When I visited Atlanta (Coke Musuem Post, Six Flags Over Georgia Post) at the tail end of 2018 I purchased a Family Membership ($40) for the Jimmy Carter Museum (Carter Post). One because the reciprocity agreements allows patrons to visit any of the Presidential Libraries and because I was genuinely curious to learn more about our great leaders. Through this membership I had already visited several local Presidential Museums (Reagan Post, Nixon Post) and next up on my list was President Gerald Ford – the only President who was neither elected to Vice-President nor President. Aside from ascending the ranks without the people’s votes (he was appointed by Nixon, before he resigned) there were several things that were different about this President. One is that his Museum and Library are in two separate locations. The Museum is located in Grand Rapids and the Library is in Ann Arbor. I didn’t get a chance to see the library but from several reviews it appeared that the Museum was the main attraction. Second, Ford graduated from the University of Michigan and was recruited to play for the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers (!!!); however, he turned both down and decided to work as an Assistant Varsity Football Coach at Yale University and applied to their Law School – wow!
I spent several hours in this museum reading and learning about Ford’s legacy and I think his leadership in Operation Baby Lift – a mission that evacuated more than 3,000 orphans from North Vietnam in April 1975 spoke to me most. I live in an area that has the largest Vietnamese population outside of Vietnam and these immigrants work ethic and culture truly makes Southern California more rich and diverse. I can only imagine how grateful those children were and how had changed their lives.
What kind of legacy would you like to leave?
Gerald R Ford Presidential Museum
303 Pearl St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
No trip to Cleveland would be complete without a visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I mean Drew Carey had continuously claimed how much “Cleveland Rocks” and it would be unpatriotic to ignore such a catchy tune. Open daily from 10am-5pm, my friend and I decided to visit the 6 floor iconic museum on Day 1 of the Midwest roadtrip and loved seeing artifacts and hearing some timeless pieces.
On this visit the museum hosted a special Woodstock exhibit featuring photos and artifacts from the 70s. While this period was instrumental in the development of Rock and Roll, I was most eager to see and learn more about Elvis, The Beatles, and The Jackson Five. And there were definitely some awesome garments and instruments.
You might notice that a few of the photos above feature artists in different genres. For example Britney Spear’s “Opps I did it again” outfit and Michael Jackson’s magic glove were prominently featured in the museum. Yet, I recently learned through one of the movie screenings (included in admission) that to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the criteria is based on global impact through music. This year Janet Jackson was inducted as a Class of 2019 recipient even though her music is predominately R&B and and Hip Hop.
Based on impact, who do you think should be inducted into the Hall of Fame? I think Kelly Clarkson, the first American Idol winner, should be considered for the Class of 2020!
My investment in the Knott’s Berry FarmSeason Pass has been a worthwhile one as I’ve been a regular guest since the beginning of 2019. I’ve already visited several time for the Boysenberry Festival (Post Here), Peanut Celebration (Post Here), and even lost 12 lbs through my weekly walks (Post Here). Over Memorial Day weekend Knotts began their newest series – Ghost Town Alive, where guests can roam Ghost Town and see re-enactments before their eyes. I went during the opening weekend and had a blast! As you wander through the town you’ll pick up the paper with a “Founders Day” headline detailing the activities going on in town. There were several competitions including a pony race, bean bag toss, among others and guests can visit different shops to learn about the people who live there. I recommend you start your day at the Town Hall then check out the school-house next door for lessons. However, my absolute favorite part of the day was when they hosted the hoe-down! There was live music, a ringleader to lead us in the different routines and many adults and children alike participating.Ghost Town Alive runs daily from May 24th through to August 11th, then weekends only beginning on August 17th through September 1st. Gallop on over before it becomes a Ghost Town.
What role would you want to take? Sheriff? Teacher? Bank Teller? Comment below.
Earlier this month I had the opportunity to spend the day learning about FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise), a premiere institute of higher learning for the creatives. I began the day at their Orange County campus then took a charter bus with other educators to their main campus in Los Angeles. The day was a packed one and, everyone and I mean EVERYONE (students, staff, visitors) was very stylish and dressed to impress. I was eager to say the least on what lie ahead.
When we arrived at the LA location the FIDM staff gave us a personal tour of the facility and showcased a number of influential designers, including their own alumni Monique Lhillier, a prominent bridal designer based in LA. They also spoke about their eco-friendly fabric options and programs to help student gain real-life experiences. The main campus is also home to a rotating collection of garments and during my visit they had the original costumes from mainstream movies including: Crazy Rich Asians, Aquaman, Black Panther, Mary Poppins and Avengers: Infinity War.
There were a number of guest speakers highlighting different majors and resources available to students and at the end of the night we were invited to “Debut,” an annual runway showcase to highlight some of the student’s collections. I was beyond impressed and could envision a number of the pieces and collections and felt as if I was a guest for an official fashion line.
If you were to design a collection, what would be your theme? I’d probably do an avante garde evening gowns with superhero color palettes.
It’s the Year of the Pig and it is lit at the Hsi Lai Temple (3456 Glenmark Dr, Hacienda Heights, CA). Decked out in all things Red and Gold the usually calm and serene Buddhist Temple is a site to see during the weeks of the Lunar New Year. There’s various lanterns strung throughout the temple, and an assortment of pig and zodiac displays for tourists to photograph and enjoy. While I’m not Buddhist I can appreciate the festive and celebratory decorations and the sanctuary is free for all to roam around. My friend also informed me that the temple has a very affordable vegetarian buffet for $8 that’s open to the public. I came after a late dinner, so I’ll definitely need to come back to check it out and hopefully be inspired by other vegetarian options to incorporate into my diet. After all 2019 is the year for a healthy body, mind, and soul.
Earlier this month I had the opportunity to check out the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, CA as a part of my Presidential Library Membership perks. I purchased my membership through the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum when I visited Atlanta in Fall 2019 (Post here), and while many may automatically think Watergate scandal he had many notable accomplishment while in office particularly his role in ending the Vietnam War and re-establishing diplomatic relationships with China.
It’s been several years since I last visited the Nixon Library and while the facility remains the same, the layout and presentation has been updated. There are more touch-screen interactive exhibits and creative photo opportunities. They have a replica of of the oval office presented in the same style while he was in office as well collections of items from his campaign. After Nixon’s presidency he went on to write 10 books and continued to do speaking engagements around the world. I think as a person he’s lived quite an adventurous life and this museum documents indiscriminately his highs and lows.
When you feel down or defeated what do you do to keep going?
During my Atlanta Trip in 2018, I applied for an Annual Presidential Library Membership with the mindset of visiting several POTUS museums in 2019. I learned a lot about Jimmy Carter’s presidency (Jimmy Carter Post) when I was in the Peach State and now that I’m back in SoCal my friends and I took a short roadtrip to learn all about Ronald Reagan’s Presidency in Simi Valley, CA.
This museum is located on top of a mountain and overlooks the valley. The view is quite spectacular and while the setting is very picturesque, the museum facility is very interactive and engaging. There were tons of short movie clips, physical artifacts, and they even have an Air Force 1 and guests could step inside and see what it’s like to ride like a VIP.
Reagan is probably best known as the actor turned president; however, he was one of three presidents (at that time) to serve 2 terms and is best known for helping to end the Cold War with the Soviet Union! I don’t think I could ever do something as brave as that, but I’d want people to know me as the adventurer who shared the world’s best hidden gems.