Driving north on HWY 1

Trip Start Apr 04, 2007
Trip End Apr 15, 2007

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Flag of United States  , California
Friday, April 13, 2007

Today we went to the Hearst Castle just outside of San Simeon. The tour started at a visitor center at the base of a large hill and the Hearst Castle was perched at the top of that hill. We took a bus up a winding road to the mansion. William Hearst was a bit of an eccentric. He inherited millions from his parents as he was the only child. His father was in the silver business and William Hearst not only inherited millions but made his own fortune in the publishing business. He started having this mansion built in 1919. Many celebrities visited this home like Howard Hughes, Clark Gable, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby just to name a few. Mr. Hearst was an avid art collector and there are pieces in the home worth $15 million. He had a zoo on the premises with many different exotic animals. The Hearst family left the mansion and most of the furnishings to the state of California. When this happened most of the animals were given to California zoos but some Zebra still roam the area. The gardens were just beautiful all around the mansion. He had sculptures carved from marble all over the area. He had some art from auctions that date back to 1600's. The outdoor pool was absolutely beautiful all marble. There was also an indoor pool that was just as decorative. There were several guest quarters on the premises and we toured through those. He had all kinds of fruit trees growing on the grounds. But the most fabulous sight of all was the view of the Pacific coast and ocean. It was incredible and the home was built so that most of the bedrooms had panoramic views of the ocean. Once the tour was finished we headed up HWY 1 up the Pacific Coast. The views were incredible! The waves were about 9 feet high crashing onto the rocks. I have never been to Hawaii but this is how I imagined it would look. The coastal range was lush green and the cliffs so beautiful with the ocean below. We stopped many times along the way to take pictures. We had lunch at the Rocky Point Restaurant. The restaurant was right on a hillside next to the ocean. We had beautiful views of the rocky cliffs and ocean during our lunch. We then took a little hike out on the rocks to get some close up pictures of the ocean. It was wonderful! We could have stayed there all day but the wind was quite cold coming off the ocean. We decided to head on up to Monterey. We went to fisherman's wharf in Monterey (not to be confused with the Fisherman's Wharf in San Fran). Kevin and I got a good deal on a couple of coats at the Wharf. We will need them when we go whale watching tomorrow especially if the wind keeps gusting like it has the last few days.
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