Labor Day weekend I took my husband on a surprise trip to the Reagan Presidential Museum. We added on the Nixon Presidential Museum well. Since this trip was all for him I told him we would spend as much time as necessary and boy did we! We went to the Nixon library after arriving into LA and before checking into the hotel (mistake as they gave away our upgrade in the meantime). We ended up spending 4 hours and could have spent more time but they were closing - lots of reading and videos. Very nice place and fun to go through the Marine One that they have on site.
We were staying in Santa Monica at the JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot I had checked into the hotel earlier on the app and saw that they had assigned us to an upgrade to a larger room and I believe a balcony. When we finally arrived the upgrade was gone and told there were no upgrades available. I also had called ahead (for an upgrade) and that we were celebrating our anniversary and said the same when checking in only to have it ignored. Okay, they aren't obligated but still ... I am a LTP and Platinum and thought that maybe they would make an effort to make it special in some way. The hotel I was staying in last year did and I was on business and without my husband. I did write a review. You can take a look at that here: Special Weekend ... Lack of Special Attention
The next day we headed to the Reagan Presidential Museum and was blown over! What a beautiful spot! We arrived at 10 a.m. and left at 5 p.m. (open to close). My wonderful husband said he could have spent another day there - guess we should have gone back instead of walking Venice Beach. There is a lot to see and experience! We had sooo much fun! We ate on-site and was very pleased with the food. Make sure you do the audio tour - you learn so much more than what you get from reading the watching the movies. It brings the museum to life.
When we left there we headed to Santa Barbara for dinner at the brewery - recommended by the concierge as a nice local spot on State Street. By the time we got there - two hours later - and after walking all day at the museum we were tired and didn't enjoy the area as much as we could have but still glad we made the trip there. Luckily, the traffic was better headed back to the hotel.
The next day we took a taxi to the Venice Pier and got so see them fishing as well as a sea lion begging for fish. We then walked down the beach towards the hotel (and the Santa Monica Pier). Ate lunch along the way (wish I could remember where because it was GREAT), and had fun people watching. It was a nice day to enjoy the out doors and feel the ocean breeze before heading back to reality the next day.
I really appreciated the advice I got for our trip! It made the planning fun!
Sounds like you had fun and I could see that you will have to do this again. Too bad about the hotel. I guess they do give rooms away. I have learned the hard way to check in as early as I can for that reason. To me, a room that was blocked out for an elite should be saved.
Glad all went well, and you were wise in getting there early! Parking can be a problem if you try to go mid-day!
Some of my favorite photo's from The Reagan Library:
Wonderful place to "Pay your respects"!
Something interesting in every room!
There is reminders of "The 80's"!
Glad you enjoyed everything as much as I did!
It is a truly interesting place!
Likewise, there is so much to see in the entire area! I would just avoid staying in Santa Barbara again. It is a nice town, but the hotel rates are "Over the top"! There are so many wonderful places to stay near by!
Thanks for the write up, glad you had a nice time. Once again the value of Insiders is demonstrated. I have a trip the first week in October and have reservations at the Oxnard Residence Inn (based on jerrycoin's info) and a weekend at the Ventura Marriott (based also on Insider info, possibly californian's) with visits to vineyards and beaches in the game plan (after lunch at my favorite Malibu hangout, Duke's coming from LAX). I'm pleased to hear about the Santa Barbara Brewing Company because that was my lunch plan (all of my Insiders pals knew I'd be there ) after a morning bike ride and before an evening cruise (again, another jc suggestion) before dinner at Toma. It's always good to get verification of one's choices prior to going, so thanks for the scoop.
I'm fascinated by the here today, gone tomorrow mobile app upgrade disappointment. Man, they've created new ways to build you up with enthusiastic excitement only to fall short - better to have never displayed an upgrade (it's kind of like the award night guarantee, guaranteed availability, unless we don't have one available ).
Oh well, thanks again for the overview, glad it went well.
The RI, Oxnard is pretty "Laid back". Ot adjoins a golf course and is pretty peaceful. You can drive on back roads to Ventura Beach and Malibu or Santa Barbara are close. Likewise, please try to see my post on Santa Barbara. The photo's and information may be of help.
erc, I had a little trouble finding the RI at first, so please make sure you have it identified on your map. It is a large property. The price was really "Right", and getting to The Reagan Museum was easy from here. Other places nearby of interest was
Solvang, to your North. It was a really delightful place to visit!
