Monday, June 28, 2010

Exploring California: Visiting Hearst Castle

I am decidedly adding a new chapter to my blog.  In addition to capturing brief snapshots of every day life, I would like to document my travels.  I have a love for travel coupled with a passion for architecture.  This can make for some scenic trips as well as beautiful photography.  Also, for anyone traveling my way, it may prove some helpful travel tips. 


The first week of June, 2010 Dave and I took a trip down the California coast to visit Hearst Castle.  We left San Jose in the early afternoon on Wednesday intending to arrive at the San Simeon Campground before dark.  From San Jose, we followed the Historic El Camino Real (also known as Highway 101) until we reached California Highway 46.  Points of interest along the way were Gilroy (famous for its fields of garlic),  Pinnacles National Monument (impending trip), and Mission San Miguel (pictures saved for a future post).



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Driving west along Highway 46 was a fortunate stroke of serendipity as we cut through miles of sprawling vineyards, refined wineries, and gorgeous mountain vistas that fell off into the Pacific Ocean with the setting sun.








We chose to pitch our tent at the Washburn Area of the San Simeon Campground, and enjoyed an easy hike Thursday morning along these trails.


We had advance-purchase tickets for the Experience Tour at Hearst Castle; which proved an eclectic experience.  Personally, I didn't care much for the castle itself.




Just so cozy, and inviting...




Home Sweet Home...anyone?



The gardens and vistas, however, were phenomenal.













I was also captured by the hundreds of minute architectural details.






The Greco-Roman Neptune Pool






And my personal favorite...the indoor Roman Pool; decorated from floor to ceiling with 1" square mosaic tiles.  Absolutely breathtaking.  And yes, I took all of these pictures myself.


We drove back to San Jose Thursday afternoon along California's scenic Highway 1.      


I have never seen the water so blue as it was this first week in June.  



Some attractions we passed along the way include:  Los Padres National Forest, Soda Springs Trails, Treebones Resort, Elephant Seals, Plaskett Creek Campground, Sand Dollar Beach, Kirk Creek Campground, Big Sur, and of course Carmel & Monterey. 

5 comments:

  1. So beautiful! Brian and I did a very similar trip about 4 years ago, I love all the sights along the California coast. I love that you are posting so much now, it's great seeing a glimpse into your life!

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  2. Husband-man DaveJune 28, 2010 at 7:12 PM

    Home sweet home...Ha!

    Somehow, If that were my ugly, awful, poorly-designed house, I could drown my sorrows in one of my many pools...if I were too lazy to go to the beach that is.

    And while the best pictures are definitely yours, I can take credit for at least one of them. =)

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  3. That picture of the view from a patio out to the ocean looks like the house of Cary Grant's grandmother in An Affair to Remember.

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  4. I remember going to Hearst Castle as a little girl. Your pictures of it are BEAUTIFUL! I love that part of California!

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