Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hearst Castle

One of my best friends (Yay, Meg!) from college got married this past weekend in San Luis Obispo. While that could be a whole post in and of itself (such a fun wedding/college reunion), this post is dedicated to what I did the day AFTER her wedding...

Funny how I went to college only 45 minutes away from Hearst Castle and somehow during those four years at Cal Poly, I never made it to Hearst Castle. Well, it only took me another four years since graduating college to actually get in my tour of Hearst Castle. With that, the day after Meg's wedding, Jason and I made the short drive from San Luis Obispo to San Simeon, the home of Hearst Castle.

I really didn't know much about Hearst Castle (or William Randolph Hearst) going into the tour, but boy did I learn a lot! The tour started with a five mile bus ride through the hills to make the 1000 foot ascent up to Hearst Castle. The bus ride gives you a history of the Hearst Family and the construction of the castle, plus a beautiful view to enjoy along the way.

View from Hearst Castle

Upon arriving at the castle, we were shown the outside of one of the many guests houses (or mansions) - this guest house has 18 rooms! (We saw four bedrooms and a sitting room).

Casa Del Sol - Spanish Style

We then saw the outside pool and wow, this was awesome. Mr. Hearst and his wife were all about bringing European culture and architecture to their estate, and the pool was one of my favorite demonstrations of that. Loved the ancient Roman and Greek history here.

The Neptune Pool and Roman Pool

Apart from the pool, the gardens were probably my favorite part. The vegetation was so colorful - I couldn't stop taking pictures.

The last stop of the tour was the main house. We viewed two of the sitting rooms, the dining room, the billiard room, and the theater. And of course, we couldn't have a complete tour without viewing the indoor pool.

Casa Grande - The main house

Assembly Room

The Refectory - one very long table

The Indoor Pool

I had so much fun exploring Hearst Castle and feeling a part of another century. Too bad I waited so many years to visit when I was so close for so many years...

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