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Archive for February 2016

Cross Country Roadtrip: Beaches

Thursday, February 18, 2016

  This post is part of a series about our Cross Country Roadtrip. To see all the previous posts, click here.

We stopped at several beaches while we were in California because going to the beach is Finn's favorite thing to do. I already posted about Wright's Beach, and the next beach we went to was Carmel Beach City Park.


 "I see it. I see the beach!"


 Finn made a friend in Carmel.





The next beach that Finn went to was WR Hearst Beach in Cambria, while I was touring Hearst Castle.


 I love Finn's expression here. He thought the water was cold!


Before we returned the van, we stopped at Point Magu beach in Malibu. Sam has been there several times for work, and Finn's favorite place in the world is the beach. 



 Finn was overjoyed to be at the beach!


 Next post is Joshua Tree


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Cross Country Roadtrip: Hearst Castle

Thursday, February 11, 2016

 This post is part of a series about our Cross Country Roadtrip. To see all the previous posts, click here.
 
No trip is complete without something going wrong, and Hearst Castle was a planning fail on my part. I reserved our tickets and did tons of research to find a dog sitter, but I didn't pay close attention to where the dog sitter was located. Unfortunately, the dog sitter was an hour away in the wrong direction. Instead of going to Hearst Castle, Finn and Sam hung out at the beach, and I went by myself. I wish Sam could have gone with me, but I am glad that I went. It was fascinating!
hearst castle aerial

William Hearst, a newspaper publisher, was the owner of the Hearst Castle land (250,000 acres!) after his parents died. William Hearst asked architect, interior designer and civil engineer, Julia Morgan, to built him a 2 room cabin so he and his sons didn't have to camp outside anymore. 28 years later, this was the "cabin."
 
Hearst Castle has 56 bedrooms, 61 bathrooms, and the world's largest private zoo. Most of the animals were given away, but sometimes visitors can see zebras from Highway 1.

hearst castle
 Only 10 of these tapestries exist in the world, and Hearst owned 4.
 
hearst castle ceiling
 15th century ceiling was imported to the house.

hearst castle

hearst castle
 The dining hall inspired the set design of Hogwarts.

hearst castle

hearst castle ceiling
 This ceiling is from Spain and is undergoing a 10 year restoration, costing 5 million dollars.



hearst castle pool
 The pool took 15 years to build and was rebuilt three times!



hearst castle pool
 The floor surrounding the pool was made of real 24 carat gold.

hearst castle

hearst castle
 Hearst Castle had many famous visitors including Cary Grant, Clark Gable, and Walt Disney. The only person who ever refused an invitation was Katherine Hepburn.
 
hearst castle

hearst castle
 We ate lunch at the Hearst Ranch Winery Tasting Room. Our campground that evening was Gaviota State Park. I wouldn't recommend it because it was very windy, no shade, the camp sites were too close together, and the beach wasn't dog friendly. The next day we returned the VW camper van, and started our drive home. 

Our next stop was Joshua Tree.

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Cross Country Roadtrip: Big Sur

Thursday, February 4, 2016

 This post is part of a series about our Cross Country Roadtrip. To see all the previous posts, click here.
 
After leaving San Francisco, we camped at Big Basin Redwoods State Park. We got there late at night, so we only had a few minutes the next morning to appreciate the beauty of the state park. It was really stunning.


We spent the day driving on Highway 1 in the Big Sur area. Our first stop was the beach at Carmel (dog friendly!). Then we went on the 17 Mile Drive and took some stunning photos.





These photos were all taken with our tripod.



17 mile drive carmel

bixby bridge big sur
The famous Bixby Bridge.

bixby bridge big sur

big sur

big sur

big sur

elephant seals big sur
Elephant Seal Vista Point - there were so many! We stopped for the night in Cambria and stayed in a hotel! Sam couldn't find a campground with availability because this was over Memorial Day weekend. It was so nice to stay in a hotel and take a hot shower! We stayed at Fireside Inn, which is dog friendly. We ate dinner at Robin's Restaurant, which was delicious and their outdoor seating is dog friendly. 

Even though we sat next to a heater, it was still cold and Finn started shivering. He warmed up in Sam's lap.

Next stop - Hearst Castle.
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