Thursday, January 18, 2007

got to stompin in the Air Force One

last weekend i flew out to cali to attend H's work holiday party. it was held in the Air Force One Pavilion of the Ronald W. Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, which is basically a colossal glass room built to show off the plane "at a 2° incline creating a feeling that it is taking off on another important mission."


courtesy of www.reaganlibrary.net

it's hard to see, but on the balcony to the left of this picture (where the big red soviet flag is hanging) is where we entered. in order to get downstairs, we had to walk through the plane down to the bar, set up where the oldschool police car and that one guy are. then later we followed another set of steps down to the right, where they'd set up dinner. it's better lit because of the floor-to-ceiling windows.

before we got onto the plane, they stopped each couple to take a photo for a souvenir. looking back, we should have waved like they do in all the presidential pr shots, but they shuffled us through so fast we didn't even have time to think, let alone set down our programs. they didn't give us much time to look around in the plane, either, but that didn't stop me from asking questions. the first was if it were true that any plane the president is on is technically "Air Force One." yep. in fact, the guy told me, in a verbose and rehearsed way, that nixon thought it was ridiculous to have a private plane, so he bought two tickets on United one time and didn't tell anyone. secret service found out right before and spent a ridiculous amount of money getting clearance for the plane and all the people on it that cost so much more than just having a private plane. so after that, they've always had a private jet. they have a mural on the wall opposite the one with the windows that shows every Air Force One that all the presidents had (some have different paint, etc.) and they have a very tiny United plane way off in the distance to mark the one flight that had caused so much trouble.

the other question i asked was of the sentry guarding the little kitchen area, where they had a luscious-looking fluffy chocolate cake, topped all around with cherries. though it was plastic, i was hungry enough to comment. the woman nearby said reagan kept one of those on board at all times just in case it was someone's birthday. plus he really liked chocolate cake. before i could ask about more trivia, the backlog of people forced us off the plane and into the party. it's a shame because there were several plane guards who obviously are well-versed in reagan-air-force-one-ology and i am rarely short on questions. besides, i wanted to have good anecdotes to come home and tell my pops, as ronnie is his favorite president.

the rest of the party was pretty standard. hors d'oeuvres, a buffet, drink tickets, a dessert table. they handed out awards for outstanding employees and even had a comedian. David Crowe had a great bit about second-hand drinking (click on video 1) that i thought was a gem. it got a big laugh, which was tricky because they put him on while people were eating an experience killer for any comedian. i thought he was funny.

we ate and chatted and then H was heartbroken that neither of us won the 42-inch flatscreen television they were raffling off. he wanted it so badly that for .025 of a second he considered dancing. yeah, they'd put on some ridiculous song when they called out the numbers and if you didn't dance to satisfaction, they wouldn't let you have it. that must have been some sweetass television, too, because this guy likes dancing as much as he'd like a root canal.

at the end of the night, we froze our collective booty off while walking up the hill to the car. being from chicago, i hadn't brought a dress coat to go with my red dress because, duh, i was going to southern california. however in a cruel temperature snafu, that day it was 20 degrees COLDER in southern california than it was back home. and today it SNOWED. there is something just a little messed up about that, but i'm not going to complain because it's probably the last minibreak i'll be having for a while.

12 comments:

omar said...

Give me two perrrrs, I need two perrrrs
So I can get to stompin in my air force ones..."


I'll forgive you for getting that song in my head, because I really liked this post. I'm all about presidential history, food, and big TVs.

ML said...

Wow, what an interesting visit to Air Force One. And, yeah, I would have a ton of questions too. Too bad you could't have stayed longer to ask them.

Sorry about freezing! The weather is so weird.

beenzzz said...

You are so lucky! That would have been incredible fun, except for freezing your tush off. What's with the snow in odd places? Guess it's time to listen to good old Al Gore and global warming....

Jon said...

I'm not going to lie (like I usually do), I never attended flight school or anything, but I'm not so sure that 2 degrees is the optimal angle for take off... I'll bet a lot of people say they didn't even notice.

Anonymous said...

Two days ago it snowed in Malibu. So it looks like you missed the really cold weather.

The Stormin Mormon said...

I love it, the snow is awesome.

It sounds like Air Force one was a blast. I love history and I would have been full of ridiculous questions.

I did not know that each president had a different plane. My Air Force One would be baller. A kick ass sound system, a dance floor, and some crazy paint job. Just think, Mr. President grinding on the dance floor to "We Fly High" at 40,000 feet...

If I got elected I think I would be impeached in days...

Guyana-Gyal said...

Something ate my comment.

I was saying that that bit about Nixon was just too good and funny! Snow in the oddest places! Here must be the only place it hasn't touched.

ale said...

snow in cali? i thought we were on the global warming track?

Guyana-Gyal said...

Beause of 'global warming' the weather will start to act weird, Ale, so I've heard...heaven knows who to believe these days.

Syar said...

I don't know why but I love (American) presidential stuff. I watched both documentaries they showed here on Air Force One and The White House. Sounds like a cool experience.

Too bad about the flat screen though.

Lia said...

I'm so jealous. That is an incredibly cool place to have a party, and it sounds like your experience on Air Force One was way better than mine visiting the Concorde. Which is a good thing, because AFO is cooler than the Concorde. You win.

cadiz12 said...

it was pretty cool. sorry to hear you were disappointed with the Concorde. i would have assumed that'd be sweet, too.

i don't know what to think about this weather. walking around downtown isn't as fun when the windchill is 10 degrees F