How does the saying go? Something about how it’s all about the travel and not the destination, right? Well sometimes, the destination is also ridiculously fabulous and worth just as much time enjoying. Especially if you can pretend that you’re living in the lap of 1800’s luxury.
Ah, to spend a day in the shoes of William Randolph Hearst . . .
Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA
So my birthday trip included an extra surprise—a trip to a castle. And not just any castle—Hearst Castle. La Cuesta Encantada. A gorgeous and massive edifice built by shipping individual pieces of European castles across the Atlantic Ocean, transporting them to the California coast, and then lugging them, piece by piece, up the winding, uphill path to the castle location.
Epic. And crazy, once you see the sheer magnitude of the 165 room, 4-building, 2-pool location.
On the grounds, looking down towards the Pacific Ocean, I felt like Simba, being shown his lands. “As far as the eye can see!”
Oh, but I dream.
Mr. Hearst apparently was a great collector of art, sculpture, and tapestries (he and I would get along, clearly). There are sculptures littering the gardens, and there was no uncovered surface within the house. Everything had a tapestry or some ancient piece of art.
He even had his own theatre! And two pools! One of which had solid. Gold. Tile.
My heart, be still.
Fabulous, fabulous. If anyone wants to give me a house—scratch that, castle—like Hearst Castle, I gladly accept!
Ah well. After our tour of the rooms, we wandered the grounds a little more, and then made our way back to Rt. 1/PCH, where we managed to capture a gorgeous sunset near Morro Bay.
And so ended an amazing trip down the coast for my birthday. We spent the next day slowly driving back up, stopping first in Paso Robles to do some wine tasting, and then enduring the remaining 104+ degree weather of Central California as we made our way back to chilly San Francisco. I look forward to what this year will bring!