Monday, September 12, 2011

The Hearst Castle Hump

William Randolph Hearst was a bad, bad boy. (So Sarge is not alone.)
His family already owned the 250,000 acres and 14 miles of San Simeon coastline on which the Hearst Castle now sits, but before it was built, his parents forbade him from using family funds to build a home for himself because they knew his tastes ran to the extreme. A good parent knows her child.
So, surprise (!), not even three weeks after his mother's death, WR broke ground on what was to become a 68,000 square foot home with 38 bedrooms, 42 bathrooms, 30 fireplaces, 3 guest houses and 2 pools.
Not your average dream house.
The now state-run castle is so huge, tours have to be broken down into forty-five minute increments. Upon purchasing our $25 tickets for the Grand Rooms Tour, Sarge and I (along with The Diva & the Doc, our road trip companions) took the ten-minute bus ride from the gate to the mansion, and then made the hump up 106 stairsteps to the grand entrance. I was tired before the three-quarter mile walking tour had even begun.
(Note to younger self: travel now!)
The assembly room where WR Hearst gathered his guests (and you'd better not be late) was incredible.
(That's a double mantle.)
The refectory (dining room to you and I) was exceptional.
The billiard room (where even women were allowed to play - gasp!) was amazing.
The pool was magnificent.
And all of the rooms were decorated with antiques of the six-figure variety.
Ever since I can remember, I've wanted to go to Hearst Castle, and now I've been. Thank you, WR, for letting me walk Number 133 off my Bucket List.

P.S. The view was fantastic!

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