Today Honora and I drove through Cambria where we stopped and had coffee and breakfast before continuing on to Hearst Castle and the Cottages and Kitchens tour there. We spent almost an hour touring the fascinating wine cellar, the incredibly ornate guest cottages, and the well appointed kitchen. The tours last about 45 minutes but ours ran late because our tour guide kept having to round up the stragglers: Honora and I were always the stragglers. We were even admonished by one of the docents to “keep up with your group.” But we continued to lag behind the others, absorbing the beauty and of course, taking photographs. After the guided tour, we were left to wander the grounds on our own.
When we arrived, Highway 1 was shrouded in fog but as we climbed into the hills, the clouds of fog dissipated. This was a view of the hillside from the Hearst Castle visitors center and one of the castle with a viewing scope in the foreground.
The wine cellar fascinated me because it seemed as if the most prevalent type of wine there was Italian Swiss Colony, in its familiar raffia covered bottle. I guess William Randolph Hearst and the “Little Old Winemaker” from Italian Swiss were good friends. It’s hard to the think of Hearst as a man of simple tastes but I guess in some respects he might have been. But, even I have had Italian Swiss Colony wine; and I used a few of those bottles as candle holders back in the day. Of course there were lots of other wine bottles in the cellar which I’m sure once contained the finest wines available. The tour guide told us that the upright bottles were empty and the bottles on their sides still continued wine, most of which has probably turned to vinegar.
The ceilings were intricate and different in each room. The gold leaf sparkled.
And of course it wouldn’t be a tour of someplace without the requesite reflection photo:
The grounds were captivating. The water lily was in a pool in front of the castle entrance. One of the docents noticed my “art deco bob” as he called it and sent me in search of the marble “Girl with a Parrot” sculpture; I told him it was perfect because I not only have an art deco bob, I have a parrot. So I’d like to consider this a portrait of me . . . a much younger — er, a much firmer — me.
When I saw the bronze of the discus thrower, I was reminded that we, as the 2012 version of Thelma and Louise, are still in search of the new Brad Pitt. This is an ancient guy but he might just have to do — for now anyway.
And the two magnificent pools: the indoor Roman pool with its tiles of real gold and mysterious lighting and the mesmerizing Neptune pool with is azure water and hypnotic grids.
We stopped in Cambria again on the way back to Morro Bay. The Moonstone Beach Bar and Grill had bar type seating facing Highway 1 and Moonstone Beach across the road. What a lovely view to enjoy lunch by.