February 12, 2010
Walked around Pismo beach this morning..very pretty beach.
We decided it might be a good day to see the Hearst Castle. We drove there and parked in the big parking lot and caught the tour bus up to the castle (5 mile ride). We signed up for Tour 1, there are 4 different tours. We were told by some locals to go for #1 your first visit.
I truly felt as though I stepped into another world. I have never seen anything like it, nor will I ever again in this lifetime I am sure. I will just give you a short history as I knew nothing about the Hearst family (other than Patty Heart's story) before our tour.
Mr. G. Hearst was a very weathly silver miner and he purchsed 40, 000 acres of ranchland (we were told the California piece he only paid $30,000..hard to believe). His only son William R. Hearst inherited the land from his mother. By then the ranch had grown to encompass 250,000 imagine that for a backyard...with the most incredible views you will ever see. William R. Hearst as you can well imagine was a little spoiled...he was sent to Europe for 18 months for his 10th Birthday and that is where his love for collecting began. His first purchses were some kids German books and a persian rug....William R. Hearst became a very successful business man also and owned many magazines (still owned today by the Hearst family), broadcasting stations etc..By 1947 Hearst and Morgan (the lady architect) had created an estate of 165 rooms and 127 acres of gardens, terraces, pools and walkways. 3 guest houses. With an art and antique collection like you wouldn't believe. We had a tour of the neptune pool, the roman pool, the large guest house, entertainment room, dining room, games room, theatre.. The table in the dining room was so long and they told us about the movie stars, politians etc that were always invited (Clark Gable, Howard Huges, Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, Cary Grant, Winston Churchill...etc..)..At one time there was even an elaborate zoo on the property.
One of the tour guides who found out we were from Canada told us that Dan Ackroyd and James Belushi and one of the Hearst grandchildren just had a tour 4 months ago and Dan and James took off all their clothes down to their boxers and jumped off the diving platform in the roman pool too funny...it is all mosiac tiles with gold. Anyway if you have a chance to google this castle take a quick look....This was only 1 of his 7 vacation homes and I thought Oprah had a lot of money...
We are really enjoying the drive up Hwy 1. This coast line is just amazing!
Deb & Bill