The 101

Trip Start Apr 16, 2012
Trip End Aug 14, 2012

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What I did
Hearst Castle

Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, May 10, 2012

Today was the last morning in LA and we were on a tight schedule to get to Steve and Paul’s house somewhere in Carmel. We had several places we needed to be and there was only limited time to do it all. Our initial take off was slightly slower than we would have liked and the traffic out of LA was less than ideal but we powered on never the less. We were going to return to the famous Hollywood sign for some photos as I may have made a mistake getting the shots two days before. Holly was less than impressed with how much time it had taken to get to the sign and rightfully so as my GPS had led us the back way!!!! Losing precious time we headed north along the 101 to head to San Luis Obispo to have a look around.

Lunch time had all of us hankering for an In and Out burger – the world famous burger bar that started over 100 years ago that was only in California up until the last 5 years where they put a store in Texas! It is famous for having only around 6 items on the menu, everything made fresh in store and cooked when you order it. They use real potatoes cut in house and they use a special sauce that is AMAZING!!! I was super excited as youtube clips show people crying over tasting their first burger from In and Out, the line was massive, and from youtube clips I believe it always is. We went inside and ordered a Cheeseburger done animal style. The burger was amazing, the only way I can describe it is imagine the secret sauce in a Big Mac and combine that with a fresh bun, crunchy lettuce, juicy tomato and yummy cheese! I felt extremely happy with my In and Out experience so with Marks tick of approval we continued on.

The 101 highway we were told was absolutely stunning with great views of the ocean and a scenic adventurous drive. Unfortunately ours was filled with fog most of the way. It was like driving through New Zealand but the roads didn’t feel quite as safe. The big cliffs looked down on us from above with very little protection in most parts to protect from rocks sliding down. We were lucky enough to not be there the week before when half a corner had disappeared! The view when we could see it was lovely, looking like the great Australian bite but with beautiful green stuff everywhere. We arrived in San Luis Obispo and had a look around and bought a few things and of we headed to Hearst Castle.

Hearst Castle was a massive mansion built atop a giant hill many years ago by a rich family man who wanted to build a dream European home in the middle of California. The house used to have a fully functioning zoo and apparently there are wild Zebras that still roam around from when they were released when the castle turned into a national park. We had a seriously hard time trying to get tickets to the tour as our phones kept cutting in and out around the bends, at one point I had given my credit card number and name and the line cut out. Holly was driving and was worried we weren’t going to make the last tour in time. Thankfully her fast driving and switching between our three phones to get service we got on the last tour just in time.

The Castle took about 30 minutes in a shuttle to get to the top of the castle and the castle was a mix of extreme extravagance and a lot of unfinished sides to the castle. The 4 story gigantic castle had beautiful rooms and a massive indoor and outdoor pool, yet the grand entrance was never finished because of finances Go figure!? Apparently the family lost interest and couldn’t be bothered paying to finish their father’s dreams. After the tour it was straight onto Steve’s house in Carmel and we were running late for dinner – Holly powered on and took the corners like a true kiwi. Even though I feared for my life at times I knew that I was in safe hands.

Steve greeted us with a nice big smile and was super excited to see us. He showed us around his beautiful house and our lovely big rooms. The most exciting part of the whole house was the dual shower – it had two showerheads from the top, 12 side firing jets and 2 hand held shower heads. Electronic panel with controls, I spent about 40 minutes in there playing with the settings, super cool! The same bathroom had his and hers toilets and his and hers sinks. Holly was super happy with this arrangement and Adam had the same style bathroom on a different level. Steve was gracious enough to take us out for dinner at their local Mexican place that was truly awesome and then we went home and crashed into our deliciously large king size beds.
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