July 12 – Time to Relax

As we've been on a bit of a hectic pace the past several days and are scheduled for an "Circle the Island" [of Oahu] tour tomorrow, we opted for a day of doing very little.  After breakfast at Cheeseburger in Paradise just a few blocks away we corssed the street and sat "watchin' the sun bake; all of those tourists covered with oil" along a section of Waikiki Beach.

Watching the waves,

dozens of surfers of all skill levels,


inquisitive brids,

and planes taking off from Honolulu International

was enjoyable and extremely restful.

The beach is also people watching utopia. 

However, there aer some people who need to reconsider their beachwear!

We spent much of the afternoon at the hotel's pool, just below our room … interrupted by a refreshing dip.

After dinner at Lulus at the hotel, we took a walk through a park along the waterfront.

The Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial is a war memorial in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, built in the form of an ocean water public swimming pool. The natatorium was built as living memorial dedicated to "the men and women who served during the Great War" (World War I)

As was the case this morning, observing people going about their lives is always fascinating.

While tonight's sunset was a non-event, there was an afterglow between some of the cumulus clouds.

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July 11 (PM) – Hawaii State Capitol – City’s Murals

Our next stop was Hawaii's State Capitol … one architectually very different from any of the other 44 we've visited.

East Facade

West Facade

State Seal

The seat of Hawaii’s state governmen, its principal tenants are the Governor and Lieutenant Governor as well as all legislative offices and the Legislative Reference Bureau.  The State Senate is composed of twenty-five members and the House of Representatives of fifty-one members.  

Hawaii State Capitol was commissioned and dedicated by the second Governor of Hawaii.  It opened on March 15, 1969, replacing the former statehouse, the Iolani Palace.

Queen Liliʻuokalani Statue

in the Capitol Mall between the capitol building and Iolani Palace was dedicated on April 10, 1982.  Several other capitol building monuments decorate the statehouse grounds.  The Beretania Street entrance features the Liberty Bell,

a gift of the President and U.S. Congress to the Territory of Hawaii in 1950 as a symbol of freedom and democracy. One of the more prominent monuments on the statehouse grounds is the statue of Father Damien,

a tribute to the Roman Catholic priest who died in 1869 after sixteen years of serving over 7,200 patients afflicted with leprosy.   His feast Day is celebrated on May 10. In Hawaiʻi, it is celebrated on the day of his death, April 15.

The Eternal Flame on Beretania Street

is a metal sculptured torch that burns endlessly as a tribute to all men and women from Hawaii who served with the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy in the major and minor conflicts in which the United States was engaged.  Likewise, the Korean-Vietnam War Memorial

pays tribute to service members who died in those conflicts.  Dedicated on July 24, 1994 by the state’s fifth Governor of Hawaii, the monument consists of 768 black marble pedestals engraved with the names of and 312 service members of the Vietnam War.  A larger marble slab bears a Hawaiian language inscription of remembrance.

Across the street is another memorial to the Hawaiians who were killed during World War II.

Architecturally, the capitol an American adaptation of the Hakonya style termed “Hawaiian international architecture".  Unlike other state capitols modeled after the  U.S. Capitol, the Hawaii State Capitol's distinct architectural features symbolize various natural aspects of Hawaii. Among them:

  • The building is surrounded by a reflecting pool, symbolizing the Pacific Ocean;.

Green color comes from algae and other material on the bottom of the shallow pool

From the time the Capitol was completed in 1969, the reflecting pool has had a persistent algae  growth problem, due partly to the fact the pool is fed with brackish water from on-site wells.  Attempts by the state to fix the problem included introducing tilapia fish into the pool and installing an ozone treatment system.  The state currently has the pool lining scrubbed manually with enzymes added to the water to combat growth.  Some Capitol regulars say the algae growth has come to represent the pollution of the Pacific Ocean, in an ironic twist of the original symbolic meaning of the pool.

Water pours from hybiscus (state flower) fountains

  • The two legislative chambers are cone-shaped, symbolizing Volcanoes that formed the Hawaiian Islands;
  • The columns around the perimeter of the building have shapes resembling royal palms trees;
  • There are eight columns in four rows at either side of the building, representing the eight main islands of Hawaii; sets of eight items appear in other places inside and along the outside of the building;
  • Lying in the floor of the atrium courtyard is "Aquarius", a 36-fot moasic made of over 600,000 Italian smalti (tiles). 

The Capitol is built with an open-air design, allowing sun, wind, and rain to enter; the central atrium opens to the sky and rainbows can sometimes be seen inside the building when it rains; and

Four kukui nut trees are a numerical reference to the four main counties in the State of Hawaii. Sets of four items appear in many other places in the building.

When standing in the center of the structure, the chandeliers from both legislative chambers, which represent the sun and moon, can be seen through the glass walls, while the area that is normally reserved for a rotunda in most capitol buildings is left open to the sky.  It is said that the sky is Hawaii's capitol dome.

Governor's Office

Note the height of the doors (throughout the capitol) – suggested by Jackie Kennedy Onasis

Hoe canoe paddle

Lieutenant Governor's Office

Unfortunately, both the  Legislative Chambers were closed for cleaning and the lights turned off.  The best we could do was try to photograph them throught a dirty window and pull up a photo from the Internet.  This is too bad as the Senate chmber is filled with the cool colors from the ocean, sand and sky.  Hanging from the center is the "Moon" light sculpture.  Wired with a color-changing sequence, the sculpture glows with different hues behind the polished aluminum and 630 nauticlus shells.  On the sloped, cureved wall is an abstract mural tapestry woven with wool knots on linen warps and measures close to 40-feet.

Senate Chamber

Internet photo

Thru-the-window photo

The Hosue of Representatives Chamber is decorated with warm earthytones and aonother tapestry to complement the room's color scheme,  The "Sun" is made with 132 gold-plated copper and brass orbs which emit prisms that cast pale rainbows on the ceiling.