As well as Fillmore, where the RR Museum is most interesting as well!
These places are not "Times Square", when it comes to crowds, but easy places to visit. Please let me know if you have any questions. Wish you a wonderful trip!
erc Are you still going to stay at the Pier South in Imperial Beach? If not, will you be down my way?
I stumbled into the Pier South property right when the rates were open (the benefit of 'working in the weeds' of the Marriott Matrix) and found some superb rates (it was something like $110) but then got scared off by some of the reviews of the area (as far as things to do etc) so worked my way up north. Since my initial research, folks have had some nice stays there, but I didn't feel like taking a chance 3k miles away.
No, I'm just flying to LAX and heading north for this trip, a birthday celebration for the Mrs. (so plenty of wineries, although I did negotiate a brew pub or two). I'll give my regards to Oprah for you .
You will have a wonderful drive, if you go along the coast, from LAX!
If you have time to have a relaxed meal, in North Malibu, is one of the nicest "Seaside dining" I really enjoyed. They are familiar with the area, and this was a favorite for The Secret Service, during The Reagan years!
The Chart House is casual and moderate in price!
The view of the sunset from our table!
Good suggestions. We are so lucky to have someone with your experience willing to share with us. Thanks.
You are too kind! Thank-you!
If I can help someone save time and money on their travels, it is just "Returning the favor" of all others have done to assist me in my travels!
Near the Marriott, in Buellton, is a great place for a steak. They are huge, so they have one that you can "Share", and it really was special. Make sure you make reservations, this place has been featured in movies. It is toward Solvang, from the Marriott.
erc, if you make it this far North, make it a point to relax here for a meal or at least a "Refreshment"! There are all kinds of Wineries around The Solvang area!
I also saw the rates and booked a few days. I am close enough and familiar with the area to make due.
The beach is closed an average of 200 days per year. People are getting Hep A by going in the water amongst other things. They offer free vaccines to surfers who will go in any way when the surf is up.
Marriott has a beach front resort where you probably can't go in the water. If you can't go in the water it is probably not wise to walk on the beach barefooted either which I like to do. There have been storms in Mexico and we are getting some of them which to me means a more likely chance that the water will be closed and even if not, I am not sure that I will want to go in.
The length of my stay will be determined on whether I get upgraded to a room with a view and balcony. If I can sit out and read and enjoy the sound of the waves, it might be nice. Otherwise a San Diego hotel would be better since they would be closer to things to do. I will report back after.
cal - Ha! Yeah, that's what I meant about 'bad reviews' !
jerry - I have enjoyed the Chart House also, but Duke's is my hangout . I used to run with the whippersnapper Pepperdine baseball boys and we'd go there after victories. Malibu always tickles me, we ran into Cher once getting a chili dog, Gary Busey at a strip mall, Pam Anderson attended Pepperdine games because some of the boys coached her kids in Little League and Tom Shadyac (Bruce Almight, Patch Adams, Ace Ventura writer) was an adjunct professor for awhile. I'm always eager into seeing who I might see next. Lala land her I come.
Will have to look up "Duke's"! Have never been there! Thanks for sharing. You are in for a wonderful trip! These will bring back some memories:
Rated the "Most beautiful campus in America"!
A view of the Pacific, from the campus!
What a place to get an "Education"!
Looks like a wonderful experience! I really don't eat dessert, but Lady Coin is a dessert lover, and I always have to "Have a bite"! Here are a couple you may enjoy!
Chart House, Malibu, you may have to stop for this one!
Biltmore, Santa Barbara, you will need to at least see this place! It was formerly a Marriott, I would not stay there again, but it is very pretty. The food was good!
Alaine Ducasse, at The Dorchester, in London, is a wonderful place to dine, and their dessert is very special. erc, I am in Quincy, Il, and now must go have dinner, I won't get anything like these here, but it is a nice town!
So you really don't eat dessert, do you? Yeah and Mrs. Erc drinks all of my beers
As lithe as Mrs. Coin always appears in your photos, someone's eating those desserts...and it ain't her!
Thanks for sharing the photos.
Thanks pluto77! Like I said, I don't 'expect' it but it would have been nice. The trip was wonderful and now I want to go back and enjoy more of what everyone here has been talking about!