Today, we toured Hearst Castle, taking the Grand Rooms and Upstairs Suites tours. The estate was gorgeous and grand, and the gardens were in full bloom. The Grand Rooms tour seemed short. Although 45 minutes, we actually only saw the parlor, billiard room, theater, and dining room. The security at the estate can be a tad uptight. Just be careful to not have your flash on your camera turned on (our daughter had hers on by accident and was quickly told about it!). Also, stay on the carpets and don’t lean on anything. My hubby and I were both spoken to about these things and were just not thinking.
During our 2nd Upstairs Suites tour, our guide, Diane, was much more relaxed and extremely knowledgeable. The tour size was much smaller, and we saw many more rooms. Diane shared many stories about Mr. Hearst, his wife, girlfriend, those he had entertained at his estate, his love of the area, his mother, etc. I highly recommend arranging 2 tours when visiting here.
The Roman and Neptune Pools were amazing, and the tennis courts huge. You would never have to leave the estate, for it had everything anyone would ever want or need.
We also took the time to watch the film about Mr. Hearst at the visitor’s center, which is a great overview of the man and his background, particularly working with the estate architect, Julia Morgan. I highly recommend taking time to see this.
We then headed to Cambria for shopping and dinner. Ken really enjoyed the sports store with loads of New Orleans Saints items. We ate at the Main Street Grill upon the recommendation of a docent in the visitor’s center. We had delicious food and lots of it. We loved the town and found it very quaint. We got to see the Friday afternoon Farmer’s Market for a great local flair; people were super friendly.
To be continued in the Sequoia National Park Forum...