On the morning of Thursday, April 4th, 2019, we woke up in Victorville, California rested and refreshed and ready for another day. The previous day we started in Oakland and ended up here, at a hotel in Victorville, more than 400 miles to the south. Of course, we drove a lot more than that the previous day as we veered off course a few times.
I later found out that my mom would frequently go through this city following along Route 66 from her home in the Barstow/Yermo area with friends on their way to Los Angeles and the Santa Monica Pier. It just so happened that that morning we decided to have breakfast at a little spot called the California Classic Café. It was a little diner that had Route 66 stuff plastered all over it and a DVD about the famous road playing constantly. It was good enough for diner breakfast, your standard American classic meals of eggs, bacon, pancakes, and some Mexican breakfast items as well. Then we were on our way to our first stop on our busy day: San Bernardino.
What’s in San Bernardino? I’m really not sure. Well, I’m not sure about anything other than a museum put together in the first McDonald’s. Yep, you read that right, the golden arches was started in California. Your favorite place to eat as a kid (and maybe some of you as adults, too) was started by two brothers here in San Bernardino. If you’ve watched the movie The Founder about how Ray Kroc took over the restaurant and created the brand that is now the McDonald’s franchise you would know a little bit about the history and beginnings of the restaurant. Now, if you do know anything about what happened, then you would understand that the company that exists now has absolutely nothing to do with the museum that we went to and enjoyed. It’s run by a few people and they have taken donations from all around the world so that they can grow what is shown and exhibited inside the tiny building. But enough talk, let’s get to some pictures!
The whole outside of the building was covered with murals. The guy who painted all of them was there too. He was quite talkative.
As for the inside, see some of the highlights below.
My family still has some of the plates shown above. And I remember having more than a few of the toys on display too. The next set of photos shows some of the props that were made for the move The Founder.
Before we left, Aiden just had to ride the giant chicken.
Overall the museum was neat. It had many interesting things from other McDonald’s from around the world that will not be found here in the states.
Our next stop was not very far away in Yorba Linda. For those of you who don’t know, which I’m guessing is practically everyone, President Richard Nixon was born there. As I may have mentioned before, one of my travel goals is to visit the tomb/gravesite of every president of the United States. It may sound morbid, but I’m a history buff and really enjoy learning about the presidents as we visit them. We had just planned on paying our respects at President Nixon’s grave, but the only way we were able to get in there was to pay full admission to get into his presidential library and museum. It turned out to be a good choice as it was chock full of interesting tidbits about him, his wife, and his life in law and politics.
There was even a room mocked up to look like the Oval Office did during his presidency!
One of the things I took away from the library was that President Nixon was maybe our best foreign policy president. He was the first to visit China and helped to ease the tension between our two countries in a way that only he and his wife, Pat, could. Here he is greeting Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai upon landing in China.
Another interesting tidbit that I never realized was that literally every man who walked on the moon did so turning President Nixon’s term’s in office. How wild is that! He was a huge proponent of NASA and the missions to the moon.
This was a piece of the Berlin Wall.
And here is the resting place of the president and his wife.
The home that the president was born in is not far from where he was buried. In fact, the library and museum are built on the grounds that his family once owned.
On top of all of this, the helicopter that he left the White House in on his last day as president is also on the grounds.
This was the first presidential library that we have been through and it certainly will not be the last!
But wait, there’s more. We had one more big stop on our day and it was just south of downtown Los Angeles. Here are a few shots of downtown from the highway.
Our next destination was the La Brea Tar Pits.
Both myself and Andrea had wanted to go here for a very long time. I first heard about it when I was in elementary school and had been interested in the area ever since then. It did not disappoint. There were many full skeletons on display of the various animals that were discovered within the tar pits.
The museum was far from the largest we have been in but it was still neat to see!
Here is an example of what one of the active dig sites looked like. People are still actively working the tar pits and finding bones.
Even after all this we still had one more stop to make and that was to find our hotel room in Anaheim. Unfortunately for us it was late afternoon and whereas the traffic was minimal on the way into Los Angeles it was a nightmare on the way out. Anaheim was only about 30 miles away but it took us almost two hours to get to! I had never experienced congestion like that before. When we finally made it to the hotel we quickly checked in and made our way to Downtown Disney to find some food and wander around a little bit.
We ended up having a hearty meal at the Earl of Sandwich. I highly recommended it after eating at the one in what was at the time Downtown Disney (now Disney Springs) in Orlando, Florida. Everyone else seconded my seal of approval soon afterwards.
Well, that was the end of our long and adventurous day. Can anyone guess where we went the following day?