Perhaps the sun has warmed me, or maybe it’s just impossible to be other than mellow while at the Montage. It could be because P. Milhous Weil (pronounced Vile) bought me a massage, and picked up the tab for last night’s dinner. Whatever it is, I am minded to overlook some of his more obvious shortcomings today. It helps that he is not around at moment, having gone for his own massage. Nonetheless, I am sure you can appreciate that there were many trying moments yesterday as we traveled to San Juan Capistrano to pay homage to the Vile hero, disgraced President Richard Nixon.
After an hour of diligent internet research, we had established that the Nixon home in nearby San Clemente was not open to the public. There was once a Nixon museum but it closed due to lack of interest. The only Nixon memorial we could find was in the El Adobe restaurant in San Juan Capistrano, which alleged that Tricky Dicky and Pat used to dine there once a month. P. Milhous Weil insisted we visit, and reserved the President’s old table.
The town also boasts a catholic mission to native americans, which was founded in 1776. I toured the chapel and the ruins while P Milhous Weil slept in the sun and looked forward to his lunch.
I discovered a plaque commemorating the visit of the new President to the Mission soon after his election. Should I reveal the connection or move swiftly on? I did the decent thing.
We then repaired to El Adobe where Weil insisted on checking the phones for bugs, to the bewilderment of the restaurant staff, most of whom were new borns in the year of Nixon’s death, 1994.
We were directed to two seventies dining chairs with high pleather backs. The Vile body fitted perfectly into the Presidential seat, while I assumed Pat’s position, while warning Milhous not to expect the kind of adoring looks usually mandated from First Ladies. We learned that the Nixons dined at the restaurant once a month when at the Western White House and had the loggia reserved for his exclusive use on these occasions. PMW ordered the President’s choice, a carb-laden plate of yellow brown slop. He pronounced it delicious.
Mexican restaurants present a problem for those practising for being thin, but I managed to find a shrimp and avocado sandwich (avocado is approved in small amounts because of all those health omega 3s). I ate only half the bread and ordered fruit instead of fries. History does not relate what poor Pat Nixon ordered when she occupied the same seat thirty years ago.