SKIP THE BLINKY LIGHTS: There are a couple of ways to time travel, at least according to the movies. One? Build a giant machine full of blinky lights and various pneumatic tubes and levers and pedals and metallic thingamabobs. Two? Fall down a giant hole and land in the time of the dinosaurs. (Hope that's exactly the time you wanted to go visit.) And three? Book a room and ticket at the Art Deco Festival on the Queen Mary in Long Beach. No pneumatic tubes, no dinosaur-filled canyons, just a daring, dashing weekend full of swells sipping cocktails and rocking fedoras. It is, in fact, the easiest way to time travel back to the era of deco, when evening gloves and ocean-liners and big-band-y sounds reigned. It's a Labor Day Weekend staple in Long Beach, and people really do get dressy-dressy, except at the ever-popular Pajama Party. Wait, people even dress up for that, only the PJs are satin and frilly and look like something Nick and Nora Charles might wear.
THE INFO AND THE BIG SHIP: The dates? Friday, Aug. 30 through Sunday, Sept. 2, meaning you can still get home and rest up on that Monday, if you do indeed have it off. The events? Winning. There's a double-decker bus tour of Long Beach's art deco-nice gems, the aforementioned Pajama Party, cocktails, a tea dance, martinis under the stars, and other happenings that take advantage of the spectacular ship setting. No, really, you've been on the Queen Mary, right? If you adore art deco? If you haven't we want you to go, at once, and soak in the vintage splendor. To be there, and be among costumed revelers, and not have to invent a blinky time machine to make it all happen, is pretty wonderful. Tickets to events are individually priced, but you'll want to look into the Queen Mary hotel package before anything, we imagine. And above all, gussy up. If you're underdressed, you'll feel it. Your clothes best look like you're one serious, practiced time traveler.