Sunday, March 31, 2013

2013-03-29, 30,31

Friday, the 29th, we took the ferry ($6.50 each because we are old) to San Francisco, getting off at the Ferry Dock. IMG_20130329_110309_022  We slowly walked from the Ferry Dock to Ghirardelli Square taking a few pictures along the way.  This is Coit Tower, which we will see close up on a tour.  IMG_20130329_112930_468  We ate lunch at Pier 39, where we saw the sea lions and Forbes Island. IMG_20130329_122441_074IMG_20130329_122452_620IMG_20130329_132856_010  I thought of Ken Miller when we saw this guy just playing away on this Hammer Dulcimer.  IMG_20130329_132123_298  As we walked along the various piers, I took this picture of Alcatraz Island.  IMG_20130329_133121_869  Then we ate a couple of free samples at Ghirardelli Square.  IMG_20130329_142108_864  As we left pier 41 on the ferry, I took this picture looking back at San Francisco.  IMG_20130329_151334_061  The fog was really rolling in as we left on the ferry.  This is Alcatraz Island from the stern of the ferry, a little after 4pm.  IMG_20130329_151435_142IMG_20130329_151438_811

Saturday, the 30th of March.  We drove east on I-80 to Vacaville for a morning Sam’s Club run.  Then it was WalMart where we shopped and ate Cheddar Onion Burgers at McDonald’s.  After lunch we drove back to Fairfield for a tour of the Budweiser Brewery.  Marilyn had a Shock Top, and I had a Black Crown.  I will drink more of the Black Crown.  IMG_20130330_150440_633

Easter Sunday, the 31st of March.  We stayed home to celebrate Easter, as well as staying warm, since it is cool and has rained off and on.  I did some more work organizing pictures so that I can put them on the Chapter 16 and 57 websites.  Marilyn has been cooking.  We will have another delicious Leg of Lamb meal, with a bottle of Champagne to celebrate Easter.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

2013-03-26 Tuesday

Today, after breakfast, we headed north on CA-1 to Hearst Castle – the San Simian, CA mansion built by William Randolph Hearst.  Since we had toured Biltmore House, located near Asheville, NC, we wanted to see how the other half lived on the West Coast.  Our first glimpse of the castle was from the parking lot (15x zoom).  DSC06380   Mr. Hearst’s castle is approximately 5 miles from the visitor center – up a winding road to where he had camped in tents as a child.  Of course the view of the ocean and mountains is what made him choose this site when he inherited the property in 1919.  Ground was broken in 1920, some 25 years after Biltmore House was started.

Hearst Castle is different from other estates of the rich in the US.  Its architecture is based on Mediterranean castles of Europe.  In fact, Mr Hearst collected art, statues, ceilings etc. from post World War I European art dealers.

Our tour began with a bus ride from the visitor center DSC02400, narrated by Alex Trebec, up the winding road to where guests of Mr. Hearst would have arrived.  These are the first pictures off the bus.  DSC02402DSC02404DSC02405 We were not allowed in the main door because they did not want us to walk on the inlaid mosaic entryway floor. Walking off the bus gives a view of the mountains.  DSC02403  The first view of the ocean from the castle could have been clearer, but it is a long way away – 5 miles. DSC02406  The first room we entered was the Assembly Room.  This is where Mr. Hearst’s guests would gather in the afternoon for cocktails and chatting.  DSC02408DSC02409DSC02410  When dinner was ready, Mr. Hearst or one of his servants would invite everyone in to the dining room.  DSC02411DSC02412DSC02414  In addition to the tapestry, the ceiling is included because it was several hundred years old and part of Mr. Hearst’s collections of objet d;arte.  During the day, guests could swim, play pool, ride horseback, etc.  But after dinner, since Mr. Hearst was a movie producer, there were movies to view in his 50 seat theater.

After being released from the tour, we were allowed to roam the grounds.  Here we saw the Neptune Pool, along with views of the surroundings.  DSC02420DSC02424DSC02426DSC02427   I did take a few pictures of the flowers.  DSC02439DSC02441

After returning to the visitor center, we drove north on CA-1 to see the elephant seals.  DSC06383DSC06392DSC06394DSC06395 

Of course we had to take a picture of the local lighthouse -  Piedras Blancas Light Station, just north of San Simeon. DSC06387

Type at you later.

Monday, March 25, 2013


We began today by driving downtown to the Chamber of Commerce to see if they had visitor center type brochures.  They had a few, but not many.  While in the area, we walked to see the San Luis Obispo Mission – an old Spanish Mission with a museum, gift shop, and the old sanctuary still in use.  IMG_20130325_114946_457IMG_20130325_115109_699

After lunch we drove about 30 miles up the California Coast Highway, CA-1.  On the way back, we drove through a couple of small towns just to take pictures along the beach. DSC02390DSC02391DSC02394DSC02396DSC02397

We even found some flowers.  DSC02392DSC02395

And of course we had to take a picture of these turkeys. DSC02398

Type at you later.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


We left Needles, CA Elks lodge this morning at 9:10am, and arrived at the San Luis Obispo Elks Lodge at 5:50pm – total mileage today was 412.  We drove I-40 to its end at I-15 in Barstow, where we picked up CA-58 to Bakersfield.  Then it was CA99 to CA46, to US101, to San Luis Obispo. 

Here is a map of the route. 2013-03-24 Needles CA to San Luis Obispo

Marilyn took pictures of the desert as we drove.  DSC02374DSC02375DSC02376DSC02377DSC02378DSC02380DSC02381

Then we started down hill and could see trees and grass.  DSC02382DSC02383DSC02384DSC02387DSC02388DSC02389

We even saw oil wells west of Bakersfield, CA.  DSC02385DSC02386

We will be here in San Luis Obispo until Thursday morning.

Type at you later.