Chaos Attraction

Hearst Castle Tours

2007-12-28, 11:17 p.m.

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Yeah, going on a trip after Christmas is pretty cool.

We ended up not leaving for Cambria until late on the 26th, so by the time we got there, we ended up sitting around in the hotel room a lot.

We spent Thursday at Hearst Castle pretty much all day, as we had tour #1 booked at 11 a.m. and night tours that night, plus the "go see the movie we made" bit in the middle. Other than leaving for lunch and a bit of shopping, we were there a LOT.

(I dearly wish this could be a photo entry a la Nevada City, but I can't get my laptop online here to put the pictures up. Sigh.)

They have multiple versions of tours you can take there. Tour #1 is the general overview one, letting you go through the top floor of one of the three guest houses, checking out the grounds a bit, and you go through a good chunk of the first floor. I was a bit disappointed they didn't let you go see the bedrooms (that's tour #2), which I said on the bus ride back that I'd like to see at a later date.

I would definitely say the Evening Tour is worth it, as it combines a lot of tours 1, 2, and 4 (seeing Casa del Mar). Especially with the place decorated for the holidays with GINORMOUS trees and gifts under them. If you can only do one tour, do that one, I'd say. This was a good time of year to see everything, even if it was kind of chilly. I did get to see the upstairs of Casa Grande on that one, which was lovely. Oh wow, the libraries. And the Neptune Pool. And the neat guest houses. Yes, they did have docents in costume wandering about- I was flabbergasted that they were allowed to TOUCH stuff and SIT on the furniture. My favorite was one chick running around with a stuffed dachshund (W.R. loved those dogs), which she claimed to have gotten from him as a present.

It's all pretty awesome to check out and hear the stories about. I'd like to go see tours 2, 3, and 4 sometime.

Me being me, I had to hit the gift shop multiple times. They had a pretty good one, with lots of random items to look at as well as the educational stuff. Mauricio got pins, and Mom and I got some ah, souvenir ornaments. And a lot of books. We got a few books showing pics from the tour, and three biographies. I wanted the sorta-autobiography of Marion Davies, which I read going home. We also picked up "The Chief" (for W.R. Hearst's side of the story), and Mom got "The Hearsts" to get everybody in.

We spent our last day in Cambria (two days? argh. I really wish it had been 3, and could have been had Mauricio not had to go back to work on Saturday) uh, shopping. NO surprise there. Mostly I wandered up and down the streets of West Cambria, then East Cambria.

(Note to anyone going to Cambria, btw: there is NO CELL PHONE RECEPTION WHATSOEVER there, except for a bare bar that you'll get on Moonstone Beach Road. There were many issues with this, especially when Mom and Mauricio would disappear somewhere and I couldn't find them for 2 hours. I wonder if anyone there has cell phones at all? For three different carriers to get nothing at all in an area of CA makes me wonder.)

I actually did not buy a whole lot myself- a gorgeous blue/purple tie-dyed hoodie saying Moonstone Beach on the front, and a pair of Holly Yashi earrings. Uh, yay for restraint on my part. Did end up getting a glass seashell and some "antique" jewelry from Mom when she was feeling spendy, though.

There are a lot of cute stores:
* a lovely yarn store that made me REALLY MISS having one in town
* a bead store, which took some restraint on my part to not go nuts in
* a lovely gallery featuring a lot of artwork I liked
* several awesome glass shops
* antique stores, including one 3-story antique mall that Mom went nuts in (see above).

I do wish we'd had a third day to go around the beach or something instead of cramming it in all at once. Now that we're back from vacation, Mom is moping around all depressed. Sure does suck to return from a trip and go back to reality. Happily, Saturday did not become Clean And Yell All Day because Mom slept in until ELEVEN, and then realized a few hours later that she had some open house to go to. So, yay for me getting time online to myself.

I also got (most of) my Amazon books for Christmas in the mail. WHEE BOOOOOOOKS! Fabric collage and another One-Skein Wonders! Books on television I can't find anywhere! Chick lit! A Miss Julia! Woot!

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