On most holiday weekends, SpecialK’s office closes at 2 pm on the Friday beginning the weekend.
Last Friday was no exception. We had our bags packed, endured the traffic on the 405, up to the 101, and we were heading north. SpecialK had reserved a room for us, (in a very small nothing to do but go out and explore area), and we got there around 5:00 Friday evening. We checked in, and decided to go to Surf Beach. We got there right after the beach closed at 6:00 pm.
This brought back memories of the time I took an exit off I-95 and saw the sign for Quantico.
We headed back to our hotel, and took some of the food we packed out to the pool area for a picnic dinner.
The next morning, we awoke early, had breakfast at the hotel, and got back in the car to drive further north. We had 10:30 am reservations for the Casa Grande tour at Hearst Castle.
We parked, waited in line for our tickets, then waited until it was our time to board the bus. Imagine going up a twisty turning road on the side of a mountain in a bus. I think you get the idea.
Our tour included several of the parlors of the house, heard about how Cary Grant realized it was time to leave when seated next to the fireplace, and were reminded how smoking was thought to be good for the body.
We heard about how William Randolph Hearst ran a train from Los Angeles to bring his celebrity friends up for a visit. The rules of the house were simple. During the day guests were not to lollygag, but rather were to avail themselves of the entertainment. Play tennis, swim, read a book or visit with animals at the zoo William Randolph Hearst had on site. The other rule concerned dinner. Guests were required to attend. No exceptions. During the day, William Randolph Hearst worked on the third floor of his house. He wanted to be entertained at dinner with his guests reports of how they availed themselves of the entertainment choices he provided
After viewing some of William Randolph Hearst’s home movies in his viewing room, we were then released to roam the grounds as we wished.
We did exactly as instructed, saw the outdoor pool, currently being restored, and the tennis courts, complete with outdoor lighting for night time games. We eventually headed to the indoor pool, the destined departure point for the buses heading down the mountain.
While riding the bus down the mountain, we saw the enclosures where William Randolph Hearst kept his zoo. The animals were sold when there was an economic downturn, but we were told the zebras escaped capture!
Departing the bus, we headed directly to the theater, to watch the movie about Building an Empire, according to Willism Randolph Hearst.
Our day of discovery continued after we left this compound. We headed south, making our next stop at The Madonna Inn, suggested by my FIL.
The Madonna Inn is well known for the fact that each of their guest rooms is designed distinctly different from all of the others. Also, for the waterfall urinal in the men’s room. SpecialK took a picture, and we continued south.
Our next stop was for lunch, with a view.
We ate more of the food we brought from home, which provided us with good food to eat during our travels.
Our final stop for viewing on Saturday was at Pismo Beach. The extensive Boardwalk was well designed, and challenging to photograph.
Sunday morning arrived, our bags were packed, and we headed south east to Solvang. Solvang is a Dutch city, and a very quaint area. Comprised of many bakeries and restaurants, there were also clock shops and kitsch. We found a bakery offering gluten free treats, so we bought one of each.
From top left there was a macaroon, a meringue/cream/nuts/chocolate chip delight, an almond horn, and an almond paste filled confection. Two awards: the meringue concoction was amazing, and the almond horn will be the one I will make some day. I didn’t care for the almond paste confection, and while the macaroon was tasty , and too sweet, I don’t bake with or consume much coconut.
From Solvang, we continued south to Los Angeles. Travels over, until our next adventure.
What did you do for Labor Day weekend?