The Library is well laid out - with exhibits portraying the complete life and times of Ronald Reagan
. Photos were allowed without flash so I have a few that turned out well enough to include. The highlight for many would be the Air Force One Pavilion with the chance to tour Air Force One (no photos allowed inside this Boeing 707). This was interesting first of all because it was indoors and secondly because the view was amazing - a wall of glass with views to the Simi Valley so it looks as though the plane is in flight. I can't imagine what it looks like in the evening from the roads down in the valley. There were so many interesting bits of history in the museum relating to Ronald Reagan and Nancy as well. For example - I found it interesting to see a book given to Nancy Reagan's father - Dr. Loyal Davis - from Helen Keller - written in a very interesting penmanship. The X-rays from Ronald Reagan after he was shot - the cardigan sweater he wore when he left the hospital. Old costumes from the movies he was in. It was all very interesting. We spent most of the afternoon there and had lunch in the Reagan Country Café. We then headed out and on our way to the Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County. We had reservations that night in Buellton - home of the most famous Split Pea Soup restaurant in the U.S. (Or maybe the world). If anyone saw the movie Sideways, there were many scenes shot here in this area. Just up the road in Solvang is a Danish Community - it felt like Frankenmuth - it was very cute. We visited an old Mission there and took a few photos. There was an Ostrich and Emu farm close by as well as many, many, many vineyards and wineries. We had dinner at the Firestone Brewery - from the famous Firestone Family - first came the tires and now they specialize in wine, beer and food in this area. We are staying at a very nice Marriott hotel and wish that we had planned on a couple days here in this area as it really looks nice. Tomorrow we drive up California Highway 1 - to Big Sur and then into Carmel/Monterey.
We said our goodbyes to Roberto - Rodeo Dr and Robertson Blvd and we were on our way to the..... Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. We tried to stop at the Getty Museum to see Carl - but he was at the Getty Villa that day - which is along the Pacific Coast Highway and not in the direction that we were headed. We continued on to Simi Valley - we can see how Forest Fires start here - everything is so dry and there is a lot of fuel for the fire with all of the bushes and trees that seemingly would like a big drink of water. We arrived at the Library and what an incredible view and a beautiful site. The Library blends nicely with the landscape and although it is quite large - it doesn't look out of place. The immediate area seems to be comprised of LARGE private ranches - homes in the 10,000 + square foot size with stables and riding arenas.