A Weekend In LA – Hollywood & The Nixon Library

The northern end of the Pacific Coast Highway was Olympic National Park. The southern end was Los Angeles, a city neither of us had spent much time in.

Since we were really looking forward to getting to San Diego for a relaxing couple of weeks, we only spent two days in La La Land. We did manage to check out a couple of places, one a tourist destination (Hollywood) and one an educational destination (the Nixon Presidential Library). Look at us, mixing our fun and smarts together!

Hollywood

We didn’t spend a huge amount of time in the Hollywood area, but we did take a stroll along Hollywood Boulevard to see Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and the Hollywood Walk of Fame and to do a little (very little!) souvenir/postcard shopping. This area of the city is PACKED with tourists…and shops in which those tourists can spend money!

We strolled by the theater to see the people dressed up outside as various characters and posing for pictures. We spotted a few fun stars on the Walk of Fame (Knox’s favorite was Hugh Hefner since he views himself as the Hef of the doggy world!), but since the sidewalk is shiny black and the temperature was in the 90’s, we didn’t stay long since the heat was hard on Knox’s little paws. We also drove by the famous Hollywood sign!

The Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Museum

After our first exposure to Presidential Libraries during our trip to Austin, we’ve tried to visit the ones that fall along our route. Thus, when we started making our plans to visit Los Angeles, we were excited to discover that both the Reagan and Nixon Presidential Libraries were in the area. When we saw the price of the Reagan Library, however, we decided to skip it. More than $20 seemed a bit too steep in our opinion, even if we’d get a tour of President Reagan’s Air Force One. Trickle-down-economics hasn’t worked that well!

As for President Nixon’s more reasonably priced library, at $11.95 per adult, we were quite impressed. The Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Museum is in Yorba Linda (just outside of Los Angeles) and includes not only the museum’s exhibits but also President Nixon’s helicopter and his birthplace. On our visit, one of the special exhibits in the museum was a tribute to Pat Nixon (we were viewing that portion when Edie got to experience her first California earthquake!).

Of course, there was also an exhibit on Watergate. You cannot ignore that aspect of President Nixon’s time in office, and the National Archives put together an excellent presentation of this ugly side of Nixon’s time in office. The interactive exhibit included not only the background explanations from the National Archives but also news footage, tape recordings, and letters. The exhibit definitely doesn’t sugar-coat Watergate.

Like the other libraries we have visited, the Nixon Library included a video giving a background on President Nixon, using news footage, television appearances, and campaign films. The permanent exhibits in the museum included replicas of White House rooms, campaign memorabilia, and information on the space program. Like many of the Presidential Libraries, letters from some of the President’s youngest constituents were also on display. Here are two that we particularly liked (spelling, grammar, punctuation, and capitalization exactly as the originals!):

Dear NIXON your debates are the best. I Like the way you answer the questions for the panel. I thing Kennedy is a hot head and he fell you with a lot of balony.
Signed, James G Mead
Age 7 but wish I was 21

dear RICHARD M NIXON
I FEEL VERY SORRY THAT YOU LOST. I,M A SMALL REPUBLICAN. I BEAT MY BRAINS OUT WORKING FOR YOU. SEN. KENNEDY WON BY 300;000 VOTES. BUT I THINK YOU DID VERY VERY WELL.
I WISH YOU THE BEST OF LUCK.

Photos, Of Course!

In addition to the Walk of Fame stars and shots from the Nixon Library, you’ll notice some new doggy faces in the gallery below. We tested out airbnb on our trip to L.A. and stayed with some wonderful women who have a soft spot for animals, especially the canine kind!