Hearst Castle

Trip Start Mar 15, 2006
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of United States  , California
Friday, April 27, 2007

We finally made our trip to the Hearst Castle! Needless to say, it was amazing. About an hour north of Pismo Beach and worth the drive.(It was a beautiful drive up the PCH) Before the tour, we watched the movie about WR Hearst's life as a child and how a year and a half trip to Europe at age 10 drastically influenced his life. We've visited the Vanderbilt estate in Newport RI and the Biltmore estate in Asheville NC.  The Hearst Castle was every bit as amazing. Now run by the state of CA, the estate is kept in immaculate condition. You could almost see some of its previous guests, Clark Gable, Howard Hughes and Calvin Coolidge to name a few. I'm not sure what's most impressive, the castle itself, the fact that a woman was the general contractor or the fact that Hearst was in his late fifties when he started construction.

After we took the tour, we drove a little further north to see the 'Elephant Seals.' Hundreds of them laying everywhere. We learned that the adults migrate to Alaska every year and what we were seeing was the younger seals. They were molting and therefore varied in color. A tour guide took a few minutes to educate the boys about how the adults reach 5,000 lbs and lose about half of that in the summer time when they lay on the beach for 4-6 weeks and eat nothing. The boys were impressed by the seals, but even more impressed with all of the squirrels that greet you when you get out of the car. They weren't shy at all and Keegan and Collin fed them by hand.

On the way back we stopped at the farmers market in San Luis Obispo. One of the best parts about our time in CA has been these markets. Phenomenal weather, historic little downtowns and some the best food in town. Tonight happened to be the 'Rib Cook-off.' We ate plenty and stocked up on some fresh produce.(when you live in an RV that means 3 tomatoes and a couple courts of strawberries:)
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