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California [part 2]
drinking bird
As we were driving towards Monterey, the clouds lifted, and we had a lovely day to admire the coast.
Part of the 17 mile drive along the Monterey peninsula. It is very reminiscent of the Mediterranean.

We stayed in Monterey, where we went to an amusing farmer's market the evening of our arrival. We did spend the next day visiting Carmel. It is a lovely town, with pretty houses and nice shops, and lots of flowers everywhere.

Carmel courtyard

We continued down the coast and stopped at San Simeon to visit Hearst's castle. It is not really a castle, just a very large house built for William Randolph Hearst, the millionaire depicted in Citizen Kane. The house has 3 guest houses. You get a choice of 4 tours, we chose No.4, which included the gardens, the pools and the largest guest house. The houses are furnished opulently with European antiques bought by Hearst. From the outside, the main house looks rather like a Spanish church.

Hearst castle, San Simeon

Late dahlias

But my favorites are the pools

Outdoor pool

The beautiful indoor pool. It is lined with Murano glass mosaics, many with gold.

We crossed the San Joachim Valley, as we had planned to go to one the Sequoia Forests, but unfortunately had not allowed enough time. So we drove back to San Francisco.

I forgot to mention a lovely day trip we had done across the bay to Sausalito, a small town with many artists that is quite pleasant, only a short ferry ride away. We saw a nice sailing ship on the way.

Two-masted sailing vessel.

California has very interesting vegetation, some of it imported, like the bougainvilleas and eucalyptus, but mush is native, like the Monterey pine

Lonely pine
Or others, more unusual

Bark of a fern-leafed ironwood, Sausalito.

Well, this was the end of our short trip, which was really good fun and good food in addition to lovely places.

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Wow, this Hearst castle looks really nice. Is it for sale? ^_~

And yes, the coast line really looks like the Mediterranean or some parts of the Atlantic coast over here in Europe. Portugal maybe? It's been almost 10 years since I went there, but it sure looks familiar ^^;;;

I like your question! Actually, it isn't privately owned any more. It belongs now to the US Park Service, though the family [still very wealthy] has permission to use it on occasion [pool parties!]

It is much visited. One is encouraged to reserve in advance [I did, on the internet], as they wisely limit the number of people. They further divide the visitors in groups of about 12, individually guided. It was well done.

I thought it would be something like this. And with the tours they should make enough money to keep everything in shape. So it's kind of a win/win situation (especially for the Hearst family).

Living with only a few people in such a huge building and maintaining it on your own costs... TAKAI!!!

I went to Hearst Castle too! *hi-5* (back in what...when I was 11 or 12 yrs. old? lol) Wowww...didn't know u went to Cali. Gee, too bad I woulda known...coulda met u up in L.A. =__=

But we didn't go to L.A., didn't plan to, nor had the time. So it didn't really matter.

Ohhh, that's too bad. lol

Btw, did you get your Kakumei 2011 goods? I see your icons now are from those pages. lol I'm assuming you already got your stash of goods from that. As for me, I'm still waiting for mine soon. Should be coming by next wk some time or this wk Sat., I think. At least my friend gave me 2 tracking numbers; 1) my poster and 2) the box of goods. I bought for myself and another person from FB so, hopefully they'll come to me alright. Will do a posting later on my LJ once I've received them. Can't wait!

I actually got those pics too from someone from FB. Too bad I no longer talk to her now. :(

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