our summer vacation didn't start out the way it ended up. at first we thought we would just have a staycation given school schedules, finances and trips we want to take in the coming year. but then we started talking about camping and visiting family and a summer getaway was born.
our trip was broken up into 3 parts: paso robles, big basin redwood state park, and san diego.
we wanted to visit bobby's cousins who we don't get to see as often as we'd like. stopping here helped to break up the drive to the redwoods and gave us an excuse to hang out with this little guy.
the kids were so excited to get time with aiden and we were excited to hang out with jeff, kenzie and nancy.
although they had to work we got to spend time with them playing games like fluxx, which is ever-changing, incredibly confusing and just random enough to engage our family.
we also did crossword and sudoku puzzles, had korean food, and ate peach crisp with vanilla ice cream.
on monday while they were at work we bought tickets to tour hearst castle. it was my first time but bobby had visited when he was growing up.
i was impressed by what was built and decorated and lived in here. it is almost hard to imagine the amount of money that exists and was spent here, especially for that time. cra-zy.
we took a tour of the grand rooms; assembly room, dining room, billiards room and movie theater.
yes, theater, where hearst would show full length movies. and sometimes the actors themselves were staying with hearst and watching them too.
after the tour we got to walk the grounds and explore more of the property. everywhere we looked there was a statue - egyptian of course, or fountain or beautiful landscapes or scenic view. the grounds are very well kept and blooming at every corner.
and the roman pool was unbelievable. jordan would have loved to swim in a lap in this pool.
for us - two writers who are always imagining, the story behind all of it was most intriguing. the why and the how this all came to be. the personalities and conflicts that went into building and dreaming up a place like this. the people who stayed here, celebrities, political figures, journalists. the conversations sitting around that big dining table. what must that have been like? it made for fun conversation on the drive home.
this was my favorite piece. we took her home as a souvenir.
the kids were semi-impressed. to them it was a big house with ugly furniture. they did like listening to alex trebek on the bus ride to and from the house. they also "loved" that bobby had 20 questions for the tour guide. but they've come to expect that.
we definitely want to come back. i would love to tour the kitchen and the cottages. in the fall and spring they offer night time tours where people dress up with clothes from that era. that would be such a fun thing to do.
we had lunch across the road at sebastian's. it is part of the hearst estate so we felt it was appropriate to visit.
burgers, tacos and pulled pork sandwiches on a picnic table by the horses.
we drove a few more miles to see the elephant seals on the beach. i don't know why, but we were captivated by them. hundreds of seals lined the beach sleeping, sparring and apparently molting - not the nicest smell. it was interesting to observe their behavior and learn about their habits.
our final stop that day was cambria. we went to moonstone beach to search for... moonstone. i was just happy being by the ocean. the kids loved picking through the stones to try and make a collection.
a rainbow of colors.
multi-colored and camouflage.
and moonstones, none of which we found. but these white ones were pretty.
while in cambria we had pie; apple, chocolate cream and olallieberry. loved that oilcloth tablecloth.
this was a great start to our trip. seeing some sights in california that we've never seen before and spending time with family that we adore. thanks for letting us hang out and kiss aiden for us!!