House Chamber

Internet photo

Thru-the-window photo

We were intrigued by the state's flag.

Adopted December 29, 1845, the state flag of Hawaii has the Union Jack of the United Kingdom at the canton. The field of the flag is composed of eight horizontal stripes (from top to bottom: white, red, blue, white, red, blue, white, red) symbolizing the eight inhabited islands (Hawaii, Oahu, Kauai, Kahoolawe, Lānai, Maui, Molokai and Niihau). Flag of Hawaii is a deliberate hybrid of British flag and American flag to showcase the roles played by Great Britain and United States in the history of Hawaii.

The State Supreme Court is located across the street from the Iolani Palace in the Kamehameha V Judicial Center.

The statue ourside the center is that of King Kamahameha I.

It was disappointing to see that some of the palms on the center's lawn and nearby mailboxes had fallen victim to irresponsible people with knives and spray paint.

Across the street is the historic Kawaiaha'o Church.

At one time the national church of the Hawaiian Kingdom and chapel of the royal family, the church is popularly known as Hawaiʻi's Westminstery Abbry. The name comes from the Hawaiian noun phrase Ka wai a Haʻo (the water of Haʻo), because its location was that of a spring and freshwater pool in the care of a High Chieftess Haʻo.

Today, Kawaiahaʻo continues to use the Hawaiian language for parts of the service. It is one of the oldest standing Christian places of worship in Hawaiʻi, although four thatched churches stood at or near the present site before construction of the stone church.

On the church grounds is a mausolum In which the remains of William Charles Lunalilo,

the kingdom’s sixth monarch, are interred.  When King Kamehameha V died without naming a successor, Lunalilo was “elected” by a popular vote of the people.  His investure was held at the church.  However, he reigned for only one year, dying in 1874 at the age of 39.  His last wish was to be laid ot rest near “his people”, the reason his tomb stands at the entrance to Kawaiaha’o Church.

As in other cities, some of the building artecture is pretty interesting.

Honolulu CIty Hall

After having lunch, we wandered to and then through a five or six block area … previously, primarily a warehouse district … where the results of the city's invitation to many known and unknown artists are on display.  While many are "named", we will make no attempt to label any of these works of "art (very different from the building murals found throughout Philadelphia) which are, in many cases, extremely colorful




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July 11 (AM) – Iolani Palace, Honolulu, Hawaii

We have found that the city buses are clearly the best, and most economical (just $5.50 for an all-day pass) way to travel around Honolulu.

Our first destination was the Iolani Palace …

represents a time in Hawaiian history when King Kalakaua

and his sister and successor, Queen Liliuokalani,

walked the halls and ruled the Kingdom of Hawaii.  

The cornerstone for Iolani Palace was laid on December 31,1879 with full Masonic rites and completed in 1882.  The Palace halls contain beautiful memories of grand balls and hula performances, as well as painful ones of Liliuokalani’s imprisonment and eventual overthrow.  Since the overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy, the Palace has undergone many changes as it once served as the Capitol for almost 80 years and was later vacated and restored to its original grandeur in the 1970s.

However, during the period from shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor until August of 1944, the Queen’s bedroom served as the headquarters for the U.S. military’s headquarters for martial law for the Philippines.

­­Queen Liliuokalani succeeded her brother upon his death on January 20, 1891. She was determined to strengthen the political power of the Hawaiian monarchy. Her attempts to affect change caused great opposition from the Committee of Safety, who later orchestrated the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy and the establishment of a provisional government with support of the American Minister to Hawaii.

Following the overthrow of the monarchy, Iolani Palace became the government headquarters for the Provisional Government. Following the overthrow, most of the palace’s original furnishings were sold at public auction and personal belongings were returned to the royal family. In the decades that followed, it also served as the government capitol building for the Republic, Territory, and eventually, State of Hawaii.

The Palace had both electricity and indoor plumbing well before the White House.

First Floor Hallway

Etched  Glass Windows

Grand Staircase to Second Floor Living Quarters


Blue Room

Dining Room


Music Room

Edison Music Box


Throne Room

Second Floor Hallway

Original Table

Yin and Yang

Sky Light

King's Bedroom

The King was a very private individual and even had covers installed over his key holes to prevent snoopers from observing or seeing him … throughout the palace

King's Connecting Office

Had three internal connections only

Queen's Bedroom Suite

Pavillion – where King Kalakaua held is Coronation

Armory – Situated on the Palace Grounds




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July 10 – Wandering Through the Waikiki Area

When we walked out on our patio this morning we observed an unusual sight.  While we've heard of elephants and other animals seemingly mouring over their dead, we were amazed to watch two birds curiously standing sentinel over a bird which had apparently died over night.

Other brids we saw today included doves

some mostly white, which we'd never seen before,

a few ducks

and a red-chested or Brazilian Cardinal

During our walk, we picked up some interesting tidits about the Island of Oahu.

  • Oahu Name Means – The Gathering Place
  • Capital – Honolulu
  • Population- 991,788 and counting
  • Area – 597 square miles
  • Island Flower – llima
  • Highest Peak – Mt. Ka’ala (4.025’)

As we visited the U.S. Military Cenetery known as the "Punch Bowl", DIamond Head and Pearl Harbor, incuding a trip aboard the USS Arizona memorial (presently closed for maintenance), we do not plan to spend any time at these places. 

A little research about the island: 

The 304-year-old Kingdom of O‘ahu was once ruled by the most ancient ali'lin all of the Hawaiian Islands. The first great king of O‘ahu was Ma'lilkakahi, the lawmaker, who was followed by many generation of monarchs. Kualiʻi was the first of the war like kings and so were his sons. In 1773, the throne fell upon Kahahana, the son of Elani of Ewa. In 1783 King of Maui, conquered O‘ahu and deposed the reigning family and then made another son, king of Oʻahu.  "Kamehameha the Great" would conquer in the mountain Kalanikūpule's force in the Battle of Nu'uanu. Kamehameha founded the Kindom of Hawaii with the conquest of Oʻahu in 1795. Hawaii would not be unified until the islands of Kauai and Ni'ihau surrendered under in 1810.  Kamahameha III moved his capital from Maui to Honolulu. Oʻahu in 1845. The Iolani Palace, which we'll be visiting tomorrow, built later by other members of the royal family, is still standing, and is the only royal palace on American soil.

Oʻahu was apparently the first of the Hawaiian Islands sighted by the crew of HMS Resolution on January 19,1778 during Captain James Cook's third Pacific expedition. Escorted by HMS DIscovery, the expedition was surprised to find high islands this far north in the central Pacific. Oʻahu was not actually visited by Europeans until February 28, 1779 when Captain Charles Clerke aboard HMS Resolution stepped ashore at Waimea Bay. Clerke had taken command of the ship after James Cook was killed at Kealakekua Bay (Island of Hawaii) on February 14, and was leaving the islands for the North Pacific. With the discovery of the Hawaiian Islands came the introduction of disease, mosquitos and aggressive foreign animals. Although indirect, the simple exposure to these foreign species caused permanent damage to the Native Hawaiian people and environment.

In more recent history, the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor on Oahu on Sunday morning, December 7, 1941 and brought the United States into World War II.  The surprise attack was aimed at the Pacific Fleet of the U.S. Navy and its defending Army and Marine Air Forces. The attack damaged or destroyed twelve American warships, destroyed 188 aircraft, and resulted in the deaths of 2,335 American servicemen and 68 civilians (of those, 1,177 were the result of the destruction of the USS Arizona alone). At the time, Hawaii was not yet a state, which did not happen until 1959.

As was the case with our dinner last night, we had breakfast in an open-air restaurant where views of the waters off Waikiki were all around us.

The Place of Living Remembrance – While the Arizona Memorial and Punch Bowl Military Cemetery honor fallen military heroes, this memorial was constructed to honor and proovide a final resting place for Native Hawaiians, the remains of many which have been unearthed during redevelopment projects on Oahu.

Makua and Kila,

Waikiki Circle Hotel

Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana 'Ole (1871-1922)

Decorative waterfall

Ferry of some sort.  If you look carefully, you can spot a surfer sitting on her board and parasailer

 Indian Banyan Tree

Surfing Legend and Olympian Duke Paoa Kahanamoku (1890-1968)

Even in this paradise, homelessness remains a problem.

Aside from carrying their surf boards, there are other popular ways of moving them around.

The building architectur of many of Waikiki's hotels and banks is worth noting.

See the window washers?

There is a section of Honolulu where there are many building murals, some done by world reknown artists.  ALthough we only caught a glimpse of them during our shuttle from the airport to our hotel, we did discover a few others today.

Even the sidewalk trash recepitcles are decorated.

We stopped by to watch a free, outdoor Hula class

and look who got caught up in the swing of it!

The Brothers in Valor Memorial

The Brothers in Valor Memorial at Fort DeRussy, Oahu, commemorates the heroic lives of thousands of Japanese-Americans who served in the U.S. Military in World War II; veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the Military Intelligence Service, and the 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion.

Nearby we watched an adept city worker as he trimmed the palms in a park.

The Hawk that Soars with the Wind

The Voice of the Wind

Rising WInd

The Hawk Soars

Hawaiian Village Decorative Waterfalls

Life finds a way, even in a hunk of lava

A bus with a "whale of a tale"

We next stopped at the U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii which is housed inside Battery Randolph, a former coastal artillery battery, located a Fort DeRussy Military Reservation. The museum's collection contains some World War II armor pieces,

Pre-fabricated pillbox.  In the months before the attack on Pearl Harbor these were installed to protect U.S. airfields, other military installations and beaches around Oahu.  Once burried, the two-man crew entered through a narrow culvert pipe at the base and operated machine guns from inside.

Monarchy Cannon – One of twelve guns placed on the Punchbowl crater by the Hawaiian monarchy beginning in 1831 to defend Honolulu and first salutees.

U.S. 105mm Howitzer M3.  It came about as the need for armor to support airborne troops.  The M3 was creatd by shortening the barrel of the 105mm and mooutingit on a modified frame of a 75mm carriage.  It had an effective range of 8,295 yards.

Japanese Type 1. light-weight and mobile gun used by anti-tank units.  It fired a 3 lb. shell whichcould penetrate 3" of armor up to 500 years.

U.S. M-24 Light-weight Tank.  Used for scouting and reconnaissance in the late days of World War II.  It munted a 75mm main gun and three machine guns behine 1" of armor. The 18 ton tank with a crew of three could reach speeds of up to 35 MPH.

Jampanese light tank operated by a crew of three.- equipped with one 37mm gun and two 7mm machine guns.  Protected by only ½" of armor.  It has a six-cylindar, 110 hp air-cooled engine.  It has a speed of 30 MPH and a range of 90-100 miles

an  Ah01 Cobra Helicopter,

Speed  –  219 MPH

Weight  –  9.000 lbs.

Range  –  360 miles

Service Ceiling  –  11,400 feet

Hover Ceiling  –  9,000 feet

Armament –  varied with modifications

  • 7.62 mm multi-gum, multi-gun in the pod
  • 40 mm renade launcher
  • 2.75" rocket pods on stores pylons
  • 8 TOW antitank missles

and small arms indoors, as well as the battery itself.

14" Disappearing Rifle

The battery's main guns were scrapped prior to the inception of the museum.

Museum exhibits cover the military history of pre-Imperial Hawaii and the post-annexation history of  U.S. Army warfare in the Pacific hemisphere including World War II, Vietnam, and Korea.  The museum also includes a "Gallery of Heroes" honoring recipients of the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross.

