Monday, August 19, 2013

Day 3 San Simeon to Oakland

This was another action packed day! We got a late start and were lucky they held our tour bus for us to get up to Hearst castle this morning. I had gotten our tickets online so that saved us. We had a tour scheduled for the Upstairs Bedroom Suites and the Grand rooms tour. Kind of frustrating that you have to take multiple tours to see everything. At $25pp we picked the two that would get us the most inside the castle saving us a little something to see if we get back! We were so excited because we love touring cool houses. 
Iconic view of Hurst Castle-looks like a catholic church

The shuttle had a couple of miles to get us to the top of the mountain. This is from half way maybe.
The Bedroom suites tour

ALL the ceilings were amazing

You couldn't use flash inside so the pictures are grainy at best! This is the Library.

Highlight of the Downstairs - the Dining Room.

The front room or reception room was huge. This shows about 1/3 of it.
 The grounds were amazing and we spent lots of time just wandering around taking pictures. It took alot of time because we were all focused on getting a picture without a million people in it. No easy feat.

You can see the ocean from here clear out there. It doesn't show up well but the views are amazing.

The swimming pools were amazing and they say the Hurst family still comes up from time to time to swim there. It was hard not to jump in because it looked so refreshing and cool.

We had the most crowds down here with all of us dreaming about taking a dip in this cement pond!
The indoor pool was amazing as well. HUGE.

The whole pool was ten feet deep and yup that's 24 kt gold glass tiles lining the bottom.
So we drug ourselves away from this place after a fabulous time. San Simeon is out in the middle of no where on the CA coast we grabbed lunch from the food cart at the visitor center and hit the road. We drove up the coast on Highway 1 for about 4 hours toward San Francisco. It was just beautiful. The only thing I would suggest is going south would have been better because there aren't as many paces to pull off going north and you have to turn around to get to most of them on the other side and that's a huge pain. Lots of traffic so we just took alot of pictures from the car.

We just loved the drive but got a little sleepy as we went so like any great road trippers we pulled over and had a nap!
We drove through Big Sur which was beautiful and forested. There were a few fun little restaurants to eat at but parking looked like a nightmare. We expected a town but it wasn't really. We drove through Carmel By The Sea but by then the fog was really rolling in. Cute town though.
We kept on going through Monterrey but then the fog was so think we couldn't see any of it so we kept on going. It was really cold and windy there too. By the time we hit San Jose it was time for dinner but we couldn't find anything but industrial looking areas. We finally found a mall (about the 100th we passed in CA) and had dinner there at Red Robin. So when we pulled into Oakland we were ready to stop for the night. I had reservations at the Courtyard downtown Oakland which cost a fortune and when we pulled up we were really alarmed. It was a scary neighborhood. China town was right there but it was just scary. We expected gunshots and chalk outlines on the sidewalks kind of scary. Neon on the hotel and everything. Inside was good though but we were still a little concerned.. Come to find out that was nothing compared to the next night's adventure!!

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