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  1. #1

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    Tink and Tech's Road Trip of Insanity... to Hearst Castle and beyond

    Ok, it took a week to plan this trip. Thank heavens that everything fit into place. Special thanks to some MC friends who recommended a couple places in Central California. Also Priceline really saved us some time and money. And a thank you to my Mom who made it possible by watching the kids for two consecutive nights.

    On May 7th around 6pm Tink and I dropped the kids off at my mom's and headed up to Cambria CA. I've been throughout CA, never to Hearst Castle. The drive was "entertaining" to say the least. One thing I noticed about Central CA is that they do not label the offramps in the normal "gas food lodging" sort of way. There are also a lot of trees so you don't always know what was on that offramp until you see it in your rear view mirror. Once passed, the next offramp to turn around is likely in the next zip code! I'm also not a big fan of Google Maps, which sent up over the 154. Anyone going from the LA area to the Castle just go 101 to the 1... the 154 only shaves off about 10 minutes and it is SCARY to drive. We stopped along the way for gas, also stopped at a Denny's for dinner. Around 1130pm we checked in.

    We stayed at the Sea Otter Inn, right off the highway and right across a small street from Moonrock Beach. Sea Otter Inn Cambria California is the address. HIGHLY recommended. You are literally 45 ft from the coast, and less then 5min from Hearst Castle.




    There are several Inns along this little beach, this place was recommended by a friend and I was extremely happy with the results.


    Tink loved the mailbox... made me snap a picture of it.

    After a long drive all I wanted to do was sleep... and sleep we did... waking up sometime around 10am (for us parents that is sleeping in). I stepped outside and saw this




    These paths are there to protect the area and keep the grass from being trampled on. Little ground squirrels kept coming up to us. We also saw rabbits, and there were signs warning of snakes.


    Tink snapped this of me... really defines who we are... nature lovers at heart.


    a shot of the wild flowers
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  2. #2

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    Re: Tink and Tech's Road Trip of Insanity... to Hearst Castle and beyond

    This isn't the "beach" us southern californians are used to. This was a rocky tidepool beach. Tink is 7 months along and not really sure-footed with her belly, so she decided to sit this out on the steps.


    She's likely not going to be happy that I posted this but I LOVE this picture of her


    I am not fully zoomed in. This little guy was on a rock less then 30ft from where I stood.


    Mom and pup


    I can only imagine this is how the beach got it's name. The rock formations were bizarre to say the least. Mother Nature is a unique muse.


    Thankfully I knew better then to touch this beauty


    These guys were everywhere... I was always careful not to disturb them and to move slowly. The closest one was about 20ft, farthest maybe 35 at most... really not used to be so close to these amazing creatures.


    He kept starring at me so finally I snapped a picture. This one actually dove in and started swimming my way, so I decided to walk back to the stairs.


    And this guy ran right over my foot... wow... brave little crab.


    Ok the obvious don't be a moron signs... this is why I walked away when the seal started to swim towards me btw.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  3. #3

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    Re: Tink and Tech's Road Trip of Insanity... to Hearst Castle and beyond

    I know someone will ask "what did the room look like" so here goes.




    It's actually a gas fako fireplace attached to the thermostat... keeps you warm and looks nice but I would have preferred a real one to be honest.


    I have no use for a desk, but it was a nice little addition.


    This was a cool little detail in the bathroom

    My only other complaint about the room was that it is a VCR... but on the bright side there are A/V jacks if you bring your own DVD player. It's a small, quiet, side of the road place. They also have a really good breakfast spread in the morning.


    She's going to kill me... but Tink's belly now works as a shelf as well!


    This little guy was playing by our back window


    And this is the view across the street (looking inland obviously). Really just an amazing place to stay.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  4. #4

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    Re: Tink and Tech's Road Trip of Insanity... to Hearst Castle and beyond

    Checkout was 11am, and we didn't have anywhere to be until 1220 so we drove up the coast. The innkeeper recommended the Elephant Seal Colony, so why not...


    This guy was just asking for a photo... and then almost grabbed my camera.


    This time of year it is all females and juveniles, In a few months the bulls will come and then they start fighting etc. I think they said Jan to Feb was the pupping season.


    I know it looks creepy in a way.... but they are all making noise and flinging sand everywhere.


    A docent snapped a picture of us.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  5. #5

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    Re: Tink and Tech's Road Trip of Insanity... to Hearst Castle and beyond

    Nice! We've been up through there and loved it as well. Glad you guys had a nice trip alone. Now, where are the rest of the pics?

    Thanks for sharing and tell Tink she looks beautiful!

  6. #6

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    Re: Tink and Tech's Road Trip of Insanity... to Hearst Castle and beyond

    I loved hearst castle, but I had an overwhelmimg feeling of sadness and despair while touring it.

    We did two tours I think. I really didn't like having to ride the bus back and forth for each tour either, but it was gorgeous there.

  7. #7

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    Re: Tink and Tech's Road Trip of Insanity... to Hearst Castle and beyond

    I've wanted to make this trip since I was a boy. My main fascination was sculpture and architecture. Over the years I read several books about the property and about Hearst himself... this is by far the best anniversary present.




    The way it is laid out is you enter a visitor center, and then take a bus up to the actual property for your tour. Once the tour is over you are bussed back to the visitor center.


    She hates it when I do something like this...


    a couple steps up to the property


    for some reason I thought this looked cool. Reminded me of something from Batman to be honest.


    Giant marble fountain carving thingy


    Tink standing in front of marble fountain thingy


    another cool sculpture.

    Right around this fountain is where our two tour guides explained the ground rules. No eating, smoking, or drinking. When inside no flash photos (to protect the various artwork etc.). Also she would wait for the whole group to gather before going into her spiel. If we need further assistance there would be a second guide in the rear of the tour keeping a watch on everyone.


    View from the terrace. That long strip in the distance is Hearst's private airfield.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  8. #8

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    Re: Tink and Tech's Road Trip of Insanity... to Hearst Castle and beyond

    Scubabe, my husband didn't notice it but it the castle made me feel 'off' as well. But it has a pervading mildewy sort of smell and that is one of the odors that really really bothers me, making me physically ill.

    More nice photos, Skip!

  9. #9

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    Re: Tink and Tech's Road Trip of Insanity... to Hearst Castle and beyond

    Mod's I know there is a fine line between sculpture and nudity... if any photo is deemed "too racy" please simply edit it. I am trying to keep from the more suggestive ones...


    Hearst LOVED marble sculptures and they are everywhere.


    This is the largest of the guest houses. We tour part of it later on. The figure of David on top of the fountain is a replica.


    One of the marble pool columns


    Now this is a pool


    The pool "fountain". This is commonly called the Neptune pool.


    It's all about the details. This is the colonnade roof.


    better fountain shot


    hand carved marble ladders to get out of the pool... how cool is that!


    This is the overview of the pool. The first version of this built was actually in that center oval. The second was the larger oval and then Hearst wanted even more dug out for his fountain. Those six pillars are from Greece and supposedly 4000 years old.
    Last edited by techskip; 05-15-2010 at 11:47 AM.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  10. #10

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    Re: Tink and Tech's Road Trip of Insanity... to Hearst Castle and beyond


    Now up to the garden... I LOVE this eagle


    I know these days everyone has a lion on something... but I love the patina on these.


    Tink loves lillies


    haha it's just a lamp post... but even these are alabaster and marble all hand carved.


    One of my favorites


    a simple clay tile I was standing on up on the pavilion.


    Tink striking a pose


    Those are the same lions I also have a shot of the sculpture (Egyptian) but felt it was too racy for on here... this the back of the guest house. I noticed the woodwork...really reminded me of my time in Kuwait actually.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  11. #11

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    Re: Tink and Tech's Road Trip of Insanity... to Hearst Castle and beyond


    Sometimes it is the little things that make me smile


    More cool marble things


    If I remember correctly this is actually a real piece... personally I thought it just looked cool.


    A door of the guest house


    More cool marble stuff


    I love how they have this amazing lamp... and then a cord sticking out going into the wall... fail!


    cool side door


    Since I can't use a flash these are a bit dark but here is one of the bedrooms


    That ceiling is COOL


    neat dresser


    Tink loved the fireplace.


    bedroom #2 with major costal views.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  12. #12

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    Re: Tink and Tech's Road Trip of Insanity... to Hearst Castle and beyond


    I like the chest. The fans are in here to keep the heat down and preserve the pieces.


    Another cool fireplace.


    sweet dresser

    I didn't bother with pics of the bathrooms because there really wasn't much in there. The 3rd bedroom pics also didn't turn out.


    I want one of these lamp posts


    At this point I pretty much started to ignore the main tour guide because she was completely useless... and because she didn't bother to wait for anyone like she promised. On the bright side I made friends with the second guide who was helpful... Honestly I was there for the experience. Just about anything a guide has to say can quickly be found in any of several books.


    I've seen guys do this to show off their arms but never a female form in this pose.


    The muses over a sarcophagus


    yet another cool lamp


    Most feel this is the postcard shot...


    Those are real Egyptian statues


    because it looks cool!
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  13. #13

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    Re: Tink and Tech's Road Trip of Insanity... to Hearst Castle and beyond

    I hung back a lot on the tour. The second tour guide was nice, but did try to rush me along....I obliged when I was done shooting.

  14. #14

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    Re: Tink and Tech's Road Trip of Insanity... to Hearst Castle and beyond


    supposedly a well cap... given specifically to him by his mother as a direct inheritance in her will. Most of her will was "entire property and contents" but this was a specific piece listed in it.


    That's a serious planting pot


    Main entry into the house. No longer allowed through here but it looks amazing.


    somewhat creepy but a headstone used as sculpture in a garden.

    Ok I am refraining from putting the fountain statue picture up, a bit too racy... it is said that Hearst convinced his mother to buy it... one look and it becomes obvious why.


    This is an early Spanish gate that once resided in a nunnery.This was my second attempt to engage the tour guide in a question. Once again she proved useless and at that point I just devoted myself to snapping pictures.


    Amazing view


    This is above the gates. The guy on a horse is a replica, the Madonna is the real thing.


    One of the bells from the bell tower


    This was over a window...


    more cool random marble stuff.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  15. #15

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    Re: Tink and Tech's Road Trip of Insanity... to Hearst Castle and beyond

    Quote Originally Posted by SCUBAbe View Post
    I hung back a lot on the tour. The second tour guide was nice, but did try to rush me along....I obliged when I was done shooting.
    The rushing was annoying but the main complaint was an overall lack of information and an inability on her part to answer the question. Instead she would repeat what she already said and dance around my specific questions. There was also a comment by the pool that bordered on insulting, I bit my tongue at the time and simply wrote a "nice" letter later on.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


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