We had a long day today. First things first, we left our suite at the Madonna after some delicious pastries and juice that were delivered to our door. Yum. Northbound we went along one of the country’s most scenic highways, route 1 California. Today we will end up taking this road all the way to San Francisco. The Plan was only to reach San Simeon, an hour north of the Madonna, see Hearst castle, then spend the night close by. Only being 200 or so miles from our new home and dying from excitement to see and meet it, we extended the day and pushed north. But before I go there let me tell you about today’s activity.
Quick history lesson. A true Californian story. George Hearst from Missouri of Scottish decent heads out west and strikes it big. Gold, Silver and Copper. The Comstock load. Homeboy becomes rich and buys up a lot of land. William Randolph Hearst, his son, is born into money. Post college he takes over his dads San Francisco paper. Hiring the best writers of the day, his paper dominates. He then starts buying up other newspapers and is soon one the richest men in the country. He’s a big spender and after his parents pass away he spends the family money like crazy. All this doesn’t really concern us today, what does is the 90,000 sq ft castle he builds along the coast in Califorina. This place is intense, 56 bedrooms, 61 bathrooms, 19 sitting rooms, 127 acres of gardens, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts, a movie theater, an airfield, and the world’s largest private zoo. Inside the mansion is art, building materials, rugs, and furniture ranging from 100- 2500 years ago. He was an avid collector of European art. Most of the ceilings are intricate handcarved wood salvaged from 400 year old Spanish buildings. Its like a museum. Serious baller status. When inside you feel as if you have been transported to Europe. We went on 2 very informative tours and got to walk the gardens and pool self guided. It was unreal.
Check out the Virtual Tour
Across the the highway from the castle was a cove where elephant seals like to chillout.
From here the drive increased in beauty. It was late afternoon and the sun was setting along the highway. A two lane winding coastal road, it weaves on and off the coast line, down to the shore then up on rock cliffs. Through a canopy of tall trees then clinging to the cliff side with only a guardrail separating you from falling into the ocean. It’s so beautiful. With too much excitement to see our future home my heel stayed to the floor as we drove through Big Sur and the Bixby Creek Bridge. This was easily one of our most favorite drives yet. The sun set and we were driving in darkness with only our headlights and the moon light reflecting off the water.
One Legged Gull
I heard this road song gem on the radio while winding along this coastal road. So fitting.
We got into our new home around 8, found parking outside of my cousins crib and spent our first night in San Francisco overwhelmed with joy and accomplishment sleeping in a van parked on the streets. This is our new home, we chose it, it’s ours. That’s a nice feeling. We did it!
Next Stop: Our SF Sublet