ON the way back to our hotel, we took the "beach" route … other than having to detour around the Sheraton … where we had some great views of Diamond Head.

While it may seem boring, we again ate lunch over looking Waikiki Beach.

In several of the parks we passed through we noticed that one side of many of the palms was peppered with a great many holes.

From some reserch, this has been caused by an infestation of the coconut rhinoceros beetle.  At two and a half inches long and sporting large horns on the front of its head, the coconut rhinoceros beetle is a remarkable-looking creature, but this lumbering giant of an insect is also a devastating pest of coconut and palm trees.  Following its arrival on Palau in 1942, this critter from Southeast Asia quickly spread widely, wiping out 50 percent of the palms in the archipelago.

All around us were flowers … although mostly the yellow hibiscus (Hawaii's state flower),

the plumera (often used to make fresh leis),

and the multi-colored blossoms of the yellow poinciana tree.



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July 9 – LA to Honolulu

Neither of us slept well last night and so, as we were up early, dressed and repacked  … and with the in-room [Starbucks] coffee pretty bad … we went looking for a a restaurant in the Westin for breakfast.  Debbie, as usual was OK with juice and coffee.  However, I like something to eat in the morning and so ordered a blueberry muffin.  What I got was a surprise!

Thus, eating was not a long adventure.  We took a shuttle to the United terminal at LAX and got through baggage check-in quickly and we suddenly discovered we were "TSA Pre-approved", making our security screening a breeze.

Being more than two hours early near the gate, we popped into a restaurant and I got something a bit more substantial for breakfast. 

We bordered and took off on time.  Surprisingly, our seats, although in Economy, were not bad.  With a projected five hour and twenty-seven minute flight, we did buy lunch aboard. 

When thinking about it, it is amazing how relatively little we spend on food [and wine] when traveling on our motor home and how expensive it is when staying in hotels and eating in restaurants!

Our 5½ hour flight seemed to pass rather quickly and by the time we reached the baggage area, we discovered a representative of our shuttle company already there.  Honolulu has been dramatically built-up since we were here in 2000.  But I was able to snap a few pictures during our ride.

Aloha Tower

Building Mural

Unusual catamaran

Surf boards are everywhere!

While we were the last to be dropped off, we were pleasantly surprised with the Park Shore Waikiki, the hotel I'd booked,

as it was directly across the street from Waikiki Beach.  While checking in, the clerk asked if I'd like an upgrade from our "partial" ocean view room to a "full" ocean view room … for a mere $300 extra.  I declined.  Much to my surprise and delight, he upgraded us anyway!

and just around the bend is a fantastic view of Diamond Head.

We had dinner in the second floor restaurant at the hotel, it too overlooking the beach.

After dinner we walked across the street ot the beach area and pier.

Makua and Kila – based on a children’s story by Fred Van Dyke honoring Hawaiian values of love and respect for Ohana (Family) and the ocean

Walking down the pier we wandered through the unmistakable aroma of marijuana … the source easily identified.

Despite signs banning jumping off the pier,

 We had a chance to watch the sun sink behind cumulus clouds in the western sky from Waikiki Beach.

As darkness began to take control, there were two children running along the beach

while an young couple enjoyed a warm embrace.


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July 8 – Richard Nixon Presidential Museum

 This morning, we drove to Yorba Linda to visit the Richard Nixon Presidential Museum  (our 12th of the 13 official presidential libraries and museums … spanning the administrations from Herbert Hoover to George W. Bush … operated by the National Park Service

Entering the lobby, you are greeted by an enormous presidential seal

and a model of Air Force One (27000) which we'd seen and been in just yesterday at the Reagan Msueum

After passing portraits of the 37th president and his family

we watched a short bio of Nixon, which did not shy away from his cover-up of the Watergate break-in and subsequent resignation.

Richard Nixon was a very complicated man who became president during a period of perhaps the greatest social turmoil the country faced since the Civil War.

and, of course

Five Administrations before Nixon's were involved in the U.S. involvement in Vietnam


Next was his Oval Office.

President Nixon and his successor President Ford used the Wilson Desk in the Oval office

The Hoover Desk was used by Herbert Hoover and Franklin Delano Roosevelt

The Resolute Desk was used by Jack Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W Bush, Barak Obama and Donald Trump

The C&O Desk was used by George H.W. Bush

It sure would be nice if today's Washington bureaucrats would take Nixon's words to heart!

Oh, yes …

My second chance to sit at a presidential desk in the Oval Office

There was information on the moon landing, including the opportunity to listen to a recorded conversation between the president and Neal Armstrong at Tranquility Base on the moon

Moon rock from Apollo 15

A great deal of time was spent on the War in Vietnam, anti-war movement and Administration’s efforts to extricate American from the war while ensuring that American POWs were brought home.

On October 15, 1969, the largest anti-war demonstrations to date took place across the country in cities and college campuses.  In response, on November 3rd, to the upsurge of vocal opposition, President spoke to the nation on a televised address from the Oval Office

His office was immediately flooded with thousands of letters, mostly in opposition to the war, many available to read.

However, it took more than three years for an agreement to be reached.

Note the price of the New York Times in 1973

Much attention was provided to our returning POWs

Possessions of former POWs

An American flag made out of fabric remnants by Col. John A. Dramesi and other captive POWs during his six years as a POW in Hanoi.  It was presented to the President by Dramest and displayed at the White House Prisoner of War dinner on May 24, 1973

As with all of the presidential museums, space was dedicted to the First Lady and her impact on the White House .. and her wardrobe.

The gown Pat Nixon wore for her official White House portriat


Much attention was focused on Nixon's Foreign Policy philosophy

and accomplishments.

  • In 1972, President Nixon participated in the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) with Soviet Secretary General Brezhnev as part of an effort to temper the Cold War through diplomatic dètente.

