Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

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Hooray for a 3 day weekend!  What better plan than to visit the Ronald Reagan Library on President’s Day?   Lucky me it is nestled in the hills overlooking my hometown.   I visited the Reagan library when I was a tween and all  I can remember is that Mac N Cheese was Ronnie’s favorite dish….however that was well before Reagan’s Air Force One was a part of the ensemble.  For years I have been dying to see the new hangar in person.    This would be Amelie’s first trip to a museum and I can tell her that the first plane she was on happened to be Air Force One.

The weather was perfect and the Library was very festive with music, crafts, food, and historical figures.   We arrived in time to see Lincoln delivering his speech in the courtyard full of eager little ears.  We bought our tickets at $21 for each adult, and headed to the crafts where Mommy Amelie made her own Lincoln necklace out of a penny, red and blue paper stars and yarn.  It lasted almost the entire afternoon before she ate it.

Seriously, you really need a whole day to absorb and enjoy all that the Reagan Library has to offer.  It really is quite impressive and moving.   Some of the highlights were the Spy exhibit,  the Berlin Wall,   Air Force One , the White House Lawn,  the Communist exhibit and Reagan’s Memorial.

Being that it was so occupied on President’s Day the line to tour inside Reagan’s plane was about an hour.  That pretty much killed the day for us because after that Amelie was dunzo.    After which we rushed through the rest of the Library, but gives us a reason to return.  All in all it was a beautiful day and made for a nice family outing.

The White House Lawn

One word.  Peaceful.  Growing up in Moorpark and Simi I have always looked up over the horizon of Tierra Rejada Road towards the chief building on top of the hill…but not today.  Today we stood on top of the hill gazing back down at our hometown below.   The landscaping is a replica of the White House lawn.

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The Berlin Wall

“General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace,  if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization:  Come here to this gate!   Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate!  Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall! ” 

– Ronald Reagan, June 12, 1987

Wow.  You just don’t realize how impressive or powerful somethings are until you see it in person.  Like this slice of the Berlin wall.    It was very imposing and dramatic in its stature and significance.  Ironic, that this piece of the wall is decorated with flowers and butterflies in cheerful colors,  yet it is cold and solid to the touch reminding visitors its true soul.

berlin-wall

Air Force One Pavilion

For years I have wanted to explore inside this pavilion.   You can see the bright lights at night from miles away, suggesting something spectacular occupies the inside.   The hanger is spacious, clean and bright!  The east wall is a window to the landscape outside.  For my fellow locals, you can see the infamous cross of Simi Valley from inside the hangar.  A couple next to us had a conversation trying to guess what the cross meant…I even heard them suggest it was where Reagan was buried.   How disappointed they must be to learn its a local hiking spot.

Stepping aboard The Flying White House was a neat experience.   It was out dated and stale but that is okay, because it was real.  After all this puppy put on a lot of miles having served for Presidents Nixon, Carter, Ford, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton and George W. Bush.  Here is a random fact, Reagan always kept a cake aboard just incase it was someone’s birthday while they were in the air on business.  Good ol’ Ronnie.

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Presidential Motorcade

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Enjoying the rest of the tour

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