USS Ronald Reagan in Santa Barbara

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Over the weekend, the aircraft carrier the USS Ronald Reagan was docked in Santa Barbara. The HOTY & I had the great and amazing good fortune to tour it. Uh huh. I am still pinching myself. I have to tell you that it was one of the coolest most amazing and jaw dropping experiences of my life. Talk about a major Silver Lining, one that I will always remember!

Now we were not the only ones on the ship. We were invited to be a part of a reception on board. When the HOTY wandered about (which he is apt to do), he met an officer and asked him, “Is there anything that we need to see?”  Well, the officer turned out to be the MOST amazing Silver Lining when he said, “Come with me.” He proceeded to take us to places that many if not most civilians do not get to see.  He could not have been more charming or generous with his time, information, and enthusiasm!

We learned a TON on this particular afternoon. Did you know that the USS Ronald Reagon is the most effective and versatile fighting vessel in the world? Or that it was the first nuclear-powered warship of any kind to be named after a former president who was still living at the time? Or that it required over $4.5 billion to make (Uh-Huh!)? This warship has been apart of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, has served in the Persian Gulf and the Philippines.  Yeah… this warship is kind of a big deal!

The ship holds 5,500 sailors (75% men & 25% women), most of whom were able to break away from their normal schedule at sea and come ashore to experience Santa Barbara for a few days. It was wonderful to see all of the uniforms in and about town.  I never tire of saying “THANK YOU” to those in uniform.

Here are some more photos from the day:

USS Regan | The Silver Pen

THIS is where OFFICERS sleep!  Teeny, tiny bunks, 3 to a room. And the sink? Also for THREE officers. Can you imagine how small the quarters are for the enlisted folks? Wowsy. This gives me a whole new appreciation for space!

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Classic, right?!?Layout 1We went onto the Commander’s deck – the place where it ALL happens!  Oh my goodness, was it ever A-MA-ZING!  They draw on the window numbers, locations, graphs, etc. It was so fab.

Layout 1Here is the ship! Perhaps I could have started with that image. Alas.

Layout 1It is so hard to give you the full scope on the size of the ship.  Imagine 3, football fields end-to-end.

Layout 1This sign kinda scared me.  Actually, it kinda scared the officer who was touring us.  You see, these are the people who, when there is a fire or biological incident literally run toward and often into the middle of it.  These folks are “nuts” as was described to us, but also admired and appreciated more than any other people on the ship.

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 Patriotism everywhere we looked!

Layout 1Each of us wore a pin to get on the boat.  I thought it looked quite chic against the HOTY’s seersucker suit.

Layout 1The (heavily armed!) Coast Guard patrolled the waters around the ship while it was docked in the channel.  Every time I turned around I saw another one!  I certainly felt safe.

Touring this massive warship reminded me of the utmost gratitude & appreciation that I have for the US Navy and all of the men and women in the armed services who serve our country each and every day.  By the way, the officer who toured us works 16 hour days, 6 to 7 days a week. Yes, it is that intense.


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  1. E.B. says

    Great man, governor, President. LOVED him. My parents and I had the chance to meet him, up close and personal, when I was very, very young, I looked at him and said "Wow, you are TALL!" He was lovely.

  2. Carolee Groux says

    What an amazing tour you had; and all because your husband asked a question, to the right officer at the right time in the right place. How interesting to see this huge carrier up close and gain a real appreciation for what it's like to be at Sea serving on one. I see that you were fashionably dressed in red, white, and blue for the occasion; showing your patriotism as well.
    It was also very nice to receive a commemorative keepsake pin of the CVN 76 carrier. Remember the USS Ronald Reagan motto:"Peace Through Strength"

    • silverpen says

      Right, Carolee?!? Sometimes you just have to ask! Love the Motto as well. It was a very special day indeed. :)

  3. Rosie Feinberg says

    wow!! love hearing all the details, and for some odd reason I teared up! so thank you for sharing..