  • Nixon signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, helping to calm U.S.-Soviet tensions by curtailing the threat of nuclear weapons between the world’s two superpowers.
  • President Nixon was the first President to visit the People’s Republic of China, where he issued the Shanghai Communiquè, announcing a desire for open, normalized relations. The diplomatic tour de force brought more than a billion people out of isolation.

  • Nixon signed the Paris Peace Accords in 1973, ending U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.
  • In 1969, Nixon announced a groundbreaking foreign policy doctrine that called for the United States to act within its national interest and keep all existing treaty commitments with its allies.
  • Nixon established a new relationship with the Middle East, eliminating Soviet dominance in the region.
  • In honor of the POWs returning home from Vietnam, Nixon hosted the largest reception in White House history.
  • In reaction to the oil embargo of 1973, Nixon initiated Project Independence, which set a timetable to end reliance on foreign oil by 1980.
  • In 1970, President Nixon avoided a second Cuban Missile Crisis involving the Soviet submarine base by adhering to his policy of hard-headed dètente, an active rather than passive form of diplomacy.
  • During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Nixon supported Israel with massive aid, which Prime Minister Golda Meir later said saved her country.


President Nixon was no less aggressive and successful on the Domestic Front, with programs which benefited vast previously under-served segments of American society.

  • Created the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Signed the Clean Air Act of 1970
  • Launched the $100 million “War on Cancer”.
  • Signed Title IX, opening the doors for female athletes by ending gender-based discrimination in all federally funded education programs.
  • Achieved the peaceful desegregation of schools in the deep south.
  • Required equal opportunity hiring on federally supported job sites.
  • Signed the 26th Amendment lowering the voting age to 18.
  • Ended the military draft.
  • Established the all-volunteer armed forces.
  • Triple the hiring of women in the Executive Branch.
  • Provided pension security for private sector employees with ERISA (Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974).
  • Reversed decades of federal American Indian policy by supporting self-determination and advocating the return of tribal rights and lands to tribes.
  • Sent the first presidential energy policy to Congress.
  • Produced about one million units of Section 8 housing to assist low-income households.
  • Expanded federal funding for traditional black colleges.
  • Created the office of Minority Business Enterprise (now the MBDA – Minority Business Development Agency) to promote growth and competitiveness of minority-owned businesses.
  • Expanded federal funding for the arts and humanities.
  • Created the legacy of parks program, which converted more than 80,000 acres of government property to recreational use in 642 new parks.


Then, the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew amid scandals whcih occurred while he ws Governor of Maryland began to cast a shadow on the White House, although at this time not tainting Nixon directly.


Unfortunately, RIchard Nixon's presidential reputation is inevitably linked … at least by contemporary history …tohis pro-active role in the cover-up of the Watergate break-in scandal.  Interestingly, the largest room in the museum focuses on this period of his presidency.


Tape recorder from the Oval Office

 Location of listening devices in the Oval Office


Location of listening devices in the Cabinet Room


However, Richard Nixon was not the first president to record conversatons with others.


In retrospect, some good did ultimately result from the Wattergate debacle.



Moving toward the end of the msueum tour information on Nixon's youth … normally one of the first exhibits … is presented.


Nixon's first job as an attorney after graduating from Duke Law School

World War II Service

1952 Campaign

1960 First Televised Presidential Debates with Senator Jack Kennedy


The End of Richard Nixon's Presidency

Our first Rose Bowl appearance

Retirement Office in California

During his post-presidency, RIchard Nixon was sought out by his successors for his advice.

Richard Nixon died on April 22, 1994, less than one year after his beloived wife, Pat passed away.

  All of the living past and present presidents attended his services

 Eulogizing Richard Nixon were former Sentaro Robert Dole:

I believe that the second half of the Twentieth Century will be known as the “Age of Nixon”.

and former President Bill C;inton:

May the day of judging President Nixon on anything less than his entire life and career come to a close.


We next walked around the grounds

Refelcting Pool and Gardens


Nixon's Boyhood Home … where he was born

My grandmother had a high chair like this one in which whe sat me as a young child

1919 and 1920 issues – intersting articles

RIchard Nixon played the piano, claarinet and viloin

Richard Nixon (second from the left) andhis four brothers at similar ages

The marraige quilt on the bed was made for the Nixons  had messages under the various designs

Blanket from Nixon's father who was from Ohio

Sewing machine on which his mother made clothes for her family

Note the Ice Box to the left

Pantry and work room

Photo of the second-story bedroom Nixon and his prothers slept in (not available to visit)

Marine One

Tonight we stayed at the Westin LAX so we'd be close to the airport for our flight to Hawaii tomorrow.  I glanced out the window around 10:00 PM … look at the traffic!




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June 7 – ROnald Reagan Presidential Museum

We (actually, I) decided to hitch up and take our motorhome with us to the Reagan Museum in Simi Valley,  which had advertised “RV Parking” on its website.  Enroute, we passed a really old RV.

Our GPS again led us a bit astray, resulting in another U-turn along a 4-lane highway.  We finally reached our destination.

Once thru the entrance, there was a long climb up to the Library and Museum complex, along which there were flags with the portraits of each of the 45 presidents on the lamp posts.

Reaching the parking areas and seeing no directions for RV parking we pulled into one for “cars”, taking up at least a half dozen spaces.  A friendly security officer knocked on our door advising that the RV parking was curbside along the entrance/exit road.

That was great, except when we opened our door the steps grounded out on the curb … and wouldn’t retract.  After some concern, frustration and expletives on my part … with a less than cheerful wife looking on in stone-faced silence, the steps took note and decided to behave, paving the way for us to enjoy the museum.  However, along the sidewalk there was a familiar warning sign.

However, we finally made it!

As with the other presidential library and museum complexes we’ve visited, our journey began with a short video about Ronald Reagan from his youth through his post-residency years.  We then began a self-guided tour …

Foundations of a Leader – Reagan’s youth and where he acquired his values

(Ronald Reagan in 1911)

Boyhood home in Dixon, IL

Ronald Reagan admired both of his parents, but took special inspiration from his mother, whose generosity and determination, fueled by her faith, had a profound influence on his character and life.

