Sunday, February 18, 2024

2024 California Road Trip - Day #7 - Cambria

The plan for the day was visiting Hearst Castle. After a quick breakfast at the Cow Tipper [bagel and oatmeal], we headed to the Hearst Castle visitor's center. We did the 9 am Julia Morgan Tour. This tour includes only eight people! The Julia Morgan tour is an in-depth look at the life and career of this extraordinary woman. She was the first certified female architect in California and the first American woman to head her own architectural office.

The tour was very good and well worth the extra money. It lasted over two hours and included two of the cottages, the key parts of the main house and both of the pools. The guide (Chuck) was very good. Sharon has been to Hearst Castle a number of times and felt like it was the best tour that she has ever done.

For lunch, we had a quick expensive sandwich at the cafe in the visitor's center. I had booked the Building the Dream Tour for the afternoon. After some debate, we decided to skip that tour; it covered some of the same ground as the morning tour. Instead, after a quick stop at the Hearst Ranch Winery tasting room at the Sebastian Store, we headed north along the coast to the Elephant Seal Vista Point at Piedras Blancas. I was shocked at the number of elephants seals; there had to have been thousands of males, females and pups. This was an unplanned stop that I enjoyed alot more than I expected.

Heading back to the hotel, we walked for two miles along the Moonstone Broadwalk. We stopped and had a glass of wine at Madeline's on the Beach.

We had dinner at the Sea Chest Oyster Bar. The server at the Pear Valley Winery had recommended it. The restaurant is unique in that it does not take reservations or credit cards. People start lining up before it opens at 5:30 pm. Sharon and I got there about 5:15 pm. There was already a long line. Nevertheless, we were seated just after 5:30 pm. After sharing a few oysters, Sharon had sea bass and I had swordfish. The food was solid.

Sharon and I finished the day watching The Daily Show with Jon Steward and the first part of a Saturday Night Live. When we travel on road trip, I usually bring an AppleTV so that we can watch anything that we would watch at home. I just hook it into the hotel wifi.

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