Joe and Nancy

Joe and Nancy
Our Home on Wheels (Click on image above for our web albums.)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

William Randolph Hearst Castle, and the Seals

Hearst Castle

Wednesday morning at the Wine Country RV Park and it was beginning to clear from the all night rain and howling wind.  So, we headed out for the Hearst Castle over in San Simeon on the coast.  I took almost 200 photos and several videos, but space will only permit me to upload a fraction of those.

To the left of this VIP entrance is the main kitchen

We took tour #1 and tour #2 and each took about 90 minutes, with a 45 minute break between them.  So we were busy most of the day.  I must say that tour #2 was much better than the overview tour #1.  We got to go on different floors and see much more.  We also saw Mr. Hearst's personal bedroom as well as many other guest bedrooms and the main kitchen.  It takes the large buses about 15 minutes to go up the 5 miles of paved road to the castle.
Bus that transported us

Original Hearst residence while the castle was being built

Roman type pool, near olympic size

Other end of the pool

Overlooking a terrace towards the northeast

One of many fruit trees on the sprawling landscape

First of four guest houses built (we went thru this one)
Rack of 29 newspapers Hearst owned in one of the halls

One of the dining rooms

Nancy going up one of the many spirals we walked

One of the many guest bedroom; the guide provided a commentary of a long list of Hollywood and world renown VIPs that stayed in the various bedrooms.

One of the studies

Miss Nancy following the gang down a perimeter hall way where the bedrooms were located; they were on four different levels.

More bedrooms on the right down this hallway

Mickey Rooney's BR; one of four built in 1934 to honor Mr Hearst's 71st birthday
The Castle, along with these newer bedrooms was designed and built by Julia Morgan, an architect and civil engineer. Mr Hearst entrusted her with spending his 10 million dollars to build the Castle over a 15 year period.

Part of the large main kitchen

Mr Hearst had several rules in order to stay in good graces.  One was do not pick fruit or mess with the landscapes, and do not drink to inibriation.  And do not just sit around.  He wanted folks to be active during their visits to The Enchanted Hill, as he called it.  Swim, play tennis, go hiking, go horseback riding, etc...

First guest house

3000 years old
Most of the ornate statues, furniture, art, tapestries, fireplaces, and very ornate carved wooden ceilings were imported from Europe.  This one was from China.

One of the terrace views

Main entrance in the front

Main dining room with silver from all over Europe

One of the walnut carved ceilings

One of the many imported fireplaces

Mr Hearst's study, just off his bedroom

Large indoor pool; both pools were heated, when guests were present.

Mr Hearst's study

Another view of the indoor pool

Joe and Nancy at the outdoor pool; by the way, both pools can be rented for special occasions.

About 4 miles north of the Castle, you'll find a vista that overlooks a breeding grounds for the Northern Elephant Seals.  We saw several bulls interacting, oe should I say discussing whose part of this beach really belongs too.  All the pups that were recently born within the past six weeks were resting next to their Mothers or with other pups.


You want sumame?  This is my house!


Most of the big bulls were loners, and were between the community and the ocean; I guess they served as sentries...
Well, our stay in Paso Robles would not be complete if we did not visit a couple of wineries.  So, Thursday found us doing just that, as the weather was beginning to worsen.  It rained most of the night and the wind so fierce, we had to bring in a couple of the windward slides.  We went to the Eberle Winery first, which included a tour of their cool cavern storage area.  After the tour we tasted a few of their wines and bought us a few bottles.  Our next winery was J Lohr.  The gentleman serving us here (Nancy does not drink, so I was the only taster) was from Pittsburg originally (everyone living in California is from somewhere other than California, it seems) and so we chatted for a while, tasted about 20 wines and I bought a few bottles.  For those of you who have been to Napa/Sonoma and other noted wine places in California, Paso Robles is unique in that almost all of the wineries do not charge for tasting.  Perhaps a marketing chance?  Who knows, but I for one ain't complaining.  :-)
Well, here we are in Oxnard, CA (parked in the Port Hueneme RV Park on the Base) Saturday morning (got here yesterday) watching the Nationwide race on the LCD.  I also got to mention the ride down 101 yesterday from PR to Oxnard:  It was wild!  Went thru dust clouds and violent rain & wind.  The motorhome was a handfull.  Guess we'll stay here a few days and head on down to San Diego Monday morning.  After that, we'll begin to make our way over to Scottsdale, via Borrego Springs.  Till next time, Joe & Nancy