His early years as a sports broadcaster for collegiate football and eventually the Chicago Cubs, leading to his hosting the GE Theater


While the audio of my screen debut was not bad, my appearance would have scared off viewers!

He eventually appeared in many movies, the most famous being the Knute Rockne Story where his line, "Rock,, sometime, when the team is up against it — and the breaks are beating the boys — tell them to go out there with all they got and win just one for the Gipper

led to a nickname which stayed with him for the rest of his life.

After completing 14 home-study Army Extension Courses, Reagan enlisted in the Army Elnisted Reserve and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Officers' Reserve Corps of the Cavalry on May 25, 1937.  On April 18, 1942, Reagan was ordered to active duty for the first time. Due to his poor eyesight, he was classified for limited service only, which excluded him from serving overseas

He married actress Jane Wyman in 1942 but they were divorced six years later.

He then met Nancy Davis … whom he married in 1952 … and with whom a life long love story began.

1953 – Nancy with husband Ronald during her filming of 'Donovan's Brain"

1983 – Nancy and ROnald Reagan at Rancho del Cielo, near Santa Barbara, California

Reagan’s subsequent work with and later, successful presidency of the Screen Actors Guild gave him the visibility and credibility to catch the eye of California’s political machinery … which eventually led to his running for and winning the Governorship of the state.

Although losing his party’s nomination for president in 1976 to then president Gerald Ford, upon Ford’s loss to Jimmy Carter, he became the presumptive leader of the Republican Party.

In 1980, he asked the American people

and over whelmingly  won the presidency for himself.

One speech most people missed at the Inauguration 

Nancy and Ronald Regan’s inaugural clothes

Then came the events of March 30, 1981 outside a Washington DC hotel

  This .22 caliber Rohm RG-14 revolver is almost identical to the firearm John Hinkley purchased in October 1980 from a Texas pawnshop.  On March 30, 1981, the would be assassin fired six shots at President Regan from a distance of approximately fifteen feet.  As the president was pushed into his limousine by Secret Service agents, a bullet ricocheted off the vehicle and wounded the president on his left side.  The bullets are identical to those fired by Hinkley

While people may recall that Reagan's press secretary Jim Brady was paralyzed by one of Hinckley's bullets, Secret Service agent Tim McCarty and DC policeman Thomas Delahanty were also seriously wonded.

Next came a tour of a replica of the Oval Office of Ronald Reagan

followed by information on the diaries maintained by President Reagan.

During his eight years in office, Ronald Reagan kept a daily diary in which he recorded his thoughts on the extraordinary, the historic, and the routine day-to-day occurrences of the presidency.  They demonstrate his trademark humor, political acumen and human compassion as well as unique insights into his character

Next was a room dealing with Nancy Davis Reagan’s life before, during and after her years as First Lady. 

There was also an interactive device where one can design their own White House dinnerware.

 For anyone touring the Reagan Presidential Museum, a tour of Air Force One (Tail No. 27000) is clearly the highlight!

Reagan traveled more than 661,708 miles aboard Air Force One, visiting 26 countries

and more than 150 U.S. cities

Some Facts about 27000

Boeing 707

Accepted by the Air Force on August 4, 1972 after 200 hours of testing

First used by then President Nixon in February 1973 on a flight from Andrews AFB to Chicago

Seven U.S. presidents flew aboard: Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush 41, Clinton and Bush 43

Its replacement, 28000 was ordered by President Reagan but not  received until 1990

Wingspan:  145 feet – 9 inches

Length:  152 feet – 11 inches

Seats 52 passengers plus the Air Force crew

Cruising Speed:  540 nautical miles per hour

Range:  6,650 Nautical miles

Service Ceiling:  42,000 feet

The pavilion which now houses 27000 was built around the plane after it was in place


Communications Center

Note the briefcase between the seats.  It was where the “football” was kept while the president was aboard

President's Office

Portside Hallway

President' Stateroom

Lounge and Chief-of-Staff’s office and airborne Cabinet Room

Staff Room and President's Doctor's Quaters

State-of-the-Art secure teletype (a modified IBM Selectric)

Guest Seating

Media Section (they paid their own way … and still do)

Reagan always had a cake aboard in case it was someone’s birthday.

Appearenty sleeping during long flights was allowable; but the president would take pictures of those who had nodded off and provide prints to the parties in question when he could poke fun at them

Nearby are vehicles from President Reagan’s presidential motorcades

President Reagan’s Limousine

A 1984 Cadillac was state-of-the art when the Secret Service has it built exclusively for the president

Engine:  500 Cubic Inch

Transmission: Turbo-HydroMatic 400 (3-speed)

Length:  21 feet – 8 inches

Wheelbase:  163 inches

Width:  6 feet – 7 inches

Ground Clearance:  7.5 inches

Presidential Car and Secret Service Vehicle

Special armor and body modifications

Three-inch raised roof

Telephone and public address system with exterior speakers

Rear bumper platform for agents with mechanically-operated hand rails

2 fender spotlights to illuminate flags

Los Angeles Police Department Vehilces which accompanies presidential motorcades

Marine One

In 1957, the Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1) transported President Eisenhower from Newport, RI to Naval Air Station Quonset Point, beginning presidential helicopter travel.  In 1962, President Kennedy requested that the aircraft have distinctive markings, the same green and “white-top” paint scheme still used today  In March 1986, this Sikorsky VH-3A helicopter joined the Johnson Administration HMX-2 fleet, remaining active through the Nixon and Ford Administrations.  In 1975, the VH-3A was replaced by the VH-3D, a twin=engine, all-weather model with state-of-the-art avionics for communication and navigation.  As these aircraft remain in service for up to 40 years, retirement of Regan Administration Marine One helicopters began after 2010.

