The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

I’ve been meaning to share this with you for months, but time has been a killer. Back in early 2014 I crossed something of my Los Angeles bucket list: visiting the Reagan Presidential Library. The LA area has two Presidential libraries and the other is the Nixon Library, which I visited last year.


I decided to visit this library on one of my funemployment days back in February. With all my friends at work and it being a cloudy day (as you can see in photos), that made the perfect library day. After driving up a big hill, you reach this library’s free parking lot and can walk to the entrance (photo above). I imagine on a sunny day the views from the top of this hill overlooking Simi Valley would be pretty incredible.


This library is extremely interactive and great for the whole family. When I went they also had a spy exhibit going on (photos below). They currently have a baseball exhibit in its place (as of summer 2014).


They have a recreation of the Oval Office, as how it looked when Reagan was President.


They have a section dedicated to the gifts that were given to him when he was president… so many gifts.


Above is an interactive game (one of many) where you can design the flower arrangement digitally for the hypothetical Presidential event.


And of course there’s a section dedicated to Nancy Reagan and specifically some of her most famous outfits.



This is such a large library that you really learn so much about the former President and the history of what he was dealing with at that time. But my favorite part of the museum is the room of vehicles!


They practically built the building around his Air Force One. I just love the view looking out into the valley from this tremendous open space.




It’s hard to tell but this room holds Air Force 1, the PResidential helicopter, and many cars, limos and other vehicles.


I thought this was fun- in this giant room theirs a section on counterfieting. Can you tell which bill above is real or fake?


As you can see from the photo above, this room is many stories tall and also has a dining option on this first level. The seats pictured on this upper level is for school groups, but there is plenty of seating on the first floor by the cafe.


Did I mention you can go in both the plane and helicopter? So cool! No photography was allowed inside either, so I can only share the outer view.


Did you know that Ronald Reagan loved jelly beans? He super loved them. Here’s a picture of him made out of Jelly Bellys.


After seeing the vehicles, it was back to the rest of the museum. This next section was about the cold war. It was intense.


The whole museum follows his timeline, so this next section is about his passion of horseback riding, Camp David and retirement life.


At the end of the museum you can walk outside and see a piece of the Berlin Wall as well as Ronald Reagan’s gravesite.


Next up: the SPY EXHIBIT! I loved it! It was super interactive and explored topics that were new to me. Above is a small canoe used to spy and transmit secret info.


An axe from an actual mission (there’s even blood on it!)


This is the “can you spot the hidden camera” game. There I am being recorded while I take the photo.


Carrier pigeons who pass secret information.


Spy outfits. Sexy.


Tracking global info and communication.


This is a fake fish which can “swim” and pass data via water from spy to spy.


At the end is this Laser Maze where you have a timer going to see if you can make it through the maze of red lasers without setting them off. They have a camera so your friends can watch from the outside. Super fun!


Toward the end of the exhibit is a section about the russian spies found in NYC in 2010. It’s crazy to think this is all still happening. One of the women was Anna Champan and you can read all about her here.



The last display is current footage from different cameras and news organizations from around the world. It’s all about “staying ahead of the curve”.

Here Comes The Rain


LA, the rain is coming! Are you ready? I’m looking forward to it. Los Angeles needs the water. This week seems to be my last week of daytime freedom before I start up on a project, and it’s jam packed with fun. Yesterday I reached a big goal of finishing all of the Secret Stair walks from Charles Fleming’s book (a big goal of mine). I’ll be finishing up a table today, and also visiting the Reagan Presidential Library this afternoon. When the rain rolls in, I’m looking forward to deep cleaning the house, reading my book and working on some blog posts for you. February is over at the end of the week, so expect a resolutions check-in. Lots to do, lots to do!


The Reagan Presidential Library is a lot of fun! Expect a write-up on my visit soon.


The Nixon Library

I normally don’t like politics (specifically talking politics), but one of my goals for 2013 is to visit both local presidential libraries (Reagans + Nixons) and this past weekend my sister and I went to the Nixon Presidential Library. This is my first Presidential Library (which is really a museum and not a library).


My sister and I made the early Saturday morning trek out to Yorba Linda. The above photo is the entryway to the museum. It’s only a $12 admittance fee (which is cheaper than most museums). We happened to walk into the musuem the 30 minute introductory video was starting up so we sat in for it. As someone who is pretty dumb when it comes to history, I found it to be very useful. It glosses over a lot, but then the exhibits go into detail about much of the topics. It’s also important to note that this video (and museum) was made with money collected by Nixon and his family, so it’s a bit one-sided. The Watergate wing wasn’t even created until 2007(?) after the museum was taken over by the National Archives and Records Administration.


Above is a model of Nixon’s childhood home, which is also on the museum property.


After taking photos with space suits at the Connecticut Science Center, it’s only fitting that I take one at the Nixon Museum to add to the collection.



So much information. It was fun to explore but did take a lot of reading to get through the museum. Because there was so much reading, the museum is pretty silent even with a lot of people there, because everyone is attentively reading.



I love this section of the museum with life sized sculptures of the famous leaders whom Nixon worked with.


They even have a giant chunk of the Berlin Wall!



Above is the original manuscript  for God Bless America.


This is a replication of Nixon’s favorite room in the White House.


I also really enjoyed the collection of memorable dresses.


Nixon’s Limo!


The newly added Watergate wing! This was a lot of reading and VERY informative.


Doesn’t this look like the White House hallways? (Or how I imagine they look)


This is the exterior courtyard of the property. While we were there they were setting up for an outdoor wedding.


Richard and Patricia Nixon are buried on the property.


And further along the path is the actual childhood home that Richard Nixon grew up in. They bought the property up around it to build this museum. You can even tour this house!


Last along the path is the presidential helicopter! We couldn’t take photos inside, but they do let you walk through it.



When we looped around to exit the museum we had to take photos of this sculpture.

Next up (tomorrow) is our afternoon visit to Palos Verdes!