I survived the sinking of the Titanic

Yesterday The Hubster, my FIL and I spent the day at The Franklin Institute to see the Titanic exhibit.  We had a GREAT time! The weather was crappy so spending the day wandering around a museum was just perfect.

We started with a leisurely lunch at the Franklin Foodworks cafe.  Our entrance tickets were for 1:00 p.m.  We arrived a few minutes early and were let in immediately.  Greeted by a museum guide, we were each given a ‘boarding pass’ with a Titanic passenger’s name, country of origin, purpose for their trip and little factoids about them or their family.  Next we were met by a young woman dressed in early 1900’s garb who asked us ‘who’ we were.

I was impressed with her knowledge of the passengers.  I was First Class passenger Lady Duff Gordon (Lucy Christiana Sutherland) from London, England/Paris, France traveling with my husband and personal secretary. She had fashion houses in Paris, London, New York and Chicago.  Apparently, she was ‘the first to introduce slits in skirts for ease of movement and also coined the word ‘chic’.’ The purpose of her trip was to ‘attend to urgent business in New York.’  I chuckled at the word ‘urgent’ because a transatlantic trip took a week!  Nowadays, ‘urgent’ means less than a minute response time!

The exhibit, presented by RMS Titanic, Inc (www.rmstitanic.net) was fascinating and very well done.  Visit the website because they have videos of the wreckage available to watch which were shown at the museum.

With the improvement of technology, and a recent dive in 2010, more artifacts have been brought to the surface, as well as 3-D video footage taken of the wreck.  Leather suitcases, a Fedora hat, perfume ampules with the powdery fragrance still enclosed were displayed – even a couple bottles of champagne were intact.  Playing cards, paper money, coins, notes survived 73 years under water.  Unbelievable.

Following the Titanic exhibit, we explored Foucault’s Pendulum, always a treat and fascinating just by itself, and the Earth exhibit.  We relaxed for a bit with a hot cup of tea and cookie before departing to meet our kids for dinner at 5:30 p.m.

Carrabba’s was where our daughter and son-in-marriage’s rehearsal dinner was held and that was where we went for dinner.  Always a good place and safe place for me to eat because they make their food from scratch.  Blackberry Sangria and a lovely plate of Manicotti accompanied by a lot of laughter and stories and a quick trip to show off the newlywed’s apartment and kitty to grandpop topped off the night.  But the best was yet to come after we said our good-byes.

Prompted by a couple questions from The Hubster, my FIL began telling stories of his growing up years.  Knowing a little bit about them, I knew they were difficult and that is putting it mildly.  But along with those stories came the ones about his learning piano, who his teacher was, his frequent trips to Wanamaker’s Department Store to hear the Wanamaker Organ played by professionals, his church experiences and on and on he went for an hour.  The blessing was hearing him say how glad and happy he was to be 87 (next Wednesday is his birthday and as is our tradition he’ll be getting the homemade dinner of his choice), being surrounded by friends, enjoying his life right now and coming to peace with knowing his parents did the best they could with what they had based on their own upbringing.

Even at the age of 87, our father continues to teach us.  Talk about being blessed!  Yesterday goes down as one of the top 10!




3 thoughts on “I survived the sinking of the Titanic

  1. Congratulations – we did the Titanic exhibit many years ago – it was amazing. The thing that was so striking to me was the piece of iceberg and the coldness of the room.
    Anyway, I also survived 😉

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