There was also a very creative portrait of Reagan … done completely with his favorite candy, jelly beans!

Back inside the museum, there was a section on the Berlin Wall

with a video clip of his famous remark as he stood beside the wall, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

There were descriptions world leaders who posed major and minor threats to America, American interests and democracies around the globe

his hope for and faith in the future,

and his summits with other world leaders, including Mikhail Gorbachev with whom he developed a real raport, to alleviate such tensions and make the world a safer place.

The Berlin Wall fell on Novemb er 9, 1989

There was a room dedicated to many American Heroes, including one I’d never heard of, Clyde East

A docent at the Reagan Libaray, Lt. Clyde East downed one of only four NAZi aircraft destroyed on Day, June 6, 1944, in his P-51.  During his illustrious military career, he flew hundreds of combat missions in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, and was recognized as only the second Air Ace of the 9th Air Force.  He is one of the most highly decorated pilots ever.

His post-presidency was mostly focused around his private life with Nancy and the period after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Reagan died on June 5, 2004 and was honored by lying in State at the U.S. Capitol

The grounds of the complex are situated on a high hill top and reflect who Ronald Reagan was.

Final resting place of President Ronald and his wife Nancy Reagan

We left Simi Valley and headed for Norco, ninety-plus miles away in near 100o heat … only to discover our dash air conditioning system was not working! 


Traveling along CA-118, I-5, I-10 and I-15 was miserable!  Although a Saturday afternoon, the traffic was a nightmare … possibly as it was the end of the July 4th week.

We did see the smoke

and then even the flames

\ from one of the fires burning in the San Gabriel Mountains.

With little else to do other than swelter and watch six lanes of traffic ahead, Debbie took aim at her new passion, highway retaining and sound barrier walls.

We noticed that many overhead signs were protected by razor wire … apparently to thwart the spray paint “artists”

We eventually made it to Russ and Georgina Johnson’s home where we will be leaving our motorhome for the next week during our Hawaii side trip. 


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July 6 – Patterson to Blistering Hot Simi Valley

Today was one of our longer days on the road.  Leaving Patterson

We encountered what appears to be a plowed area or the remnants a roadside wildfire.

Passing through Santa Nella, we saw a windmill,

Mission de Oro,

a hotel modeled after an old mission, including an ancient Spanish bell tower.

and, unfortunately, the handiwork of some people who have access to spray paint and too much time on their hands.

Continuing on there was actual evidence of roadside fire

and one of several large herds of sheep

To our right (west) the landscape remained barren

while to our left (east), there we agricultural crops as far as the eye could see.

Since entering northern California, we have seen evidence of protests in the form of signs advocating the State of Jefferson … the 51st state …

Did you know there is a “ghost” 51st state in America? There is, and there has been since 1941. Located in the rural areas of northern California and southern Oregon, the state is called Jefferson, after the famous author of the Declaration of Independence and 3rd president of the United States. Jefferson comprises four counties from Oregon and three counties from California, and encompasses an area just slightly smaller than the state of West VIrginia. Lest you think Jefferson isn’t real just because it hasn’t been officially declared a state yet, it is important to know this ghost state already has its own flag and seal, and once even had its own governor. The people who live in the area of Jefferson are serious about it.

The idea for the state of Jefferson shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. California and Oregon are both large states, and people in the rural areas of these states have long felt like their interests weren’t taken seriously or given enough representation in the state governments. Because the counties of Jefferson border each other across the California and Oregon state lines, these counties have much in common with each other, and the residents believe they would create a state that gave its residents what they need in a much better way than they are currently being served.

Back in 1941, the idea for Jefferson had so much support that young men from the counties that comprised the proposed state would gather weapons and patrol the “state’s” borders on a weekly basis. They would stop anyone attempting to drive into Jefferson and hand out literature, while declaring their intent to secede from Oregon and California as an independent state every Thursday until Jefferson was made a reality. The movement to make Jefferson a state had support in both the California and Oregon state governments, and a governor was elected in preparation for Jefferson being given official state status.

However, just as the vote on making Jefferson a state was about to take place, the assault on Pearl Harbor happened, and plans for Jefferson were scrapped so residents of all states in the United States could focus on the nation’s participation in WWII. This does not mean the idea for Jefferson was forgotten, though.

After the war, many attempts were made to garner interest in forming the state again. These efforts are still ongoing, with the most serious movement so far beginning in 2013. This time, the movement is almost entirely based in the northern counties of California, since they feel disenfranchised by the rest of the state. The original southern counties of Oregon that were originally part of the proposed state have not expressed interest in joining the movement this time. However, 11 counties (as opposed to the original 4) in northern California have sent their declarations of intent to secede to the California state legislature, and to form the state of Jefferson.

We may see a state of Jefferson yet. With 11 counties declaring for Jefferson, supporters only need one more county to declare to get it on the next California ballot. Supporters are confident they will get that one more state they need, and currently have plans to put the secession of the northern counties of California on the ballot during the presidential election of 2016. There may be one more star on our nation’s flag

and others involved in a more focused campaign, protesting State and Congressional actions and advocating for farmer’s water rights (although we’ve been unable to find out the background about the current disputes).


The further south we traveled, the more agricultural crops we saw  … left and right,

Meanwhile, the threat of gusty winds was omnipresent.

There were vast orchards of pistachios and almonds

and grapes.

One area of roadwork

   turned on to be simple lawn mowing.

A crop duster flew less than 50’ over our car.

There were dry campers … or perhaps folks with no other home

and dust devils.

There were things we didn’t understand

Then, there's a lot we don't know much about!

Then, we got our first glimpses of oil pumpers.

Mid-day we reached the Grapevine … a steep, curvy, busy, big-rig filled section of mountain road that runs through the Angeles National Forest and holds central and southern California together starting just south of the town of Grapevine.

