Since her arrival, we attended the Santa Barbara International Film Festival Outstanding Performance of the Year Award event honoring Cate Blanchett, visited niece Taylor at the Beckman Winery, and a Super Bowl party (briefly). Later in the week we will attend another Film Festival tribute . . . Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio will receive the Cinema Vanguard Award.
But today we're off to Yorba Linda to visit the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum — a "good cousin" gesture on my part as this was a "least favorite thing ever" to do! Honestly, I came away with no better feeling for our 37th president than expected, but also with a lingering question . . . how did someone who grew up Quaker become such a S.O.B. with no regard for honesty and integrity, and who would willingly throw a family member under the bus as a friend or an associate? The Library/Museum leaves this question unanswered, at least for me. Instead, it presents a man who grew up in humble beginnings and who rose through the ranks through the grace of good timing and some luck, who had a strong resolve and achieved much success . . . until Watergate. However, few of our lives are that simple and straightforward, and generally the seeds that express themselves later on in future behaviors/actions (e.g. mean-spiritedness, dishonesty, unwillingness to take responsibility for actions) lie dormant or are slowly nurtured just below the surface from an early age.
Afterwards, in the fading light of day, we make our way to Long Beach for a night's stay aboard the Queen Mary. Our room is on the "B" deck — 421 — shabby chic would be kind. It is comfortable and spacious enough for us two. Being a Monday, the Sir Winston's Restaurant is closed. Instead, we head to the Chelsea Chowder House & Bar where we are met with a refreshing herb infused vodka martini and lobster bisque and a large bowl steamed mussels. Yum. . . Dinner over, we stroll the Promenade Deck and begin our exploration of the ship — the shops, Observation Bar, and back to the Chelsea Bar for a night cap and chat with the bartender.