinking went through even more. It was quite a depressing moment. I couldn't help but think what those people were thinking and feeling as they died, too horrific to think of. Lightroller was right, it was like knives stabbing into your body and it was only my small hand on this iceberg. I couldn't fathom what I would do if my whole body was in this.

Suddenly this arm was over my head and I let out a small scream. I glanced at the owner of the arm that had just took ten years off of my life and it was none other than Don. I was kind of off in my own little world and he yanked me back with a start! I had to laugh because it was somewhat amusing. The tall people could put their hands up where the ice was snowier than solid ice and he was doing so. All over the wall there were indents of where people had held their hands for a long time, but the top was basically left untouched. Of course I had to stand on my tip toes to reach it, but I did, and it felt somewhat weird.

The next room was the lifeboat room and I was standing there with Axel, and we had a discussion with Don about the artifacts. I mentioned that to me it was like walking on someone's grave. That is how I felt. You know that funny feeling you get in the base of your stomach when you are in a graveyard? That is how I felt. I felt even better when Don mentioned that he didn't agree with the salvaging either (whew). He then mentioned that the boot that was in a room earlier was most likely on someone when they perished, due to the type of boot it was. That was the point when I wanted to simply flee from the building. This was all really wrong in my mind. I guess it is due to my closer relation with death than most people. I couldn't help thinking how horrified I would be if someone was doing this to my mother's grave. Like Don said, what do we learn from a boot? The same style of boot is still easily located, there is no educational value to it, just entertainment. I was quite distressed over this.

There wasn't much more to go, so I held out OK, although every two seconds I wanted to flee. I found my woman on the wall that I had (I didn't have the nerve to ask Don like everyone else had), Annie Jermyn, she was a third class passenger and lived. The gentleman that Jeff had given me was nowhere to be found on the board...It was really bothering me and I eventually gave up on locating him. The rest of the exhibit was all about the Eastland and I had recently seen the Discovery channel documentary on it, so I went and found a third class like bench to sit on and wait for the rest of the group to catch up.

Off to spend some money! Oh wait a minute, I don't have my wallet. But I didn't know this at the time and got all the way up front before I noticed something was amiss in the purse. My first reaction was it was stolen. So I reluctantly put my items back and sadly walked out of the shop. The group kept offering to lend me some money, but I felt that would be too weird, but it was a nice gesture. Just shows you how kind these people were that I was with. Eventually Christina gave me back the money I had given her earlier for the hotel and all was well. People were really impressed I wasn't totally freaking out. I really thought it was quite possible I had left it in the hotel, so I wasn't going to freak until I checked every nook and cranny. I had my camera and my memories, that was all that mattered. The money could be easily replaced.

Off to the bathrooms! I didn't have to go so I sat on a bench and waited for everyone else. Low and behold, Don comes up and sits beside me. I told myself not to act like a moron and struck up a conversation. He is one of the most knowledgeable men I have ever met. He told me all about various things that were in the Museum. Where we were stitting they had a map to a Castle and a Sub. He told me all about the Castle...some famous person had created it for herself and now it was on display. The sub was actually a German U-Boat that you could go into. We both wanted to go in but overheard the line was over an hour long. Darn...

We then proceeded to the cafeteria and paid way more for the lunch than we should have (which was really LOW quality if I say so myself). Christina, (must have known my chicken self) tells Don that I wanted to ask him about my people on my boarding pass. I protested, but Don insisted it was OK, so I forked them over. I am assuming that I was bright red from my embarrassment of having to do this. Turns out that the man I had was a band member. I thought this was really neat because I have always loved the story of the band members.

Thank god I got the salad (Don was the only other smart one to do this), the burgers and chicken at their cafeteria looked quite frightening. Put it this way, I was not able to distinguish what was what, they were charred so badly. I even passed around my Titanic mints and received a few chuckles.

It was just about three o'clock and it was time to go, so our group headed out...and back to the van...

We finally all rounded up and left the museum and got into our van on East Trains C. Upon our return to the van, I insisted that Don sit up front. Don is quite tall and on our trip up he was smooshed in the back bench in the middle. His head was touching the ceiling! I knew he would also appreciate the extra leg room. So I happily climbed over everyone and sat next to Jeff and started talking to him.

The return trip was basically like the original. Much talking and missing exit lanes. We still got back safe and sound - thanks to some great navigators! We got to the hotel and dumped off some of the crew, but Christina mentioned she had to get gas. Don offered to go along with her and Jeff and I went along as well. My legs had fallen asleep and I didn't quite know if I would walk like a human, so it is good that I could stay in the car and not fall out of the van like a moron!

Upon pulling up into the gas station, Christina paused for a moment and in a flash Don immediately opened the door and got out, saying, "I guess I should do this." I was freaking out in the back seat and Jeff's jaw literally dropped. Christina said no, and we got out of the car. Don went into the station to get something to drink and Jeff took Don's lead and pumped the gas while Christina and I went in to pay for it.

We bumped into Don on the way into the station and he kept insisting that he wanted to pay for the gas. There was no way that was going to fly. He was our guest, so there was a big NO to that. He said that he wanted to since we had been so nice to him, but we said no again and he gave up and went back to the van.

