A road trip to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library turned out to be one of my parents' most cherished family memories—and mine, too!
A Visit to Remember "The Gipper"
One of my best memories of traveling with my parents was when, in 2002, I took them to Southern California to visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
It’s a museum with artifacts from President Reagan’s acting career and his time in the White House—it even has a full-size replica of the Oval Office.
My parents were both fans of his movies during the 1940s, including “Knute Rockne: All American” of course, and were delighted when they realized where they were going. (I kept the visit a surprise by telling them only that we were just going to Los Angeles.) They loved seeing movie props, Reagan’s old photos, and dresses worn by Nancy Reagan. They had great fun taking pictures inside “the Oval Office,” which they’d seen on TV so much—it felt like they were actually there!
Fun in Southern California
We did see other sites in Southern California, including a window shopping tour of Beverly Hills and a baseball game at Angels Stadium in Anaheim. And great food in Los Angeles Japantown!
I didn’t know at the time that less than 2 years later, my dad would pass away. I felt like our time together on this trip was one of my last gifts to him, and that despite living only to age 75, he was able to enjoy his later chapters in life. And my mom also was able to tour places she never would have dreamed of visiting—in one of the last times with her husband. I cherish our time together, and am glad we took time to have these travel experiences together.
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