I spent Sunday evening, June 21, with my friend Margaret. She and I became penpals back in 1966. Our college and career paths have taken us many places but we have continued to maintain contact. We last met in person when I was in Anaheim for ALA 2012. Way back in 1997, when the AAUW convention was also in Anaheim, I spent an extra day with her. We toured the Nixon Presidential Library. This time she suggested that I stop at theReagan Presidential Library as I headed north.
Presidential Libraries are not so much libraries as they are museums. (Here's the list: Presidential Libraries -- another group of destinations to "collect.") I'd been to Reagan's boyhood home (here) and this was a great complement. I didn't vote for him either time, but I certainly remember the era. In addition to wonderful (if adulatory) displays about his life and work, Air Force One and Marine One (both decommissioned, of course) are open for tours.
|View from the terrace -- shows the effect of the drought!|
|I had never seen the Queen's handwriting.|
|Portrait in Jelly Bellies (10,000 of 'em)|
|Public beach at Santa Barbara -- high tide|
P.E.O. allows (and encourages) chapters to host bed-and-breakfast as fundraisers. Essentially that means that traveling P.E.O.s (and spouses) stay in your guestroom and pay your chapter. I did that twice on my trip. On June 22 I stayed with BG, a member of Chapter VM (San Luis Obispo). Here she is with a quilt that she inherited.
June 23: my birthday. I left BG's house and hit the highway at 7:30 a.m. I was on time for my tour of Hearst Castle. Due to the drought the public restrooms are closed. With over 700,000 visitors a year they have to have some kind of restrooms, so there are two dozen port-a-potties lined up in front of the visitors' center. (No photo, alas.) There are several HC tours, each 40 minutes long, all precisely scheduled. I signed up for three tours (figuring that it is unlikely I will return). The castle and grounds are a 15-minute shuttle ride (uphill) from the visitors' center. It is beautiful and other-worldly: you know it's a 20th-century re-creation, an amalgamation of architectural styles (mostly Italian). I didn't know that Hearst's family was one of the wealthiest in California (father: gold rush; mother was first woman regent of U of C). Hearst hated "Citizen Kane" and tried to buy it from RKO Pictures, which astutely refused. Hearst would not allow his newspapers to advertise it.
One of the many imported ceilings.
Hearst's office and board room.
Dinner on June 23: Nepenthe in Big Sur. The restaurant was founded by Kaffe Fassett's parents and is still owned and operated by the family. I enjoyed My Nepenthe by Kaffe's niece Romney Steele and I was delighted to have my birthday dinner there.
Phoenix sculpture (Nepenthe logo).
I arrived in Salinas about 8 p.m. for my second P.E.O. b&b with hosts Mary Lea and Wayne (chapter ML). As with other P.E.O.s, they were just friends I hadn't yet met. After a wonderful breakfast (French toast, a treat) I headed to downtown Salinas to tour the National Steinbeck Center. It was wonderful! Exhibits were about his life and work, with interactive displays (great for kids). I've read a lot of Steinbeck, but I didn't realize how many of his books were made into movies. (In retrospect I'm sorry I didn't have time to go to Monterey to see the real Cannery Row.....have to save something for next time!) I had lunch at the Steinbeck House, where he was born and grew up, now a tea room. Mary Lea is a docent there and she'd called ahead. The maitre d' (also a docent) said, "You're Nann. From Illinois. Going to a library convention" and gave me a tour of the house.
On to San Francisco! I turned the rental car in at SFO and took BART into the city. Time to put my librarian hat on. Next post: #ALAAC15 (ALA Annual Conference)