On our return trip back Don mentioned how the Titanic had no locked doors and that you had to ask the Steward to open the door for you. That was something I did not know prior to this trip. We got back to the hotel and beat feet to our rooms - we only had a little over an hour to get ready.

 
Christina hopped in the shower and I started to fiddle around with things to get ready but really couldn't do much until she was out (everything of mine was in the bathroom). She got out and I curled my mane in record time. But I still had to paint my nails (somehow I didn't see hot pink going with my jump dress) and do my makeup and we had 15 minutes to go. I got my makeup on and threw my dress on. Christina helped me with the zipper and buttonholes and I pinned her stubborn sash up. We were about 10 minutes late at this point but we had to make the grand entrance!

I grabbed my J. Peterman Heart of the Ocean (yeah yeah, I know it doesn't go with the dress) and we dashed out the door (Yes my wallet was with me this time guys...). We walked/ran down our hall (my dress making noise the whole way) and got into the elevator and demanded the bellboy take us to E deck...just kidding. We arrived on the first floor and walked toward the lobby where we could see our crowd was congregated.

I have to admit - I was pretty nervous on our way down. I had peeked over the edge of the railing into the atrium and saw a lot of people gathered up. I noticed Don was there so that made me even more nervous. Why I really have no idea... But I took a deep breath and exited the elevator and began to walk towards the group.

All eyes were on us, since everyone knew that Christina and I had the two "Titanic" dresses (no one else did). Don was smiling at us and I finally released my breath. As people were fawning over Christina's gown (which was very pretty), Don stepped over and told me I looked "very beautiful" in my gown. That made my night - just kidding.

Since most of the group was "dressed in their best" we began to take a few more pictures. Then Christina, Judy and I posed for some pictures together since we were all in Titanic garb. Although Judy's dress wasn't from the movie it was still very similar to the Edwardian style with drop beads and so forth. She actually beaded it herself! After that we walked out of the Wyndham to travel to the Rainforest Café.

On our way out to the van some beads began to fall off my dress. Now I have to say, it's corny that I even recall this but still... Don stopped me and gave me the beads he had managed to pick up. I was totally amazed. Honestly I have to say if I saw some small beads fall off someone's gown I am not sure I would stop to pick them up...but he did. That's a true gentleman for you!

Once we got to the van Don insisted that I sit in the front. I protested but he firmly insisted, opening the door and all but shoving me into the seat! Although he did have a point, he had the luxury of pants. The only thing my dress was made for was climbing over railings - not people! So I relented and let Don sit in the back. I did feel really bad about it though.

We arrived at the Rainforest Cafe after only a few minutes and began to trek into the mall. People kept glancing at us, I am sure we all made a heck of a sight. Not all of us were in Titanic garb, or even dressed up. But we didn't care, we were out for a good time!

We trotted through the mall (of course our gracious gentleman Don and Jeff held the door open for us ladies) and we continued to get stares. I saw a cheesy Alaska display complete with iceberg and took a mental note to get my picture taken next to it before I left. I pointed it out to Christina and we both laughed about the idea.

We got to the counter and waited to be seated. I had never seen a Rainforest Cafe before so I was taking in the sights. Fish, trees, fish, trees, elephant, fish, trees, bird...holy cow it is a thunderstorm. For a split moment I thought about fleeing for the mall to avoid the rain. Turns out there is no rain. Silly me! We all got settled and I was lucky enough to be on Don and Judy's end of the table. Michael was also next to me and that was a treat, because I had not been able to converse much with him yet during the trip.

Michael and I decided to go all out and get some frozen drinks. I had an awesome Raspberry Rainfall and Mike had a Key Lime frozen concoction. Don (who was beside Mike) even was tempted by how good that Lime thing was that he got one too. Of course they gave us two straws so that we would have brain freeze within a matter of minutes. We did a toast to "Making it Count" and BOTTOMS UP! Just kidding.

After we placed our orders Jeff (in his totally cool wood tie) escorted us ladies to the iceberg, where we posed for our pictures. Next thing I knew this worker from the travel place that the Alaska thing was for, was ohh-iing and ahh-ing at me, demanding that I show her manager my dress. It was so surreal, I felt almost like a movie star. =) My 15 minutes of fame.

We went back and dinner arrived. I had ordered Asian Beef and to my surprise it came with chopsticks (shows me for not reading the full description). Never having used chopsticks before in my life, I was already picking up my fork and moving the chopsticks aside. But I decided hell with it and went for the chopsticks, making sure to cover my entire lap in napkins, for the spillage that I was sure to come.

The waitress showed me and Jeff (another Asian Beef eater) how to work the chopsticks and away I went. I was so proud of myself; I didn't screw up once! I even ate the rice and noodles with them. I can only imagine what this looked like to the other "passengers." A lady in a Titanic dress eating a Chinese meal with chopsticks!

After the meal was done I headed out to the gift shop to browse for items for my fiance and dad. I ended up purchasing a gift for both and myself. When I got back to the table I found that the waitress had decided that we couldn't use credit cards - she had put us all on one bill. I finally flat out told her I had to use credit and a few others did the same. We all stayed behind as the rest of the gang departed to get set up for the program that evening. Mike agreeed to take me back so after our checks were paid we headed back to the Wyndham.




To view pictures of my trip go to: http://www.coreyann.com/titanic/chicagopics.html

Corey Ann
Staff member, www.Back-to-Titanic.com






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