We stayed at the Luxor, which is a charming but completely ridiculous Las Vegas hotel. It is literally a pyramid, so when we went up to our room on the 23rd floor, we actually swayed. Our room was
We ate at two of the Luxor's restaurants, the Pyramid Cafe (which is a nice coffee shop) and Rice and Company (a very good Asian restaurant).
We also saw its Titanic exhibition. This was my fourth time seeing it. I saw it more than a decade ago in Toronto, then here in Chicago, then another time in Vegas at the Tropicana. It's a very moving to see luggage and dishware and glasses and shoes (laces still tied) that belonged to the passengers. There's also a simulated iceberg that you can touch, so you can actually feel what the ship confronted.
What was new this time was The Big Piece. An actual chunk of the ship is now on display, close enough to touch. To borrow a phrase, this is when shit got real. Maybe it was the late hour, maybe it was the booze I'd already consumed, but seeing the actual portholes that the doomed looked through, moved me to tears.
If you ever have the opportunity to see this exhibition, please do. It's intense, it's beautiful, it's thought provoking.
My friend and I discussed it at length afterward and she maintains the reason why the Titanic story has such a hold on us is that there are so many times the tragedy could have been mitigated or avoided. They could have loaded the ship with more lifeboats, they could have stocked the ship with the right grade of coal, the look outs could have used binoculars, they could have hit the iceberg head on, which would have damaged but not sunk the ship. If only ... if only ... if only ...