|Beautiful scenery at the Reagan Library. Simi Valley, California|
Presidential Gravesites seen on this trip: #37 Richard M. Nixon Yorba Linda, California 33 of 38
#40 Ronald W. Reagan Simi Valley, California 34 of 38
When we got back from Texas I started getting used to the idea that we probably wouldn't do anything to big for the rest of the year. There was a possibility of going to Washington DC around Thanksgiving, but that fell through. I already had a pretty big year so I was pretty happy and I started gathering information for next years trips.
My sister travels alot for her work. In the spring of 2010 she went to San Fransisco for work and took my parents with her. This got me thinking. I had plans for finishing the Presidential Gravesites that I needed for my collection. All but the 2 in the Los Angeles area. I really had no idea how or when I might get around to seeing those 2. So awhile ago I told my sister that if she ever got a chance to go to Los Angeles for work to let me know.
So one evening in late July she gave me a call and told me of the possibility of going to Los Angeles the first week of October. At this point it was a long shot. Even if she would definatly go, I would need to see if I could afford the plane tickets, car rental, hotel, ect...
After about a week of us looking into things it all came together. Even now nearly 2 months after the trip it hardly seems real.
October 1, 2011 Richard M. Nixon
I got off of work 2 hours early on Friday September 30th. I rushed home, got a shower, double checked that I had everything, kissed my family good by, and was on my way to the Detroit Airport with my sister. This was a new experience since I hadn't flown in nearly 10 years, and I had seen all 32 Presidential Gravesites at that point by driving.
We flew out of Detroit around 730. We arrived for our layover in Denver just long enough to run the length of 20 terminals to make our flight to Los Angeles. I wasn't able to get any rest between Detroit and Denver. But somewhere between Denver and L. A. I dozed off. I woke up and looked out my window at the lights of Los Angeles and for the first time a saw the Pacific Ocean coast line. It was a pretty amazing feeling. We finally landed and hopped a shuttle to our rental car place and then drove to our hotel for the night. It was midnight L. A. time.
We woke up the next morning and got a pretty nice complementary breakfast at the hotel. We had 5 stops to make that day. The 2 Presidential Libraries were both open from 10 - 5, with a 2 hour drive inbetween them. Our first stop of the day would be the Pacific View Memorial Park, burial place of John Wayne. Thanks to information found on the internet we found John Waynes gravesite with little trouble. We still had some time to kill before the Nixon Library would open. So we found a beach to kill a little time walking.
We finally made it to the Nixon Library just as they were opening. I ended up enjoying the Library and Museum alot more I had expected. There are alot of interesting displayes in the museum. Most recently they put in a display on Watergate that doesn't hold any punches. Nixon is buried on the property just afew feet away from his birthplace home. It is kind of cool for people like me when the Presidents birthplace, library, museum and gravesite is all in one place. Very convenient. Richard Nixon has a very simple black headstone. One of the simplist of Presidential Gravesites.
|Richard Nixon's gravesite. Yorba Linda, California|
October 1, 2011 Ronald W. Reagan
After about an hour and a half at the Nixon Library we were on our way to Simi Valley. It was a beautiful drive. More and more as we got closer. I could definatly tell why Reagan picked this site for his Library. It may be because Reagan is one of my favorates but so far the Reagan Library is my favorate Presidential site. 2nd favorate is a tie between the LBJ Ranch and Coolidges Vermont home.
Anyways we spent about 2 and a half hours there and really took it all in. Reagan is buried in the back of the property with an absolutely beautiful view.
|Ronald Reagan's gravesite. Simi Valley, California|
After the Reagan Library we headed into downtown Los Angeles to Pierce Bros. Westwood Memorial Park. It is a small cemetery that is the final resting place of several big names. Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Marilyn Monroe, Dean Martin and many more. After the cemetery we headed to have dinner at a place that our cousin recomended. Philippes french dip sandwhiches was a very good end to a perfect day of site seeing.
The next day we went on a 5 hour Hollywood bus tour. For just a weekend in L. A. this tour showed us alot of the big sites one would want to see. We saw the Hollywood sign, Chinese Theatre, Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Muscle Beach and a bunch of other stuff. After the tour we didn't have alot of time. We hit one more nearby cemetery, Holy Cross Cemetery. We were able to find the graves of Bing Crosby, Rita Hayworth, John Ford, Sharon Tate, and Lawrence Welk. We also made it into the mausoleum that John Candy and Fred MacMurray and buried, put were kicked out before we could find them because they were closing.
This concludes my trips for now. I still have 4 Presidents to see. Which will mena 2 more trips. One down to eastern Tennessee to see Andrew Johnson. And one more eastern trip to see Grover Cleveland, Ulysess S. Grant, and Theodore Roosevelt. And more trips will follow someday assuming I survive any of the living former Presdients.