Yesterday I had the good fortune to visit the former home of President Ronald Reagan, Rancho del Cielo, along with the stables and secret service outpost also found on the property. It’s not a place that’s open to the public, so I felt doubly excited to see it all.
The ranch is located at the tippy top of the Santa Ynez Mountain range, and the drive up is a little harrowing. One of my bosses told us a story about how her daughter, who was a toddler at the time, would talk about getting “the big spit” when she felt nauseous on car rides. It was an apt story. No one got “the big spit”, but it was touch and go for me for a while.
When we pulled into the drive a horse trotted alongside us for a moment, and (I kid not) a herd of deer grazed in a field nearby. This place is as bucolic as bucolic gets. I wouldn’t have been surprised to learn that Snow White hosts dinner parties there.
I think what struck me most was how perfectly, refreshingly simple it all was. The living room, dining room, kitchen, master bedroom, and bathroom all reminded me a bit of the rooms in my grandparents’ house (both sets). The house is something like 1800 sq. feet, and everything has been left just as it was when they lived there. I visited the Reagan Library not too long ago and thoroughly enjoyed it, yet I can’t help but feel like I know Reagan better now having seen his family photos, tiny bathroom, the twin beds in the Master bedroom pushed together with a monogrammed quilt, and boot-lined closet. Whatever your politics, you can’t help but respect that.
Here are some photos from our visit. I sadly used my cell phone, so the image quality is kind of gross: