Thursday, July 18, 2013

Road Trip Diary / Day 3

Day 3
We woke up early the next morning and hurried to get packed again and on the road. It was a 4 hour drive from San Fransisco to Hearst Castle and we had to make it there for our 1pm tour. We drove by tons of strawberry (strawberry fields for-ev-er!) and artichoke fields. It was pretty cool. For those of you who don't know what an artichoke plant looks like, they are huge. I only know because we have one in our garden. So driving past a field full of them is crazy. They need tons of space for them, so there were just fields full of these monstrous plants. We stopped at a farm stand on the side of the road and got some artichokes, (we thought they would be a great thing to bring down to Arizona) local raw honey, pistachios (in like 3 flavors) and gummys for the Princess.
We were also able to quickly snap these gems.


Artichoke family.
On highway 1 we started driving along the ocean. It is such a gorgeous drive.




We tracked our miles along the way and hit 1000 miles right next to a place called the Coast Cafe at 11:03am, just south of Big Sur. As we were driving along the ocean it comes to a point where there is just the highway, the cliff and the ocean. A little unnerving, but beautiful. We passed through Carmel (where I definitely want to go stay sometime) where there are tons of huge mansions perched on the cliffs overlooking the ocean. We definitely saw a few Ferrari's and fancy cars driving along the way, if that gives you more of an idea. There were a few cute little hotels and bed and breakfasts tucked away into the hill that looked amazing. I am definitely fantasizing about going on a romantic getaway there with the hubby already.

10 mins before we got to Hearst Castle, we saw hundreds of Elephant Seals snuggled up on the beach.


Aw! So cute!


I guess its their regular spot, because they have viewing decks set up year long to watch them. They are freaking huge! It was so cool to see. Most were napping all cozy on the beach, but some we burying themselves in the sand and some were swimming in the water. I would definitely pee my pants if I saw one of them swimming in the water along-side me. Just their heads alone are huge.

10 mins of driving later we got to Hearst Castle.
If you've never been, you should go sometime. Its very cool. We got there just before our tour started and we found out that they don't allow strollers on the tour (because of the amount of stairs and lack of space on the tour bus that takes you up the hill). So consequently my husband had to race back to the car with the strollers and we had to carry both girls, plus all their stuff. Ugh! A sweaty, squirming 15 month old makes it a little tough to enjoy the tour! But at least I had seen it all before. And really, the girls were both pretty well behaved. Here are some pics of the castle.
That top balcony up there was Hearst's private rooms.

Neptune Pool. See Venus down there?


The indoor pool. See the diving board? So Great Gatsby.
 It was so fun to imagine living back in the 1930's and seeing this house. Hearst would invite all the rich and famous, who would go stay for the weekend, you know, in their own private house on the property. They would smoke and drink and play card games in one room, then head to the large dining hall for dinner, then have dessert and more drinks in another room. Oh yeah, and during the day you could swim in one of the two pools, go horse back riding or hiking, play tennis at the tennis courts, go for a hike, walk down the hill to the ocean....rough life huh? And all while listening to what I like to call "Happy music". Dreamy.


Princesses of the castle
After the tour, we got back in the car and drove another 4 hours to Los Angeles and met my sister and brother for dinner at a very cool, modern, Italian place called Hostaria del Piccolo. We all had amazing pasta and the girls had pizza. Pasta with mushrooms and truffle oil? Yum. Then we retreated to the beautiful house we were staying at, tucked away neatly in the Laurel Canyon hills.

To Be Continued...

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