I quickly fueled up and then I swung by the Jack Creek Farms. I wanted to thank the gal for helping out yesterday when I had gotten lost. I also still wanted to take some more time and check out the cute shop there. I ended up purchasing a bit of hand lotion and a couple of flavored honey straws.
|Photo- A scarecrow boating along Main Street in Cambrai.|
Off I went through the rainy landscape on Hwy 46 towards the beach and turned north on Hwy 1. I was going towards Cambria, a cute town nestled in a valley just off shore. I decided to take a quick drive through its Main St. They were having a Scarecrow Festival the whole month of October. As I drove along I would see scarecrows in front of almost every shop or restaurant. Unfortunately, because of the weather some of them were covered in plastic but not all. There were all kinds of scarecrows; some in rowboats, some dressed in elaborate dresses, construction workers, Snoopy, cyclists, surfers, and characters from movies. I pulled over to take a few pictures; especially when I saw the row of scarecrows on bikes.
|Photo- Bicycling, surfing, and Snoopy Scarecrows... NOW I've seen it all!|
A short time later, I was on a bus headed up with the hill to Hearst Castle along with about 15 Japanese tourists. One of which was taking a picture of everything in the bus and out of the bus on the way up. The rest seemed to be a bit more restrained with their cameras on the way up. Meanwhile a pre-recorded message played Alex Tribeck’s voice as the bus headed up the hill we learned of history and animals that used to be on the property.
It was a bit surreal climbing the hill seeing glimpses of the castle here and there as you got closer. It was awe inspiring and with some amazing views too. The road up had been designed by architect Julia Morgan to let you see the castle and then go around a bend only to lose sight of the castle. In fact, she was the architect on the castle and collaborated with Mr. Hearst to build the castle. There were a lot of references made to her during the tour later on.
|Photo- Getting the Japanese translation.|
|Photo- Hearst Castle from one of the terraces.|
|Photo- The Receiving Room.|
|Photo- Gold touches that are real gold all throughout and on the Castle.|
No messing around with the fake stuff here.
|Photo- The Dining Hall.|
|Photo- The tour guide explaining meals at Hearst Castle.|
Then, it was on through a gothic door way to a den like room where there were unique chandeliers and another carved ceiling area. Though, this ceiling was painted and Moorish in nature we were told. They were currently trying to restore the original colors. This ceiling was not as tall as the other two rooms, and the size of the room was maybe about half of the dining room. Our tour guide explained that often after dinner there was conversation and then the guests were expected to go into the billiards room. Eventually, they were expected to go in to the theater room and watch a movie. The bedtimes were almost 2 to 3 AM. All were expected to be present. Quite often, Mr. Hearst would see his guests off for the night and then would go upstairs and work. He would wire off instructions to companies all over. He wasn’t much of a sleeper.
|Photo- The Moorish details in the ceilings and gothic doorways.|
Then we went through another gothic arched door way into the Billiards Room. This room was long and narrow but maybe half the size of the dining hall. It also had the Moorish ceiling with chandeliers. There were two pool tables. There were Persian art mosaics on one wall and a row of gothic arched windows overlooking an open terrace on the other wall.
|Photo- The Theater Room statues.|
Then, we exited the Theater Room and were allowed to wander the gardens and grounds at our leisure. There were several other houses around the castle; most of them built prior to the castle. The landscaping and the statues were amazing. There were fountains and a Neptune Pool area that just took your breath away. There were terraces where you could see views of the surround area; that just happened to be shrouded in rain clouds today but I imagine on a clear day would have been glorious. I walked around enjoying and taking pictures. What a wonderful way to spend the day!
|Photo- Wonderful statues intermixed with landscaping.|
|Photo- The Neptune Pool area was just amazing!|
Eventually, I had seen everything and started for the Tennis Courts and the Roman Pool that was below the Tennis Courts. This was where the bus picked you up to take you back down the hill. I heard Roman Pool but wasn’t prepared for this Roman Pool. OMG! It was amazing.
|Photo- The Roman Pool which is 10 ft. deep but doesn't look it.|
I got back to the visitor’s center and wondered around a bit in the gift shops and what not but it was getting to be almost 3:30PM and I needed to be at a hotel in Thousand Oaks for the night. I had about a 3 hour drive ahead of me.
|Photo- Morro Bay with a sunnier weather than earlier in the day.|
Next, I was on my way chasing the sun and driving towards the outer edges of LA. Traffic was heavy at times but it kept a steady flow even when it was slowed down. I was kind of surprised because I was expecting it to be worse being a Friday night, but this wasn’t bad at all. I eventually found the exit and got checked into the hotel by 8PM. That was enough for one day.