The temperature was "north" of 100o

We reached the height of land at 4,144 feet before gradually descending,

Passing beautiful Pyramid Lake,

and into the Santa Clara area.

We were eventually routed, along with all truck traffic away from I-5

and ended up in a traffic jam; which we quickly discovered was caused by rubberneckers gawking at a fire

On our last 15 miles of the day, our GPS then decided to play havoc with us … directing us down several narrow roads

through several residential districts of Simi Valley

before it finally directed us to Tapo Canyon Road

where only a few remote and very high-end homes are to be found.

By the time we reached our regional park campground,

the temperature had reached.

Hotter than our 1980s trip to Israel and Egypt where the mercury climbed to only 114o

Our immediate neighbors seemed less bothered by the temperature than Debbie and I

although we missed one local.

After dinner, when the temperature moderated to just over 90o, we took a walk around the park and were captivated by the late sun painting a nearby hillside in a red-orange glow

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July 5 – Peterson, California

Last night, we had a amazingly great dinner at a local Denny's!

After four straight days on the road, today was an "off day" a time to do some cleaning, maintenance and grocery shopping .

Patterson, California, where we are staying, is located off  Interstate 5, is known as the "Apricot Capital of the World"; the town holds an annual Apricot Fiesta to celebrate with many drinks, food, desserts and games.

With an area of just shy of 6 square miles, Patterson has a population estimated of 21,212.

The history of Patterson begins with the Rancho Del Puerto, a Mexican Land Grant to Mariano and Pedro Hernandez in 1844. The grant extended east of the present-day Highway 33 to the San Joaquin River. The northern boundary was Del Puerto Creek and the southern boundary was just south of present-day Marshall Road.

Samuel G. Reed and Ruben S. Wade made claim to the land on January 7, 1855.  A patent encompassing the land grant was signed by President Abraham Lincoln.   

Reed and Wade received title to 13,340 acres on August 15, 1864.  Reed and Wade then sold the grant to J. O. Eldredge on June 18, 1866, for $5,000.  Mr. Eldredge held title for only two months before selling it to John D. Patterson on August 14, 1866, for $5,400.  

John D. Patterson purchased additional land and, upon his death on March 7, 1902, a total of 18,462 acres were willed to Thomas W. Patterson

and William W. Patterson, his estate executors, and other heirs.  The land was sold to the Patterson Ranch Company on May 16, 1908, for the sum of $540,000 cash gold coin.

Thomas W. Patterson subdivided the land into ranches of various sizes and plotted the design of the town of Patterson.  Determined to make Patterson different from most, he modeled his town after the cities of Washington, DC and Paris, France, using a series of circles and radiating streets. Major streets were planted with palm, eucalyptus and sycamore trees.

The town grew slowly un through the early decade of the 21st century when Amazon, Khol's and other companies opened up major fulfillment and distribution operations in Pattersn … Amazon's an amazing 1,000,000 square feet in size.

There is a vast difference between the "older" section of town and its quaint town center.

Peterson’s Westside Bell – was for many years at the honor farm in Frank Raines Park in Del Puerto Canyon and was returned to Patterson because it was believed to be either the old Las Palmas School Bell or the Presbyterian Church Bell, both structures which are now gone.

Memorial to the veterans of World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Viewnam War and recent wars in Iraq and Afghanastan

and the several miles closer to I-5 where the new warehouses,

Amazon Fulfillment Facility

CVS Distribution Warehouse

Kohl's Regional Distribution Center

Grainger Warehouse

New 72,00 sf warehouse ready for lease

shopping malls and residential developments are located.

Between Patterson and U.S. Route 99 to the east, farming and raising tree crops appear to be the main businesses … while most of the housing suggests a population of marginal income.

What was evident was that thomelessness was not limited ot the major cities like Portland but could be found everwhere.


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July 4 – Happy Independence Day from Patterson, Calfornia

We are wishing everyone a safe and happy Independence day

but hope that at the same time everyone will take just a moment to consider why we celebrate it and about the brave men who literally "mutually pledged to each other their Lives, Fortunes, and sacred Honor" when adopting and signing that important document.

Today's drive through California's Sacramento Valley was incredibly enjoyable … a tan canvas of grass and hay, accented by colorful fields of agritultural crops, vast groves of fruit and other trees, and occasional pens and pastures of farm animals.


A plowed "roadway" runs just inside the prarie fencing – and we are wondering if it was developed to provide a firebreak in case a fire was started along the highway by a discarded cigarette butt or other means.

Many long streteches of the medians between the north and south bound lanes on I-5 have been planted with Oleandar

We think these are hazelnut trees

One of the few arroyos and steam beds which appear to have any water in them

A sign suggested these were olive trees

Roadside Orleander

There is very little change in elevation other than when going over a man-made bridge spanning another road, railroad tracks of waterway

One of only two police cars we saw in nearly 250 miles of driving  – surprising as it is July 4th


A sheep, donkey and two goats

Cows and sheep



The only biker we saw all day

Field of corn

Crop Duster

Rice Paddy in California … who knew?

A lonesome palm 

Field of Dreams, Inc.; a group of outdoor enthusiasts who are dedicated to providing the means and opportunity to participate in activities like hunting and fishing, to special needs kids, individuals who have served in the US military, and/or their children.   Its collective dream is to be able to to share the bounties of nature, which we work hard to honor and preserve, with everyone.

The man on one crutch and woman with two support canes struggled to walk to the rear of their motorhome to check on the oil

This "mural" was on the side of a truck

The Sacramento River with the Sacramento skyline in the distance

Several decorative retaining and sound barrier walls along I-5 as it ran through Sacramento

The flag is an indicator of the wind we were facing both coming onto and upon leaving Sacramento

Dust Devil The blue haze is smoke from one of California's forest fires; and caused us to close our RV windows and vents

Two ancient and rusting tractors

We have no idea what these flags are for

Yesterday's and today's power



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