July 16, 2008
This past weekend Marie, Cadence and I, along with her childhood friend Hunter and his partner Lee, took a little trip down to San Simeon for some camping, beach, and castle time. I had never been to Hearst Castle before, and had imagined it to be this huge castle on the ocean, but I was very surprised to see that it was way on top of a hill overlooking the beautiful pacific. But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself here....
Friday we headed down the 101 and across the 46 to the small town of Cambria, then up hwy 1 to San Simeon State Park. We had reservations in the "primitive camp" (i.e. no showers and clean pit toilets), which was just fine. Our site was on a bluff overlooking the ocean and the hills, and was just gorgeous. Surprisingly, we were allowed to have campfires (even though all of CA is burning), and, not one to pass on campfires, we bought some wood from the camp host and burned one down.
The following morning we went to Hearst Castle. Holy tourist trap! Well, not really a tourist trap, but there were a lot of tourists there. We all loaded on a bus and made the trek up the hill. Did you know the W.R. Hearst had a zoo there too? And that the relatives of his zebras are still roaming around there? Anyway, needless to say the castle lived up to it's extreme, lavish expectations. I LOVED it. The gardens were beautiful, the pool was something out of a movie, the indoor swimming pool took 3 years to tile, and the "small" guest house was, like, 5,000 square feet. I was taking pics non-stop. Our tour lady was very informative, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is nearby.
After the tour, we headed out to the beach for some serious lounge/beer drinking time. I watched Cadence while the boys took a walk, and Marie (almost) took a swim. The weather was just perfect - not too hot, but warm enough to wear shorts and a tank top. We were expecting it to be freezing (come on, it's the Central Coast!) but we were very surprised to have such great weather.
All in all, it was a lovely weekend! I can't wait to go back and bring Paul on the tour. The campground we stayed at was also great, and would recommend to anyone that has kids (if I were a kid, I would LOVE it there!)